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Valentine

Director:Jamie Blanks
Writers:Gretchen Berg, Aaron Harbart, Donna Powers, Wayne Powers
Warner Bros.; R; 105 minutes
Release:2/01
Cast:Denise Richards, Jessica Capshaw, David Boreanaz

Even if Valentine arrived a decade ago, the heart-shaped box of chocolates wouldn't have been fresh. This is the movie that Scream and its kin have been spoofing for years: a by-the-numbers slasher flick featuring a masked freak slicing up attractive women.

Much like the Spice Girls, each of the targets (Denise Richards, Jessica Capshaw, Jessica Cauffiel, Katherine Heigl) is stereotyped according to a single attribute: brains, body, etc. They were best friends in middle school, when they humiliated the wrong nerd. Thirteen years later he's out for revenge. The perennial fashion of Hollywood slayers favors black overcoats and silly masks accessorized with sharp metal objects; this murderous wacko is no exception. Awkwardly rhyming Valentine's Day cards warn each victim but even the sleepiest audiences will know what's going to happen as one scene flees into the next.

Director Jamie Blanks was also responsible for Urban Legends. He should consider a genre-switch, for in the cut 'em up horror world, Jamie's shooting blanks.


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