Friday, February 17, 2012


Valentine's Day just happened, and you know what that means, ladies and gentlemen. I'm still in a Reese's-induced sugar coma. It also means that I get the chance to talk about one of my least favorite guilty pleasures, the Denise-Richards-getting-harpooned-to-death slashfest Valentine.

Now, full disclosure: I have a soft spot in my heart for this movie, and there are two reasons why: First, it is the only Katherine Heigl movie that I can bother sitting through all the way (besides Bride of Chucky or Wish upon a Star). I enjoy the fact that she gets murdered at the very beginning. Such is my hatred for Katherine Heigl.

And secondly, it was a date movie for me. One of my first. I was in junior high; I was really nervous. It didn’t go well. But… I look back on that memory fondly. And ironically.

Aside from that, Valentine doesn’t have a lot to recommend. It came at the tail end of the late-90s slasher resurgence, and it comes across as stale and perfunctory. The final revelation is really dumb. And the acting (except for dead-eyed superbitch Denise Richards) is subpar. It’s not campy enough to be enjoyable, nor legit enough to be watchable. It’s just sort of there, limping along through wildly implausible death scenes at multi-media art installations and dimly lit mansions. Even David Boreanaz is weirdly charisma-free (and I don’t mean Carpenter).

But considering all that, I still would recommend it. It’s like a time capsule. It’s a quaint little window into the horror trends at the turn of the millennium. It’s basically the perfect distillation of everything that was wrong with horror movies at that time. The bad plotting, the hyper-verbal yet completely unnatural dialog, the long scenes of exposition, the dozens of unnecessary red herrings. Watch this and you’ll remember what it was like in the late-90s, early-2000s. For some people, that’s reason enough to sit through this dreck.

If you don’t, this lady will cut you.

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