Stigmata Review (1999)

My History With the Film:
In the summer of 1999, I was in the process of moving from Dallas, Texas to Memphis, Tennessee. While my father looked for houses, I stayed at my grandmother’s house in the mountains of North Carolina. Naturally, I brought my computer with me. It was the first time most of my family had ever seen a home computer up close and I spent that entire summer playing Need for Speed and surfing the internet in all its incredible slowness.

That was the first time I remember movie trailers being made available for download. There was no streaming, so these files were uploaded in QuickTime. I remember leaving my computer on all night long and then not using it most of the day, just to download a three minute SD movie trailer. I downloaded three trailers that summer: End of Days, American Pie, and Stigmata.

Everyone was amazed that you could watch something like a movie trailer on a computer, and I watched those three trailers dozens of times. I also went to see all three movies in theater when they came out.

Being a huge horror fan, Stigmata appealed to me. It was flashy, dark, and looked like an updated version of The Exorcist (at least from the trailer). I give credit to my father (who hates horror movies) but he actually went with me to see Stigmata. I remember enjoying it, especially since I had a soft spot for dark religious movies like The Seventh Sign.

What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
A priest who doubles as a scientist attempts to discover why an atheist has been stricken with stigmata.

What I Liked About It:
-The cinematography and editing reeks of the 90’s. It’s fast, flashy, and features more than one scene at a nightclub. In the late 90’s, this was getting old, but now in 2018, it was almost refreshing to see again.

-Gabriel Byrne is amazing (then again, when isn’t he). I thought Patricia Arquette did a satisfactory job in her role as the stigmata victim, but it’s Bryrne that steals the show.

-::SPOILER:: I forgot that this movie tied into the Gnostic Gospels and I found the ending to be riveting in that way. It was also nice that the movie ended with some true life facts about the quotes and the Gospel of Thomas. It alleviated my appreciation of this movie tenfold, and got me interested in researching the Gnostic Gospels again.

-The visual effects hold up well in this film. There was little to no CGI used, and thus no clunky looking effects. The movie used some great sound effects, some cool contact lenses, and some clever editing to get across a few scenes of pure torture.

-The most effective scene actually comes a strange point in the film. Father Kiernan (Gabriel Byrne) and Frankie Page (Patricia Arquette) are having a very friendly lunch, when she has wounds on her feet develop. It’s so sudden and out of the blue, it really works. It felt natural.

What I Didn't Like About It:
-This film walks that strange line between thriller and horror. I guess if I had to sub categorize it I would call it a spiritual thriller. There are some legitimately creepy scenes (especially if you are a Christian), but I’d struggle to say it’s a scary movie.

-The film uses several scenes at a hair salon where Frankie works. It’s very 90’s cliché and really slows the film down. With that being said, it does help establish the world that she lives in and I can see why it was added.

-I’m not sure if I buy the whole woman was possessed by a bitter priest deal. It works well within the confines of the story, but it’s definitely a little out there.

Additional Notes:
-Some of the footage of the subway car was actually taken from the movie Money Train. If you look closely, you can see a steel beam sticking out of the front window.

-The Gospel of Thomas is a real document from the Gnostic denomination. However, it was written in Coptic (an Egyptian language based on the Greek alphabet) not Aramaic, as the movie states.

-The “Aramaic” Frankie writes is not actually Aramaic. The director felt like ancient Hebrew looked more interesting and used that instead.

-The subway was shot on a fake train carriageway that was sometimes used on Seinfeld.

-The movie was a box office success but not well received by critics. Gabriel Bryne was nominated for a Razzie for this performance and his performance in End of Days that came out the same year. Ironically enough, he played the Devil in End of Days, and I enjoyed both of his performances from 1999.

-Director Rupert Wainwright began his career doing rap videos like Straight Outta Compton and U Can’t Touch This, but is best known for his directing of The Fog remake.

-Patricia Arquette’s only other horror movie role along with Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.

Stigmata is not a movie you’ll hear a lot of people talking about. It was a critical disaster and despite its blockbuster success, it didn’t leave much of a legacy. It’s not scary enough to be a good horror flick, and it’s not deep enough to be a good thriller, so it exists somewhere in-between. I enjoyed revisiting Stigmata, but I’m sure my nostalgia had a big influence on that. With that being said, I doubt I’ll ever watch it again.

I can recommend Stigmata to people who enjoy religious movies with a supernatural twist, otherwise I say skip it. It’s a five out of ten for me, and at best a rental.

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)

My History With the Film:
If you would have asked me a week ago, I would have told you I saw I Still Know What You Did Last Summer and found it to be okay. After revisiting the film, I’m honestly not sure if I ever saw it. A few scenes looked familiar, but for the most part this was like a first time viewing for me, despite owning the film on DVD for at least five years.

What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
Two summers after the events that led to the first film, survivor Julie James finds herself in the middle of another mass murdering spree this time while vacationing in the Bahamas.

What I Liked About It:
-This film features another nostalgia fueled cast with Jennifer Love Hewitt (Can’t Hardly Wait), Freddie Prinze Jr. (Boys and Girls), Brandy (Moesha), and Mekhi Phifer (8 Mile). Horror legend Jeffrey Combs shows up, as well as a very obnoxious Jack Black. An unknown John Hawkes also makes an appearance as a friend of Ray.

-The abandoned beach resort was a neat setting, especially isolating it with a hurricane incoming.

-Jennifer Love Hewitt is an amazing screamer. You don’t see her get mentioned amongst the great scream queens, but she really does sell it.

What I Didn’t Like About It:
-While I liked the cast, I didn’t like most of their characters. They were poorly written, not well rounded, and their deaths had no emotional impact at all. It was like a late 80’s slasher film, where the characters are just fodder for the killer, except the killer in this film wasn’t all that great.

-Jack Black puts on his worse performance ever in this film.

-The killer’s reveal sucked big time. It was disappointing and they telegraphed it so much.

-The film attempts to play homage to the first film by having Jennifer Love Hewitt scream and challenge the killer by spinning around with a panning out camera shot. It worked in the first film; it was just out of place in the second and came off like a parody.

-The movie is filled with too many dumb moments: finding the capital of Brazil on a coffee can, Julie accepting of Will sleeping in her room, Ray getting a gun, etc.

Additional Notes:
-Due to his work on Halloween H20, Dawson’s Creek, Teaching Mrs. Tingle, and The Faculty, Kevin Williamson did not have the time to write the script for this film or Scream 3, which hurt both sequels.

-Cast members with roles in other notable horror films:
  • Mekhi Phifer (Dawn of the Dead)
  • Matthew Settle (Ouija)

This movie is awful. I had no idea it was going to be so bad. I either blocked out my first viewing or I’ve never seen this movie before, and quite frankly, I’d been alright never seeing it. While the first film was a very acceptable by the numbers slasher film, this is a terribly written cash-in that unfortunately included two of the main cast members. The inclusion of Jennifer Love Hewitt and Freddie Prinze Jr. made the film look like it was something more than shitty sequel that deserved to be released direct-to-video.

Fans of the first film will not be satisfied and someone just looking for a fun slasher won’t be either. It’s barely competent as a slasher film, and is definitely not something worth watching unless you are completionist. I’d give this film a three out of ten, and say skip it.

I Know What You Did Last Summer Review (1997)

My History With the Film:
Scream set the box office on fire in 1996 and its success launched a resurgence of the slasher film. One of the first films to cash in on Scream’s success was I Know What You Did Last Summer. The marketing for the film was huge and I got caught up in it like all other teenagers. I rented the movie the weekend it first came out on VHS and watched it with my parents, who were fans of Party of Five. Since the star of the film was Jennifer Love Hewitt, they took a surprising interest in a horror film, something that rarely happened in my house.

I remembering thinking the movie was good, but nowhere near Scream good. It felt like a PG-13 Scream, although the film was rated R. I always group I Know What You Did Last Summer in with Scream, but in all honesty, it a much inferior film. My most recent watch only confirmed that.

What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
A group of teenagers accidently run over a man in the middle road. The next summer they are stalked and hunted down one-by-one.

What I Liked About It:
- The cast is a lot of fun to look back on. Jennifer Love Hewitt (Party of Five), Freddie Prinze Jr (She’s All That), Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy The Vampire Slayer), Ryan Phillipe (Cruel Intentions), Anne Heche (Volcano), Johnny Galecki (Roseanne), and Bridgette Wilson (Billy Madison).

-The story is simple and the twist is decent. I’m not a huge fan of who the killer ends up being, but it does work within the context of the story.

-I’m a huge fan of world building, and when a movie establishes a realistic small town I love it. I Know What You Did Last Summer created a believable east coast small town without involving a dozen generic townsfolk.

-The car scene with Ryan Phillipe after he leaves the gym.

-The film being set around The Fourth of July is great. It used the holiday as a backdrop but doesn’t exploit it for the plot.

What I Didn’t Like About It:
-Kevin Williamson wrote a very competent screenplay, but the film is obviously no Scream and that is a letdown. If there is any real complaint to have with I Know What You Did Last Summer is that it didn’t try hard enough to not be a generic slasher.

-The killer is a bit of a stretch.

-The acting can be a little cringe worthy at times, but this is a horror movie so I let it slide.

Additional Notes:
- The script was written by Kevin Williamson (writer of Scream). He was unable to sell the script until Scream became a success.

-Author of the novel, Lois Duncan, has openly said she detests the film, especially since it was turned into a slasher film.

-The film was shot in North Carolina.

-The film spawned a sequel the following year I Still Know What You Did Last Summer and a third film in the series I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer in 2006.

-Cast members with roles in other notable horror films:
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The Ring, Scream 2)
  • Anne Heche (Psycho)

I Know What You Did Last Summer stills holds up as a competent slasher film. There is nothing unique or creative to the story, but it does work. I think it is a must watch when it comes to 90’s teen horror, just because of the cultural impact it had. It was the first real post-Scream slasher and because of that it became a cultural horror icon in the 90’s.

I give I Know What You Did Last Summer a seven out of ten and say it’s worth a rental.

Urban Legends – Final Cut Review (2000)

My History With the Film:
I’m not sure exactly when I saw Urban Legends – Final Cut for the first time, but I’m pretty sure it was on VHS or DVD shortly after it came out. I’m a big fan of the original Urban Legend and the sequel was on my radar as soon as I heard about it. I remember enjoying it  and thinking it was almost as good as the first.

On my most recent re-watch in March 2018, I realized that I remember this film wrong. It's not very good.

What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
A student is shooting a thesis film on urban legends when her crew begins dying.

What I Liked About It:
-The cast is not bad. No one is very memorable, but they all perform their job well. I was shocked while checking IMDB that both Anson Mount (Hell on Wheels) and Joey Lawrence (Blossom) are in this film. I watched a lot of Blossom and Brotherly Love, but I didn't recognize Joey Lawrence until I saw his name and was looking for him. He was going by Joseph Lawrence and I'm assuming he was attempting to ditch his teen idol image.

-While no kills really stand out, I feel like the film really tried to give the audience what they wanted. The chase scenes are adequate in length.

-It was old by this point, but Urban Legends does channel some of the meta storytelling that Scream started, especially when using the two special effects students. It was a tired cliché by this point in horror history, but I still liked it.

-It was nice seeing Fruitopia in a scene. I'm actually thankful for product placement for once.

-I appreciated the neat cameo during the credits sequence.

What I Didn't Like About It:
-The single biggest thing is how stupidly unbelievable the characters are at a times. For example: in one scene our main character Amy (Jennifer Morrison) is attacked and narrowly escapes death. The next morning, she's out for a leisurely jog with her ear buds in jogging around the same campus she was just attacked on. I have a hard time buying that anyone would want to go outside, let alone near where they were almost killed, while cutting off one of their senses, for no particular reason other than exercise.

-Another dumb unbelievable part of the storyline involves the mysterious appearance of Travis' twin brother, whom our main character starts to fall in love and begins to trust completely almost immediately. I believe they were trying to mislead the audience by allowing us to think he might be the killer, but I was too distracted by how stupid Amy was being by trusting a guy she just met. Especially when she invites him over to watch her sleep.

-I liked Reese (Loretta Devine), the campus police officer, in the first movie, but she had too big of a part in this film. To be honest, she was useless in this film, and they just stuck her in this film to tie it to the first. I would have been fine with a cameo, but they decided to make her a part of the story and it just doesn't work. She isn't productive, doubts a killer is actually on campus (despite going through this a year or so before), and really offers nothing to the story. They wasted her character.

-Then there is the story, the story is not very good. It starts off simple enough: a promising, young film student decides to make a horror movie for her thesis film and her crew starts getting killed off. But then you start weaving in the mysterious appearance of a twin brother, the motive of wanting to win an Alfred Hitchcock Award, the new foreign DP, a hidden past of our main character and the man who wants to blackmail her, and suddenly this film goes from fun horror flick to Lifetime movie. It feels rushed and none of the characters are properly fleshed out. I don't believe the actors are to blame, it just feels like bad writing.

Additional Notes:
-The music that plays during the credits is the theme from Alfred Hitchock Presents.

-Reached number one at the box office despite only having an eight million dollar weekend.

-The snowstorm in the film was unexpected.

-The kidney in the bathtub scene was an actual goat’s kidney.

Urban Legends: Final Cut is a pretty terrible movie. The story is very weak, the killers reveal is even weaker, and the film feels like it needed two or three more re-writes on the script before going into production. As much as I love slasher films from this era, I would recommend skipping this film and just sticking to the first Urban Legend. I'd rate it a four out of ten.

Scream 2 Review (1997)

My History With the Film:
Scream 2 came out rather quickly after the first film. I remember being blown away by the trailer because I never imagined they could get a sequel out so fast. I was still active in the online horror community and for the most part the reception was pretty negative, which made me approach the film with extreme caution. But once it hit VHS I rented it and enjoyed it.

I’ve never been a huge fan of the ending of this film, but I’ve come to accept it and it gets a yearly watch along with the rest of the franchise from me.

What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
Two years after the first string of murders, new murders start occurring around Sidney and those she loves.

What I Liked About It:
-The college campus setting is fantastic. It still feels small and contained like Woodsboro, but also diverse enough for some interesting settings.

-The running meta commentary continues and is arguably better than the first film. At times it feels like scenes were created just for conversations to occur, but it all served the film and outlined the rules of sequels and what typically is expected.

-The film opens with another solid opening scene, and while its nowhere near as effective and memorable as the first film, the bathroom scene has always been burned into my brain as well as the crowd’s reaction in the theater.

-The filmmakers realized Randy’s popularity from the first film and chose to give him more scenes to work with. He comes off as one of the better characters in Scream 2.

-Three of my 90’s crushes appeared in this film: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Heather Graham, and Rebecca Gayheart.

-The film class scene.

What I Didn’t Like About It:
-I absolutely adore Timothy Olyphant’s acting and Deadwood/Justified are two of my favorite TV shows, but his performance in this film is pretty atrocious. I’ve never been able to tell if he was just so new to acting he hadn’t developed yet, or if his performance of Mickey is just how he chose to play him. The scene at the theater is pretty cringe worthy at times.

-Jerry O’Connell is very uneven in this film. His character is crucial to the story and yet you have a hard time rooting for or against him.

-(SPOILER ALERT) Randy’s death was enjoyable, but unnecessary and ultimately hurt the franchise.

Additional Notes:
-Was followed by Scream 3 in 2000 and Scream 4 in 2011. A television series set outside of the world of the film began in 2015.

-Robert Rodriguez directed the scenes in “Stab” the movie inside the movie.

-The film began filming just six months after the release of Scream and was released less than a year after Scream.

-Joshua Jackson was cast in Dawson’s Creek (created by Kevin Williamson) just a year following his role in Scream 2.

-Music by Hans Zimmer from the film Broken Arrow was used as placeholder music for Dewey, but the audience reacted so well to it that it was left in.

I’m a fan of Scream 2, but I still prefer the first film. Scream 2 is a 7.5 out of 10 and a must own.

The Reading Buddy Review (2017-Book)

Today at the 90’s Horror Review I’m going to review a book called The Reading Buddy.

The Reading Buddy was released in 2017, but you’d never know that while reading it. It’s easy to get lost in The Reading Buddy and feel like you are reading something Christopher Pike wrote or RL Stine when he wasn’t churning out a gazillion Goosebumps books. I had a lot of fun with The Reading Buddy, and I figured the readers here at 90’s Horror Review might get a kick out of it too.

My History With the Book:
I discovered The Reading Buddy when I was followed by the author Bryce Gibson on Twitter. I don’t usually pay much attention to authors who follow me, but the description on his book caught my attention, "The Reading Buddy is a fun Southern set throwback to 90s teen horror novels that will keep you guessing until the very end!"

Being from the South and a huge fan of 90’s horror (especially teen horror) I couldn’t pass this book up. I bought a copy that day, but didn’t get around begin reading it until late January 2018.

What The Book Is About (Non-Spoiler):
A high schooler is haunted by the appearance of a man in a black rain jacket after narrowly escaping death. 

What I Liked About It:
-I don’t read a lot of horror fiction, because quite frankly, I have a hard time creating the suspense within my head. But this book has a moment, that is so realistic and straight forward, I felt like I was there experiencing it myself. It turns out to be a false scare, but the one page build up was spot on and is the only time I’ve ever remembered actually feeling fear while reading a book.

-When I hear the phrase “Southern Fiction” I think of two things: William Faulkner and cheesy romance novels that take place in Asheville, NC. Being from the South, most of the local book stores have Southern Reading sections and they are pretty bland. The South is a wonderful setting and can provide a backdrop for just about any story but it’s usually only utilized by amateurs wanting to channel the next Gone with the Wind. I’m happy to report that Bryce Gibson doesn’t do this. You could leave the whole Southern setting out of the description of the book and it would still work well. However, being called “Southern Fiction” and then including horror in the description is what drove me to buy the book in the first place. 

When I think Southern Teen Horror, my mind immediately goes to I Know What You Did Last Summer. It’s set at the beach in North Carolina and is small town USA. It’s not overly Southern, but if you know what you are looking for, you can see the Southern charm in it. The Reading Buddy is similar. It’s set in the small Southern town of Edgefield and the town feels real and lived in. It’s not flashy, nor does it have a lot going on, but it’s the little details that people from the South will pick up on like visiting a therapist at her home instead of an office, a local brewery, and the life of a factory worker wanting to break out and achieve something more. It wasn’t something creating the South based on clichéd and what they’ve seen on TV, this is actually a person from the South writing about a place that he knows and loves. That shines through in the writing.

-I didn’t know what to expect when beginning The Reading Buddy, because I haven’t read a Fear Street book in over twenty years. The descriptions said it was a 90’s homage, so I wasn’t sure if that meant it was set in the 90’s or just written in the style similar to those 90’s horror books. I can confirm that the book is set in the present day and is written in the style, size, and format of the 90’s teen horror novels. 

For my own personal nostalgia, I would have loved to see this book set in the 90’s, but I don’t think there is much of an audience for that. Instead the book works in present day with teenagers who talk, act, and utilized technology like present day teenagers do. Being thirty-four years old, I’m a little past those days, but I could relate to the frustrations of the main character Blake, especially his social anxiety and feelings about being the new guy.

-The book doesn’t create characters for the sake of creating them. Each character has its own individuality and motives, and I like that. You are never 100% sure what to make of the characters, since it seems that everyone you encounter is hiding something. This added an extra level of depth to the story that affects the plot up until the final pages. 

-The final twist. No spoilers, but it was great and well executed.

What I Didn't Like About It:
-I feel like the book is at its strongest in the first two-thirds. The author does a great job of establishing a realistic setting with relatable characters. The final third of the novel starts to unravel the mystery that we’ve been introduced to and I don’t think it works so well. I try and avoid spoilers on this site, but let’s just say the first twist regarding Blake’s family was a little far-fetched for me, although it’s perfectly plausible in real life.

-There is a chase scene the builds up to the reveal of the man in the rain jacket and was way too short. It takes up maybe two pages, and I would have loved to see this fleshed out a lot more. It’s over almost as soon as it begins and once the reveal is made, one paragraph later we are on our way onto revealing another layer of the plot. It felt a little rushed.
I’m not the core audience for a book like The Reading Buddy, but I found myself enjoying it quite a bit. I never felt like the book was dumbed down for a younger audience. It’s only a teen horror because it features characters who happen to be teenagers.

Teen horror doesn’t get a lot of love nowadays and we are definitely not in the prime for teen horror book series like Fear Street. This makes The Reading Buddy a bit of an oddity in 2018, but I think that is also what makes it so attractive to read. You can tell the author took a concept he liked (teen horror) and decided to bring it into the modern age while setting it in a place he was familiar with (The South). There was a lot of love put into this project and that is something I can respect and appreciate. 

So where does it rate on my usual 1-10 scale? Well, a novel is more difficult to rate than a movie. I feel like a teenager or someone who appreciates teen horror would find this an easy 7.5 out 10 and is very worthy of reading. For everyone else, your mileage may vary. But odds are if you are reading this blog, you are a fan of 90’s teen horror and would appreciate a new book that may remind you of the fun you had curled up on your bed reading a horror novel set during high school.

Valentine Review (2001)

My History With the Film:
I didn’t watch Valentine when it came out in 2001. As much as I love slasher films, I was a little skeptical about this one. It looked pretty terrible to be honest. I believe I only got around to watching it around 2006 when I became a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. I wanted to see what David Boreanaz (Angel) could do in a horror film.

I was working at EB Games when a copy was traded in, so I bought it for a couple dollars and took it home anxious to see Angel in a Slasher film. I remember trudging through it when I got home and being very underwhelmed. I traded it back in to EB Games the following day since I never imagined I'd ever sit back down to watch this again. Of course, being that this is the first Valentine's Day that 90's Horror Review has been open, I knew it was time to rewatch this disaster and see if it was as bad as I remembered.

What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
A group of women are stalked by a man who they tormented during their childhood.

What I Liked About It:
-Wow, the soundtrack is so 2001. Rob Zombie, Disturbed, Static-X, Linkin Park, Orgy, Marilyn Manson, and Filter are just some of the bands who contributed songs. It isn’t exactly my favorite type of music, but it takes me straight back to the early 2000’s.

-Unlike many of the holiday related horror movies, Valentine actually uses the holiday to tell its story. The plot is based around love and you see all four of the main characters going through a variety of different levels in their relationships. The movie builds up to a big Valentine’s Day party, which resembles how the movie begins with a Valentine’s Day dance.

-Towards the end of the film there is a fun kill that involves a hot tub. ::SPOILER:: Paige (Denise Richards) is trapped inside a hot tub with a clear cover by the killer. He then proceeds to run a drill with an extra long bit through the lid and into Paige. It’s by far the best kill in the movie and looks incredible on screen. I’ve never seen a clear hot tub cover, but I imagine these exist.

-This was the early 2000’s, which meant we got to see Denise Richards in a bikini.

 What I Didn't Like About It:
-The film is cluttered. What I mean by this is every shot is just full of stuff. I think some of the best slasher films tend to be minimalistic in nature (Halloween, Friday the 13th, The Prowler). For example: there is a big art exhibit scene with dozens of video screens displaying different videos. Obviously, this scene is made to look chaotic, but it takes away from the viewer being able to concentrate on the characters and are instead distracted by the background imagery. Even in scenes inside people’s houses, there is just too much going on and too much stuff in each frame. It’s like the set decorator went nuts trying to stuff anything and everything into every frame.

-The movie begins with a dance scene where a young dorky sixth grade boy is rejected harshly by five girls. We then follow four of the five girls throughout this movie and they are supposed to be our protagonists, but to be honest, none of them have grown. They are still all exactly the same as they were in sixth grade, which makes it hard to cheer for any of them. None of the characters are likeable and I believe that ultimately that is what makes this film fail. If anything, you feel more compassion for the killer, but we are never shown his side of the story outside of the opening scene.

-I absolutely loved David Boreanaz in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and in Angel. This was shot while he was starring in Angel, but he shows no real acting range in his first feature film debut. He doesn’t spend much time on screen, and when he is on screen you can tell he’s out of his league. He comes across as a TV actor in a sea of movie actresses and actors.

-Outside of the unlikable characters, I believe the second biggest issue with this film is that it doesn’t feel like a real world. The film takes place somewhere in California (San Francisco I think, if they said I don’t remember), but it doesn’t feel like a real place. In fact, nothing feels real about this movie. All of the sets feel like they exist in some sort of strange alternate universe and were created by someone who was describing what a morgue, mansion, and police stations are supposed to look like.

Additional Notes:
-The film featured two stars of hit shows on the WB: David Boreanaz (Buffy/Angel) and Katherine Heigl (Roswell).

-Director Jamie Blanks helmed Urban Legend (1998) prior to Valentine.

-In 2007, Jamie Blanks said, "Forgive me for Valentine. A lot of people give me grief for that, but we did our best."

-The original casting process saw Tara Reid (Urban Legend) as Dorothy Wheeler and Jennifer Love Hewitt as Paige Prescott.

-With only a $10 million dollar budget, this film is the cheapest film to ever have a Superbowl spot.

-Katherine Heigl didn’t read the whole script and in 2005 mentioned that she regretted her decision to take part in the film after seeing the final cut.

-The trailer featured a female narrator which is extremely rare in film trailers.

-David Boreanaz and Jessica Capshaw played ex-lovers raising a child in the TV show Bones.

I recall watching Valentine all those years ago and being thoroughly disappointed. I went into the film with an open mind this time around and I still came out disappointed. I ultimately think this film fails because the characters are unlikeable and the setting is unrelatable. It’s not all bad, but the bad definitely outweighs the good.

With exception of the hot tub kill, the kills are very uninspiring and it almost feels like they didn’t want to commit to being a horror film until the final twenty minutes. 

I wish I could say Valentine is an amazing movie worth watching every year on Valentine’s Day, but they would be a lie. This film is below average, uninspired and not worth watching unless you absolutely love slasher films. I rate Valentine a four out of ten and say skip it.