Five comely and well-to-do female friends receive dire threats inside anonymous valentines. When two of them meet violent ends, the remaining trio suspect that the killer may be a nebbishy former classmate whom they spurned years before at a school dance. Their solution: Throw a lavish Valentine's Day party, all the better to distract them from the hulking, cherub-masked killer...
As the above suggests, Valentine is the absolute nadir of the post-Scream slasher film. Australian director Jamie Blanks (whose previous effort was the equally dismal Urban Legend, 1998) obviously had lofty goals for his film, given his bald-faced homages to John Carpenter and Dario Argento. But he hasn't a clue as to how to generate suspense, and his frequent reliance on well-worn shock effects (hands dropping on shoulders, etc.) suggests more contempt for the genre than affection. No less than four writers (including two writer-producers for Roswell, which explains the appearance of series star Katherine Heigl) contributed to the screenplay, which fails to generate the twentysomething drama and hip, cutting dialogue required for this brand of horror. As the five friends, actresses Marley Shelton, Denise Richards, Jessica Capshaw, Jessica Caufield, and Heigl have little to do other than alternately look attractive or afraid; Richards, in particular, looks weary of playing the man-eater. As Shelton's dipsomaniac boyfriend, David Boreanaz (Angel) lumbers through each scene with an embarrassed scowl.
Warner Bros.' DVD includes commentary by Blanks, as well as cast and crew interviews and a video for Orgy's contribution to the noisy, new-metal soundtrack. --Paul Gaita