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J. August Richards
Valentine's Day 1988: At the school dance, geeky Jeremy Melton bravely faces one rejection after the other when asking four popular girls to dance with him. A fifth girl, plump and insecure, agrees, but they end up making out under the bleachers. When a group of school bullies catches them, the girl claims that Jeremy attacked her. This causes them to strip off his clothes and beat him up in front of the entire school. Flash forward to 2001. We meet the five girls who were in that school gym: Kate, Paige, Shelly, Lily and the formerly plump Dorothy. They are all in their 20's now and trying to sort out their love lives, which is appropriate, since Valentine's Day is coming up. After a disastrous date with a loser, one of the girls, a pre-med student, is murdered by a Cherub-mask wearing killer who sent her a death threat in the form of a Valentine card prior to the attack. After the four remaining girls are reunited at her funeral, they all start receiving threatening cards and ... Written by
Tertius Saayman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Someone is killing young women who have a connection to one another - they all knew and/or bullied a boy in junior high school. We first see a Valentine's Day dance held in the high school in 1988. Jeremy Melton is a loner, some might even say a geek. He asks five girls his age for a dance. Most of them turn him down rudely EXCEPT for Dorothy. They get caught making out by some bullies and those bullies humiliate him in front of the whole school. Fast forward thirteen years - the girls are all grown up and are (for the most part) successful women. Pretty soon they, and others, start getting picked off by a mysterious serial killer who stalks them wearing a cupid mask. Could that boy they bullied and make fun of be the killer all grown up, or is the culprit someone new? Perhaps one of the girls' boyfriends?
I really enjoyed 'Valentine' when I first saw it years ago. Is it a pretty sophisticated horror film. It's got a beautiful cast, gorgeous location shot, clearly a decent sized budget.. and it's actually scary! There is something unsettling about the killers' mask. It's a cupid mask, but from afar it sort of resembles Michael Myers' mask from the Halloween films. It was really creepy and some of the stalking scenes were just as creepy. The killer goes after his victims in a college campus, a small apartment, a mansion - all the location spots work in this movie. Lots of tense moments when he appears. There isn't a ton of blood, so the gore-hounds might be disappointed. I thought it was a decent amount. It didn't add or take away from the story.
Some very good acting in this as well, especially by Marley Shelton, Jessica Capshaw and Denise Richards. I loved Jessica Cauffiel in this as the quirky Lily, but her role was sort of small and she was underused much like Katherine Heigl. I thought "Valentine" (for the year it was made in) was a cut above most slasher/horror flicks. It isn't just some silly average horror movie, it's got class and a certain kind of edge that separates it from others made around this time. The ending, without giving anything away, is also pretty terrifying in my opinion... Good movie all around. I recommend it!
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