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My Bloody Valentine Vs Valentine - Which Will Win?

Valentine’s Day: it's the day for couple to celebrate their romance. But what about the single people or couples who’d rather celebrate their love all year instead of just one day a year? Well, if you’re horror fan, or in particular a slasher fan, here are two films for you.


Note: When I’m talking about My Bloody Valentine I’m only talking about the original 1981 movie, not the 2009 remake!


Plot

My Bloody Valentine

In Valentine Bluff, a mine explodes after two supervisors neglect to check the methane gas levels to attend the town’s traditional Valentine’s Day dance. The sole survivor Harry Warden resulted to cannibalism to survive and is driven insane. A year later he kills the supervisors and warns the town to never to hold a dance again. 20 years later, the mayor of the reinstates the dance and a killer dressed as miner starts killing people.

Valentine

At a Valentine school dance, outcast Jeremy Melton is turned down for a dance by four girls - Shelley, Lily, Paige and Kate - while Dorothy accepts. However, when bullies catch them making out, Dorothy pretends to be attacked so Jeremy gets beaten up badly and sent to a reform school. 13 years later, the girls have been receiving threatening Valentine’s Day cards and gifts and one by one are being killed.


Characters

My Bloody Valentine

The main characters are T.J., Sarah and Axel who are involved in a love triangle. T.J. and Sarah used to be a couple before he moved away and she’s now in a relationship with Axel. Now that T.J. has moved back, it causes tension as he still has feelings for Sarah. Despite love triangles being frustrating, the characters are at least easy to follow with natural dialogue and you care enough about them. The rest of the characters are pretty minor, the only real standout is Hollis who is a lot of fun to watch.


Valentine

The main females have grown up to be pretty shallow and obnoxious, especially concerning the way they treat people. However the male supporting characters are obnoxious too, so there is no one to really to like. The only likeable character by default is Kate (who was the least horrible to Jeremy at the dance) whom we mainly follow and has a subplot with her struggling relationship with recovering alcoholic boyfriend.


Kills

My Bloody Valentine

The kills are pretty gory, with several of the killings involve being stabbed with a pickaxe. There are some pretty creative kills, the best one involving a shower. The aftermaths are pretty cool too, like a human heart in a chocolate box and a lady in tumble dryer. I like that the killer doesn’t seem to have specific targets; it makes it less predictable who lives and who dies.


Valentine

While the film wasn’t as gory, the kills were definitely more creative with the use of use of arrows, drills, irons and locations are pretty cool like an art gallery, morgue and a Jacuzzi. While we know who the killer is targeting, there are other characters who are also being killed, with no real reason other than to have high body count. Something I like is that the five girls foreshadow their own fates in the opening prologue, which makes it satisfying on a re-watch.

The Killer

My Bloody Valentine

While Harry Warden was the original killer, he is presumed dead. So throughout the film it keeps you guessing if it’s Harry or someone else. The reveal of the killer unmasked is also pretty effective especially with a quick 10 second flashback to show the true motive. The mining outfit is also unnerving; with it being set in mining town it is something anyone in the town could have access to. Also the look of the gas/oxygen masks are pretty creepy in general.


Valentine

The film gives you no doubt that Jeremy Melton is the killer, as he signs his death threat cards “JM” and the killer is shown to have a bloody nose like young Jeremy at the beginning. However, since no one has seen him in years, we don’t know what he looks like. So it could be any male character. While the reveal does have some twist and turns, I can’t help but feel the final reveal is both obvious and a cheat. The child mask is pretty scary, as it is both innocent looking and emotionless.


Valentine’s Day

My Bloody Valentine

Set in a town called Valentine Bluff, the holiday is treated a lot like Christmas with decorations everywhere and a dance that is centred on the killer’s motivation. However, the theme of Valentines and romance isn’t very well utilised, and the central love triangle doesn’t really tie into the killer’s motive. While the holiday does seem to be important and the Valentine imagery is there throughout, it could really be switched out with Christmas or Halloween and the story would more stay the same.


Valentine

The holiday is definitely tied more to the story, with the killer targeting women who cruelly turned him away at a Valentine dance. The killer sends death threats in the form of cards with Valentine poetry and sending pranks like sending heart-shaped chocolates with maggots in them. The use of the colour red is well utilised to symbolise both blood, danger and love.


Conclusion

Which is better? My Bloody Valentine has more likeable characters, more suspenseful kills and a better killer reveal, but the holiday itself is incidental to story. While Valentine does make better use of the holiday and has a lot of creative kills, the unlikeable characters and sloppy writing for the killer reveal let it down. So while My Bloody Valentine gets the point, both films are pretty fun and are worth a watch for horror fans on Valentine’s Day.


Written by Jack Parish