Scream rejuvenated the horror genre five years ago, but since then moviegoers have seen a quick decline in the quality of films. The genre now is once again dead, breaking no new ground and usually only excelling in bad acting and even worse scripts. As for Valentine, a horror movie that leaves the teenage group and moves to the slightly more upscale (and, I guess, sexier) twenty-something age group, it is packed with stupidity, but at least it's entertaining. And an entertaining movie is more than what I expected from this movie.
Like most horror movies, Valentine is filled with a gorgeous cast, although the story at least builds that in a little bit, since a kid from ten years ago has returned to kill the popular people that were mean to him. Denise Richards is the only 'big' name in the movie, and that sort of tells you the acting quality of the film. Still, Richards does better than she did in The World is Not Enough, or at least she's pretty much even with the rest of the cast and the script. All in all, the acting is really not a problem.
What most bad horror movies suffer from are a lack of good characters and good dialogue. Valentine's dialogue is pretty weak at times, but most of all the characters are pretty bad. Some of the characters are really bitchy, really slutty, and overly artificial, like Richards' character, but for the most part they are just stupid. They follow the typical horror movie victim stereotype, running upstairs when they should go out the front yard and splitting up even when they know a killer is after them.
However, Valentine is saved by a pretty good entertainment value. While I must admit that I was looking for a little more sex and nudity, I was still impressed by how the movie never gets boring. Sometimes it seems that the film is focusing more on the girls' love lives and less on the story at hand, but it still doesn't lack entertainment. There are some really good lines thrown in here and there and some decent death scenes. There are also a few scary moments.
Valentine cannot and should not be considered a great film, but if you have a couple of hours to spare, it can't do any harm. It's entertaining to say the least, and there's a pretty good little twist at the end.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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