Into the Dark: “My Valentine” Review

Another month, another holiday, another installments of Hulu’s horror anthology Into the Dark! “My Valentine” doesn’t deal with Valentine’s Day directly, but it analyzes a common issue among relationships and runs with it to a horrifying extreme, all while jamming in the meantime.

Not Your Typical Concert
The film opens with a performance by Valentine (Britt Baron) at a local club. All seems to be going well until a few people from the crowd start accusing her of ripping off another performer Trezzure (Anna Lore), who has a very similar style.

Valentine’s ex-boyfriend/Trezzure’s current boyfriend Royal (Benedict Samuel) shows up and a series of mind games, as well as murders ensue. As Valentine confronts the trauma of her abusive relationship with Royal, she is forced to look inward and gain the strength to not only survive the night, but to thrive as an individual.

The longer the night goes on, the more unhinged and dangerous Royal gets.

Codependency
“My Valentine” has a lot to express regarding a common pitfall in relationships. So many people define themselves and their happiness based on who they’re with, which becomes an issue when a relationship ends and a person can find themself feeling lost.

If we don’t know how to be happy as our own person, we’re much more likely to stay in a toxic, or even abusive relationship just so we’re not alone. Valentine’s journey to this conclusion is inspiring and it’s the film’s strongest point.

It’s a lesson that both Valentine and Trezzure need to learn, but it really only sticks with one of them.

Style vs. Substance
While it does have something good to say, the message (as well as the horror) can get clouded a bit with the split screen editing and cutaways to music video footage. Writer/Director Maggie Levin has a strong background in music (even creating a live club production called “The Rocky Horror Hipster Show”), and it certainly shows here.

Each time we do cut a music video, it’s creatively shot. And while it can feel more like a music video than a horror film, the style works in this context. Perhaps it’s just a minor nitpick, but it almost feels as if the film had too much of this stylized editing, or not enough at all. If there were more, the whole film could play out like a creative arthouse picture, or if there was less, it would just seem like a fun gimmick here and there.

Split screen editing is usually best in small doses, or so much that it’s the film’s main style.

Other than that, it’s a fun watch, especially if you’re a fan of music. And most importantly, it boasts a strong moral about finding love and acceptance with simply being your true self, especially at a time where society makes people feel terrible simply for being single.

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