Friday, July 27, 2012
There are a lot of films out there that people view as god awful movies but some are so bad they are good which is where I come in. I have only seen one movie in my lifetime that I thought was so awful I bought it and then took it back after one viewing but that is another blog post entirely. Anyways, I tend to like movies that a lot of people hate and one movie that suffers a lot of hate is the 2001 horror flick Valentine. I bought the movie on VHS when I was up at college and I admit in the beginning I only bought the movie because David Boreanaz was in it and I am of course a big Buffy/Angel fan girl. I watched the movie and I actually liked it being the horror hound that I am and it is one of my favorite films to still watch. I'll admit it does have many horror movie cliches but I like what I like.
So...What's The Plot?
The movie begins with the true horror that is a junior high Valentine's Day dance and the typical nerd Jeremy Melton is of course striking out with getting at least one girl to dance with him. In stereotypical big glasses and buck teeth he is turned down nastily by Shelley, Lily and Paige but is kindly rebuffed by a girl named Kate with the standard kiss of death answer "Maybe later" although it is not as harsh as the other girls' replies.
Jeremy then seems to get lucky when he asks Dorothy, a more heavy set girl, to dance and they end up making out under the bleacher. Of course when the junior high bullies catch the two swapping spit, Dorothy tries to save herself from humiliation by claiming that Jeremy forced himself on her even though he is probably only ninety eight pounds soaking wet. The bullies find this even more horrible than anything they could do in just name calling and proceed to beat up Jeremy in front of their classmates while stripping him down to his undies.
Years later, Shelley, Lily, Paige, Kate and Dorothy are now grown up to very attractive woman and the thing with Jeremy Melton is forgotten but some one still remembers of course in typical horror movie fashion and begins to take revenge against the girls. Shelley (Katherine Heigl) is the first one to bite the dust and her funeral is what brings the other girls together even though all of them have continued to be close. Dorothy (Jessica Capshaw) is thinner and is now finally having luck with guys as she is dating a young man named Cameron but of course he is secretly an asshole only interested in the money that her family happens to have in spades.
Paige (played by Denise Richards) has no trouble finding guys and Lily (Jessica Cauffiel) is involved with a creepy artist. Nice girl Kate (Marley Shelton) is in a relationship with sports writer Adam Carr (played by the gorgeous David Boreanaz) but it is constantly hindered due to Adam's alcoholism yet they seem to be functioning pretty okay. These romantic, dysfunctional and platonic relationships are about to be thrown into the normal turmoil of Valentine's Day but with a killer wanting revenge its bound to be an even more heartbreaking holiday than normal people experience. This year the cards and candy are going to be grisly as it seems Jeremy Melton is back for revenge but can the final four girls discover where or who there deadly admirer is before they meet the same fate as Shelley?
Now I can hear you groaning that this is all the plot I am going to give you and the answer is always yes. If I gave you the full plot I would be spoiling the rather appropriate deaths the girls receive and maybe even spoil who the killer is for you. If you have seen Valentine, you already know the answers and may not care if I spoil them or not but for my followers, I do care enough not to divulge the whole plot to you so you can view it for yourselves. If I do my job right, I am sparking curiosity in you to see the movies I am talking about especially if you have never seen them before.
What I Can Tell You?
The plot may seem typical of any other horror film but it is the dynamic of the characters that make the story and the women who play the group of girls at the very heart of the plot are the main focus. Katherine Heigl's Shelley has very short screen time as she is the first victim offed by our Cupid-masked killer but she does okay with what she is given. Jessica Cauffiel is also shown to be the blonde ditz in any role she does but she isn't completely brain dead here as Lily and she does a good job to bring a little more personality to her character. Denise Richards gets to be the sexy girl and even though she has a few bitchy moments, Paige is by no means stupid or completely callous and I think Richards had a lot of fun with her role.
Marley Shelton as good girl Kate is one of my favorite characters from the film as she is shown to be very kind and caring but she is not naive and as acting goes, Shelton brings that out marvelously. Jessica Capshaw's Dorothy is probably my second favorite character in the film and it also shows just what a great actress Jessica Capshaw is. Being that I've never really been a thin girl myself, showing the insecurity of younger Dorothy as being the "fat one" as she states makes me able to relate and it goes on to show that even though older Dorothy is thinner and by no means ugly, she is still insecure about her place among her friends and that she is still struggling in the romantic aspects of relationships as she is shown to be a good and caring girlfriend even though the man she wastes her affections on is a prick who is just using her.
As the only male lead of note, David Boreanaz is what brought me into the movie in the first place with his dark eyes and brooding features. His role is very small but when he is onscreen as Adam Carr, David Boreanaz has your full attention and those good looks are only the half of it. If you have seen him as Angel or even as Seeley Booth on Bones, you can tell that David Boreanaz can act running the gamut from troubled to funny as the role dictates and whether it is drama or deadpan delivery even with a smile, Boreanaz is talented. I wish his role had been expanded but he was starring in Angel around the time of filming so I can forgive David Boreanaz for that but his Adam Carr character was my third favorite character.
The chemistry between Boreanaz and Shelton's characters gave insight that Adam was trying not to drink to save his relationship with Kate as he did seem to really love her and it was shown that despite his alcoholism, Kate really cared about him in not just a romantic aspect but that she didn't want his addiction to end up killing him. That's the power of acting when you can actually care about certain characters thanks to what the actors portraying them bring to the table and despite what you may think about Valentine you can't deny its not really the actors' fault.
In regards to horror, the deaths aren't really too creative but the way in which the characters meet their ends are very fitting and the gore resulting from some of these deaths is passable. The writing is full of good lines of dialogue and a few parts of cheese but the quips that work make up for the ones that don't. Another saving grace of Valentine is the soundtrack which features, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Orgy, Static X, Disturbed and Linkin Park and if you think that sounds weird if you watch the film you can see and hear that the music and film do work good together where the music doesn't over shadow the film.
In conclusion, I would recommend Valentine to any horror fan but if you want lots of vulgar horror you won't find it here. If you like your horror with an actual bit of human drama and some thrills and snarky dialogue, then you will probably like Valentine. It's not over blown with gore or nudity but I can guarantee you won't be bored. Even if the kills and the story don't grab you the women have David Boreanaz to look at and the men have their pick of five lovely leading ladies to look at. A shallow enticement to see Valentine I know but if I can't get you to see a movie with just a smidgen of the plot I have to try something don't I?
Next Blog: I talk about Prom Night...the original and a little about its in name only remake.