It’s amazing what a slight bit of influence can make. This could have been an all American trashy stalk n slash, but with some inventive set design, Jamie Banks manages to direct a sleek looking giallo-americano. Beautiful reds and blues flood the screen in every scene. As for the story, it’s a classic ‘who done it’ with clever diversions and distractions away from the truth and final scene with a neat twist. It’s all quite good actually. Good acting for a young cast, nice visionary direction and did I mention the score? Its classic Hitchcock, balanced against a cool nu-metal sound track.
The plot. Jeremy is a teenage nerd. During a high school valentines ball, Jeremy is turned down by girls, one after the other. Eventually, a fat lass accepts his advances, until a group of louts find the pair. The fat lass screams and makes out Jeremy attacked her. The lads give him a beating. Some years later, the girls from the original ball are back for another. They’ve all received creepy threatening Valentine cards. Could Jeremy be out for revenge? Slowly, the murders begin to occur by a creepy masked killer, to a back drop of a cool Californian house party.
This is a really cool film. It’s simple and very watch-able. Jamie Banks does a great job here, as he did with Urban Legend. David Boreanaz, Jessica Capshaw and Denise Richards all offer great performances. (Yes, this was when Richards was making the effort to perform) but Marley Shelton is the real star here as Kate Davies. (Recently seen in Grinhouse, Perfect Getaway and one of my favourite indie flicks, The Last Kiss)
Don’t be put off by glossiness of this film. It’s easy viewing, and the gore is not over explicit, but it is highly inventive. The scene in the hot tub is great, and the head pushing into a broken window frame with shards of glass is pure class. As a film made on the back of the success of Scream, this among a host of others added to the rise and popularisation of the horror genre in the over the past decade. Without this, we’d still be searching Europe for our Horror kicks.