Wes Craven’s Scream completely revolutionized the slasher genre when it landed with a bang in 1996, to the extent that any movie indebted to the glory days of the 1980s felt incredibly dated by comparison. 2001’s Valentine didn’t care, but the misguided throwback to the straightforward knife-happy terrors of old suffered as a result.
Loosely based on Tom Savage’s novel of the same name, the uninspiring exercise in steadfastly refusing to acknowledge the subgenre had evolved could generously be labeled a critical and commercial disappointment. Netting a mere $36 million on a $29 million budget from theaters was bad enough, but it was an 11 percent Rotten Tomatoes score that really impaled Valentine.
Nonetheless, even the worst movies boast at least a handful of dedicated supporters, and it would appear that the majority of them have assembled on Reddit. Described as trashy, underrated, and a standout at various points, the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia have proven to be a powerful weapon in Valentine‘s arsenal, with a sneaky play for cult status potentially on the cards.
The formulaic story involves a mysterious spate of murders right around the most romantic date on the calendar, with a group of friends looking for love – but the majority of them end up finding nothing but a bloody death. One for the diehards, then, Valentine does deliver plenty of the tropes and trappings expected from a run-of-the-mill slasher, but it’s nowhere near the top tier.
That doesn’t mean folks aren’t allowed to love it, but there are plenty of similar titles out there that are significantly better.