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By Brad Laidman | February 3, 2001

I suppose the key question that Valentine raises, although I’m not granting that anybody involved here thought about it that deeply, is whether it is still possible to film an old fashioned slasher movie with a straight face. I suppose Denise Richards is a good start, but frankly, and I don’t mean to be obtuse, chauvinistic, or shallow, if you’re going to have Denise Richards die in a hot tub, you’d best have her be naked when it happens. Sure, she gets to pour candle wax all over a naked guy’s package after she seductively ties him to the bed, but that only seems to belabor the point. I mean if Denise Richards follows you into a bedroom, kissing you seductively along the way, why do you suddenly pull your pants down and gruffly order her to wax it? Shouldn’t you move a little slower, be a little subtle, ease her into your lap slowly and seductively. You have to feel for the guy. I mean what’s he going to say when the police come in and find six dead bodies and a moron tied to the bed naked as a jaybird?
The key moment for me is when one of the cute blondes, and who can tell them apart, informs her boyfriend David Boreanaz that some spurned kid from Junior High School is back and looking to settle the score. Boreanaz suggests, and logically I might add, that perhaps it would be a good thing to blow down to Mexico for a while until the whole thing blows over. For God sakes woman listen to him! Lily is in a dumpster with three hunting arrows imbedded into her chest! If someone sends you a valentine with a morbid and threatening tone right before the funeral of your friend who has died violently, either get naked or get out of town for a few weeks. Porno actresses are smarter than this crew!
The idea of a haunted spurned valentine killer is a good start. The mask is pretty chilling. The nosebleed is a little much. Sure it’s always fun to see a girl wash her hair in the toilet, but exactly why did those two periphery guy characters get offed? Poor Daniel Cosgrove is all set to bilk the chubby rich girl with low self esteem when he gets an ax in the back. He didn’t mess with anybody in Junior High School. He’s not in a room with someone who messed with anybody in Junior High School. Why is he dead? I don’t even want to think what the significance of him not being able to perform minutes before his death is.
Some creative kills would have salvaged this movie, but there’s nothing that can compare to Rose MacGowen being crushed by a garage door here. I don’t want to spoil the ending, but it’s always a good idea to suspect the name actor with a seemingly insubstantial role. Denise Richards please phone home!

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