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Monday, February 14, 2011

YNTE Horror Night Holiday Edition: Valentine

Welcome to a special Valentine's Day edition of YNTE Horror Night! I've decided that for as many major holidays as possible this year, I'll be reviewing the slasher film equivalent. For Valentine's Day, this left me with a choice: 2001's "Valentine" or 1981's "My Bloody Valentine". This time "Valentine" won out because the plot seemed a bit more holiday specific, and a lot more ridiculous. As always, tons of spoilers ahead. You've been warned!

The movie starts off with a bunch of middle-schoolers at a Valentine's day dance. A nerdy kid named Jeremy Melton asks all the pretty girls to dance with him. They all reject him cruelly. He then asks a chubby girl to dance with him and they start making out under the bleachers. When some bullies catch them smoochin', the chubby girl claims he attacked her, everyone starts calling him "pervert", and they make fun of him so hard he gets a nosebleed. The bullies then drag him out to the middle of the dance floor and kick his ass. Apparently chaperons weren't invented yet.

Flash forward 13 years. Katherine Heigl, who you may know from Grey's Anatomy, is stretching her acting legs here by playing a Med School student. After going on a bad date with a man named Jason Marquette, she returns to the morgue to practice surgery-ing on some corpses.

She gets a Valentine's card that says something along the lines of "Happy Valentine's Day, I'm going to stab you", and while the writing of the card leaves something to be desired, this guy should seriously get into the greeting card business because the construction of the card was immaculate. It was like a pop-up card with multiple layers and moving parts. Impressive stuff! The card is signed "JM".

Well, surprise, surprise, a psychotic murderer in a Cupid Mask shows up and kills Katherine Heigl's character, and then has a nosebleed out the mask. That right there should tell you everything you need to know about this movie. It is (at least on the surface) a movie about a nerd who girls were mean to who decides years later to kill them.

Unfortunately, the movie takes a downward turn here, as of the 5 girls, Katherine Heigl's character is the only likeable one. Luckily, most of them wind up dead. One of them gets shot by the killer with a hunting bow. You know, the whole "getting shot by Cupid's arrow" thing. Only instead of falling in love after getting shot, she falls off a balcony. Into a dumpster. But the symbolism's still there.

They come to the conclusion that Jeremy Melton got plastic surgery so he'd look less dorky and is secretly dating one of the girls. This leads to a lot of bitchy fingerpointing. At one point, Fatty McGoo admits that Jeremy didn't really attack her, she just didn't want to get made fun of for being fat. At this point she's thin and pretty and ALSO a cast member on Grey's Anatomy.

Cue the big finale where there's a big party and some people get killed. Denise Richards gets killed in a hot tub by a power drill. (On a side note, I don't understand how she became as popular as she did, she's a pretty terrible actress, then again, I think the only movies I've seen her in are this and Starship Troopers.)

It becomes very apparent at one point (and it has been from the beginning for anyone with half a brain) that the main female's boyfriend Adam (played by David Boreanaz, Buffy the Vampire Slayer's 'Angel') is Jeremy. He very creepily asks her to dance again. She gets creeped out and runs away. There's a chase scene, and the killer in the Cupid mask tackles her. Adam pops out and shoots Cupid with a gun he happened to find.

They pull off Cupid's mask to reveal Fatty McGoo, who apparently went on a killing spree because her friends treated her poorly as a fat kid. Adam hugs the main character lady, despite her not liking him as a nerdy kid or an alcoholic adult, and his nose starts to bleed, showing that he's Jeremy Melton after all.

First of all, as both a nerd who girls disliked in junior high, and as a bit of a fatty myself, I can tell you, these are not motivations to kill. I have never murdered anyone, and according to this movie, I'd be a double threat!

Secondly, the ending sucks. It's too muddy to be satisfying. It just kind of lays out some events without giving them context. There's at least three possibilities this ending could mean:
  1. Adam isn't Jeremy Melton, and the chubby girl was the killer all along
  2. The chubby girl is still the killer, but Adam is Jeremy Melton who got all the face surgery so he could trick the girl into dating him, but nothing more sinister
  3. Adam IS Jeremy Melton, and the killer, dressed the chubby girl(who is innocent) up in the costume and shot her to cover up his identity
Any one of those endings would have been much better, but by not articulating it, the end just felt lazy.

Anyway, all in all, not as bad of a movie as I expected.

But remember, on this Valentine's Day, the moral of this movie: Nerds and fatties need lovin' too

Catch up on past installments:
Jason X
Jason Goes to Hell - The Final Friday
Friday the 13th Part VII: Jason Takes Manhattan

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