Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Blame it on Scream. Before the dreaded Munch mask made its appearance slasher serial killer movies were dying in their dirt, with the Halloween, Elm Street and Friday 13th franchises running out of victims. Violent teenage death appeared to be satiated.

What Scream had was humour, which is what Valentine doesn't have. It has the other stuff, sexy girls waiting to have their throats cut, a masked murderer, suspicious-looking blokes who might be the one, the whole stupid package with a hook to hang it on - Valentine's Day.

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There was a weedy kid at high school, who couldn't persuade the pretty girls to dance with him, because they found his nerdy neediness nausiating. They mocked and bullied him.

Years later, in grownupland, the girls are still friends and single. They have careers of a sort and sex lives that don't work and the same lame lines of dialogue.

It's coming up to Feb 14 and one by one they receive spooky cards that threaten bloody violence and one by one have a visit from the masked avenger and one by one disappear.

The assumption is that the weedy kid from high school is back, except he's bigger now and he's angry and noone can find him. The cop on the case is a groper, who seems more interested in feeling up the witnesses than solving anything.

The movie chokes on its cliches. There is no originality, no wit, no tantric tension. Also, the scriptwriters cheat. A denouement is important. This is the moment you've been suffering for, when the mask is removed and the killer revealed. This time, it's ludicrous and makes no sense, which only encourages cynicism amongst slasherholics.

Reviewed on: 12 Apr 2001
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Valentine packshot
A group of grown up school pals are stalked by a killer.
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Director: Jamie Blanks

Writer: Donna Powers, Wayne Powers, Gretchen J Berg, Aaron Harberts

Starring: David Boreanaz, Denise Richards, Marley Shelton, Jessica Capshaw, Jessica Cauffiel, Katherine Heigl, Fulvio Cecere

Year: 2001

Runtime: 96 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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