Valentine (2001)

Genres - Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Slasher Film, Teen Movie  |   Release Date - Feb 2, 2001 (USA)  |   Run Time - 97 min.  |   Countries - Australia , United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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After the trio of Scream films and a handful of spoofs such as Scary Movie (2000) deconstructed the slasher-movie genre, this predictable, by-the-numbers horror picture from genre director Jamie Blanks seems remarkably redundant. Grisly knife slayings, increasingly "creative" means of dispatch, a masked killer, the one-by-one nature of the murders, the holiday setting, and a guess-who's-the-villain finale (unfolding in a secluded, dark mansion, no less) are just a few of the cliches piled on this seen-it-all-before thriller. Blanks is certainly a competent director and manages to create some stirring visuals (a modern art video installation is a particularly inventive setting for one homicide), even wringing suspense from one stalk-and-hunt sequence involving the shrewish, jilted ex-girlfriend (Hedy Burress) of a playboy suspect. Blanks' stylish cleverness is pointless, however, as it's in the service of a hackneyed tale that's been oft and better told. Two decades earlier, when the paint was still drying on this genre, Valentine might have been considered a prime example of the type, but in the early next century, it's further proof of how tired and flaccid the formula has become.