Valentine Revisited

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. 

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Original Black Christmas

When remaking a classic, it often seems like a Catch-22. You veer far away from the original storyline and it gets accused of being a remake in name only. But if you remain too faithful to the source material, then it might get written off as an unoriginal clone. Both remakes of the classic Black Christmas seem to fit into each category, with the newest version seemingly falling under the former and the 2006 version falling into the latter. Regardless of how many re-doings it may get, the original 1974 version still serves a template that has influenced subsequent slasher films. One that captures what feels like a lost art within the genre. 

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