CRITIC DOCTOR EXAMINES: Ted Pfeifer (reelinsider.com), Brad Laidman (filmthreat.com), Christy Lemire (Associated Press), Rod Armstrong (reel.com), Kevin Thomas (Los Angeles Times), Owen Gleiberman (Entertainment Weekly), E! Online (eonline.com), Michæl Atkinson (Movieline), Jon Popick (sick-boy.com) and MaryAnn Johanson (flickfilosopher.com)
* (out of 4 stars)
This is the time of year when we tell family, friends and spouses, “Happy Valentine’s Day!” I doubt, however, most them would be happy about the new horror flick “Valentine.”
“Valentine” is a movie about four junior high school friends who have grown up to be beautiful and sexy women. Suddenly, they start to receive threatening “Valentine” messages. Before you know it, a killer in a cherub mask (possibly a former geek student they use to torment) stalks them one-by-one.
Ted Pfeifer (reelinsider.com) said, “The movie starts out with a scene showing what happens to a young boy at a junior high school dance, this opening brings back memories of ‘Carrie’ and the style brings back memories of ‘Halloween’.”
Watching “Valentine” didn’t just remind me of “Halloween,” Ted. It made me want to see it instead! Brad Laidman (filmthreat.com) adds, “The mask is pretty chilling.”
The most ridiculous part of “Valentine,” Brad, is that stupid cherub mask. The killer looks like Halloween’s Michæl Myers in his puberty stage! This is chilling? What made Michæl Myers so scary was not his mask, though. It was the psychology of the madman behind the mask.
Early in the movie, Michæl is set up to be the most dark, non-thinking, “evil” person on earth. Director John Carpenter brilliantly accomplishes this through Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance). When Loomis describes the inner Michæl, it sends goose bumps down your spine. “Valentine’s” baby-faced, masked killer has no intelligent setup and merely gooses you in the pocket book.
Christy Lemire (Associated Press) said, “Just shut your brain off and go with it. Trying to pick apart the inconsistencies is a waste of energy.”
Sitting through this film is a waste of energy, Christy. I agree with Rod Armstrong (reel.com) who said, “‘Valentine’ is an absolutely terrible movie with no good scares. There are a couple of gory deaths, but that doesn’t keep me from being bitter about the 97 minutes of my life that I will never get back again.”
Well, Rod. That’s the price we moviegoers have to pay from time to time. And believe me, this time we pay.
Kevin Thomas (Los Angeles Times) said, “‘Valentine’ is a smart, stylish horror picture that offers a fresh twist on the ever-reliable revenge theme.”
Uh. Kevin? Are you serious or auditioning to get a quote put on a movie trailer or poster? You can honestly sit there and tell me, and your readers, this film has a “fresh twist” – even after you’ve seen “Carrie” and “Halloween?” I digress.
Ted Pfeifer adds, “If you look at the horror films that have been released in recent memory it all started with ‘Scream’ which was absolutely amazing, then we got the rash of ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’, ‘Urban Legend’, some other really bad movies and their sequels. ‘Valentine’ fits in the upper half of those recent films.”
“Valentine” fits better in the lower half of the person who wrote this film! That’s right, Ted. “Valentine” isn’t getting any love from me – or from most movie critics:
— “Doesn’t contain a single scary or imaginative moment.” Owen Gleiberman (Entertainment Weekly)
— “It’s not even so bad that it’s good. It’s just plain bad.” E! Online (eonline.com)
— “A dull, vapidly coy slasher clone that starts out stealing from Carrie and then proceeds along its preordained track like a mechanical bunny.” Michæl Atkinson (Movieline)
— “It is truly one of the worst films ever made.” Jon Popick (sick-boy.com)
MaryAnn Johanson (flickfilosopher.com) summed this one-star movie up best: “The only scary thing about ‘Valentine’ is this: they’ve left it open for a sequel. Shoot me now.”
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Posted on February 12, 2001 in Features by Herb Kane
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