"Director Blanks nuts another cinematic stillborn"
It's all-too-easy to make thin attempts at humor utilizing the name of director Jamie "Shooting" Blanks. I, however, have no qualms about doing so since I just sat through the tedious, uninspired, and overall just plain dull excuse for a horror thriller, VALENTINE.Let me resort to monosyllabic grunting, as it requires about as much thought as the filmmakers did in piecing this thing together. Ugh. Ick. Bleah.
Blanks, previously known for the also tedious, uninspired, and overall just plain dull URBAN LEGEND, has essentially made the same film with VALENTINE, only more so. Whereas UL had at least a decent gimmick, VALENTINE treats us to a Carrie-lite episode involving a geek being rejected and then beaten by his sixth grade peers. Years later, the callous, shallow girls who only wanted to be popular at the dance and who have grown to be callous, shallow hotties begin to die horribly after receiving doomsaying valentines in their mail.
Oh yeah, and the killer wears a silly-ass cherub mask.
I'll admit a fondness for the horror film in general and the slasher sub-genre in particular, but only when the rote story is amped up with nice production design or delivers genuine cheap scares. VALENTINE not only delivers nothing remotely approaching those points, it doesn't even include the gratuitous nude shot. The characters are flat and uninteresting (Katherine Heigl seems to be the only likeable player in the drama, and she's torched in the opening 15, so perhaps she's appealing because she had the sense to get out early), their stories and motivations hamfisted, the cimematography murky and cheap-looking, and the set-pieces sorely lacking in fright. No one expects blatant originality, but maybe an occasional flare of wit or passion or logic would have been appreciated. Not one damn thing works at even the most basic level (the David Boreanaz 'He's no Angel' crack is wince-worthy, for example), and by the time the Shocking Identity Of The Killer is revealed, followed by the Twist Ending Revelation, you'll be too busy being asleep to worry or care.
As it is, this movie exists pretty much only for the Denise Richards swimsuit-shot completists. And anyone who has neither seen nor heard of Halloween and Friday the Thirteenth.
There aren't enough negative adjectives to describe it.Jamie Blanks is exhibiting the career trajectory of the space shuttle Challenger. Stop him before he films again!