Valentine's Day on the screen, love leads to pain … especially February 14th
Are you expecting red roses and chocolates this Sunday?
Then it's good that you are not fictional, as February 14th characters tend to do bad things for love (and hate). On the big screen, hearts are less broken than stabbed, spooky Valentine's Day cards turn out to be ornate death threats, and sweet gifts are filled with deadly intent.
Britflick mocumentary Love May be centered on Alex, a Londoner who is a rom-com obsessed virgin in search of love. He meets Lana online who decides to move to London to marry him, but things are not going as they expect.
Producer Arabella Burfitt-Dons explains that Alex goes on a speed dating night on Valentine's Day to see if he can meet someone special but finds out that romance is never easy.
She adds, "Love Possibly is a film that inspires people to believe in romance while facing reality in a way that one never thinks to find true love."
"Romance is not always what you see it in the rom-coms – as Alex discovers when he's looking for love."
Steve Hodgetts, who plays Alex, adds that his character won't find true love on Sunday: "As much as Alex would absolutely love to find the woman of his dreams, he won't." He's cuddled up on his sofa at home and sleeplessly watching for the 87th time in Seattle with his favorite carpet and a pot of ice cream. "
But it can get worse than just snuggling up on the sofa at home by yourself. In other fictional Valentine's Day films, the Naughties Valentine knows love hurts, unlike the feel-good films where the right boy and girl look each other in the eye when the moon is full.
Valentine is now celebrating its 20th anniversary and being shot as the ultimate 80s-style slasher. It starts with a boy at a prom who is rejected by four teenage girls and then gets soaked in red fruit punch, inspired by the Carrie prom night humiliation scene. From then on it becomes less and less romantic. His four heroines, including Denise Richards, are haunted as adults by their teenage crush who is now a mysterious killer in a cherub mask and resented his rejection all those years ago.
One of the heroines Shelley (a lively cameo of Katherine Heigl as a doctor-to-be) receives a terrifying Victorian-style Valentine's Day card with a less charming declaration of love: "The journey of love is an arduous hike / My love grows for you when you bleed from your neck ". Later that night, while she was working late in the morgue, the cherub attacked her while she was hiding among the bodies, slitting her throat and bleeding to death as predicted.
This crazy cherub is not a messenger of sweet love. After sending Shelley's friend Lily a heart-shaped box of chocolates – which turns out to be filled with maggots – he pursues her in a spooky maze armed with a bow and literally shoots his "arrow of love" through her heart.
In the 2009 remake of My Bloody Valentine 3D (in a mining town ravaged by a miner), a rose is less likely to get pushed into your hand than a pickaxe through your head. This time around, two candy boxes contain dismembered human hearts, and bloody threats are scrawled in blood over the victim's body, such as the location-specific threat “Be Mine Forever” (all in gorgeous 3D).
So enjoy the chocolates this Sunday, but don't expect the love to last. Happy Valentines Day!
About Nina Romain
Nina Romain hates to admit it, but unconsciously finds herself loathing Valentine's Day as all of her favorite horror consists of candy-laden, mask-wearing killers waiting for February 14 to equalize, and even some footage found in Los Angeles about Valentine's Day produced day in an abandoned San Diego zoo – being pursued by a killer. Somebody bring this girl a good sloppy romcom boxing set!
Their horror shorts are typically shot half on the sour side of LA and half on the darker side of the UK, including the UK's "busiest" village. Last year she advertised on a Covid-safe rom-com and created some micro-short horrors ranging from a pandemic nightmare in Lockdown London (www.raindance.org/shooting-in-a-ghost-town) to one Party rich that nobody has goes early … or alive. She is currently looking forward to eating the chocolates her favorite roommates get on Valentine's Day and reading lots of scripts while she waits for spring. For more information, please visit: www.girlfright.com