Back when Scream was released in 1996, it revitalized the slasher genre formula with its blend of self-referential humor and genuine scares. Once it became a cultural and box office phenomenon, it ushered in a new era of horror films in a similar vein such as I Know What You Did Last Summer and The Faculty. But then came a slasher pic that was inventive while showcasing the traditional slasher formula. Yet, because it still stuck to tradition and wasn’t entirely in the same vein as Scream, it became instantly underrated.
When Valentine came out 19 years ago, it received quite a critical bashing. According to the critics consensus on its Rotten Tomatoes page, it is a “formulaic throwback to conventional pre-Scream slasher flicks.” On the one hand, yes, it does follow the traditional slice-and-dice formula that slasher films would have in the pre-Scream era. However, it is both familiar and non formulaic and deserves more praise for how it attempts to stand out from other films within the rather interchangeable genre.
The story is familiar enough. A group of women: Kate Marley Shelton, Paige Denise Richards, Shelley Katherine Heigl, Dorothy Jessica Capshaw and Lily Jessica Cauffiel, are picked off one by one by a former classmate they tormented in their childhood. Also, the film takes place around Valentine’s Day, hence the title, and opens with a Valentine’s Day Dance from 1988. During that opening sequence, the killer, Jeremy Melton, asks his female classmates to dance with him only for most of them to harshly reject him. Thirteen years after that dance, Jeremy comes back for his revenge.
Its basic premise, along with the killer’s identity being evident, is what likely results in its reputation of being a copy-and-paste slasher flick. However, while the lack of grand mystery surrounding the antagonist may be true, Valentine is more interested in examining the mistakes made by the main characters. It mainly follows them in their adult years to show whether they’ve learned from the torment they caused Jeremy in middle school. It is hinted that there is a history of Jeremy being bullied outside of the night of the dance. So, the film asks whether some of them realized how wrong their bullying was.
Additionally, a false reputation that Jeremy was hit with becomes a method to his madness. After being accused of assaulting Dorothy at the aforementioned Valentine’s Day dance, he was sent away and eventually became the psycho that his classmates believed he was. He wasn’t motivated by fame the way some of the Ghostface killers in the Scream series were nor was he driven by the death of a loved one like Mrs. Voorhees in Friday the 13th. Instead, Melton is driven by his indignation over being deprived of an ideal existence due to torment by his classmates and the accusation that shattered...
Damon Lindelof, the creator of HBO's Watchmen, is interested in taking a trip to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or a galaxy far, far away, in the future. Lindelof left his stamp in the DC universe in a big way with Watchmen, which proved to be one of the biggest hits of 2019. While there are no plans for a second season right now, Lindelof is interested in exploring other major franchises.
The writer and producer is currently promoting The Hunt, which is finally making its way to theaters this weekend after being delayed last year. During a recent interview, Damon Lindelof touched on a couple of franchises he would like to possibly explore next, given the chance, starting with Marvel. Here's what he had to say about it.'I think that doing something in the Marvel universe, anywhere in the Marvel Universe, would be really potentially exciting for me, especially as they start to get a little bit more experimental. Some of the things that I've seen for Wandavision, for example, just feel like, 'Okay, now we're getting somewhere'. Particularly in a television space.'
Indeed, it seems in Phase 4 the MCU is going to take some big swings. What little we've seen from WandaVision, which debuts on Disney+ later this year, looks to be a trippy detour from what we're accustomed to from these characters, with the show centering on Wanda Maximoff and Vision. We've also got Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness coming down the pipeline, which is poised to be a unique experience. Not to mention that the X-Men and Fantastic Four will be rebooted within the MCU sometime in the future, which could open up many possibilities.
Star Wars is another story. The future of the long-running sci-fi franchise is a bit of a mystery following the release of The Rise of Skywalker last year. We know more movies will be made, as well as shows on Disney+ to go along with The Mandalorian. Speaking further, Damon Lindelof said he would love to do something in the Star Wars universe, but not for some time.'At some point, but certainly not in the immediate future, I feel like I would love to do something in the Star Wars universe. Maybe a decade from now when I would no longer be blamed for ruining it. That would be a hoot.'
Whoever is tasked with crafting the next chapter of Star Wars will be under intense pressure, that much is certain. Understandably, someone like Lindelof would want to avoid that pressure, especially after overcoming the odds with something like Watchmen, which defied expectations and served as a satisfying sequel to one of the most beloved comic book properties of all time. Imagine what Lindelof might be able to do for the MCU, provided the opportunity? This news comes to us via Fandom.
Following in the footsteps of her Marvel co-star Mark Ruffalo, actress-turned-filmmaker Ellen Page is funneling her considerable influence and resources into raising awareness around environmental justice. Last year, Ruffalo produced and starred in Todd Haynes’ under-appreciated “Dark Waters,” a narrative feature about the Dupont Teflon case. Since her breakout role in “Juno,” Page’s acting roles have always supported feminist perspectives. More recently, she also served as producer on films like “My Days of Mercy” and “Freeheld,” projects she also starred in that touched on issues surrounding incarceration and prison reform. Now, Page has stepped almost fully behind the camera, co-directing with pal Ian Daniel a timely and informative documentary about Nova Scotia’s history of environmental racism.
“There’s Something in the Water” borrows its title from the book on which is based, “There's Something In The Water: Environmental Racism in Indigenous & Black Communities” by Ingrid R.G. Waldron. Using Waldron’s book as a guidepost, the film opens with Page reflections on growing up in Nova Scotia, complete with adorable baby photos and a sober voiceover. A clip of Page on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” from February of last year shows the actress calling out the impact of xenophobic leadership on marginalized communities. The film quickly focuses on Waldron to give a definition of environmental racism, a social justice term coined in the 1970s to highlight the disproportionate impact environmental injustice has on black, brown, and indigenous communities.
“Where you live has bearing in your well being,” Waldron says. “Your postal code determines your health.” In Nova Scotia, that means the black and indigenous communities who have born the brunt of harmful pollution, such as improper water treatment and toxic dump sites. The film is broken up into three sections, each focusing on a different site of environmental harm in Nova Scotia.
The first and most powerful of these stories is an African neighborhood in the town of Shelburne, which had the unfortunate distinction of housing the town dump for 75 years. The town once burned industrial, medical, and residential waste that blew directly into the neighborhood of primarily African Nova Scotian residents. Activist Louise Delisle serves as a sobering but affable guide to the community’s inflated rates of multiple myeloma. Louise leads the film’s most powerful scene, as she drives through the community pointing out every home housing a polluted well, people living with cancer, or — more often — people who died of cancer.
Somehow maintaining a gentle if serious disposition, Louise recalls growing up with the...