My Valentine

Into The Dark’s ‘My Valentine’ Is A Valentine’s Day Terror

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My Valentine‘s Day Horror?

The newest Into The Dark release is about Valentine’s Day, you know the love day of all days? Yes, well, think Scott Pilgrim Versus The World mixed with horror, you’ll get My Valentine. When a pop singer’s songs and artistic identity have been stolen by her ex-boyfriend and manager, what happens when they are all stuck in a room together again? What happens when that artistic identity that was stolen is pasted onto a new girlfriend. Find out what it means to confront your past trauma… somewhat. The music, however, is incredible so shout out to @harkmadley & @dresagemusic.

Maggie’s Narrative Is Vital In My Valentine

The narrative and plot is a fascinating concept for a film: an ex-pop star steals back her music and keeps the same persona as she had before? A cool concept in this royalty-rights-free-world. While there’s not much to say about the plot on the surface, what makes the plot notable is the theme of it. The theme of an abuser and trying to get away from that, especially within the music industry, is an unfortunate topic these days (#MeToo).

It develops it incredibly well and showcases a story that we are able to become attached to. Maggie did an incredible job with the writing and directing of My Valentine. If there’s anything to be taken away from this film, that’s the narrative. It is an important one and one that we need to talk about more. To make it into a dark, thriller film is incredible. Since the topic is unfortunate and creates a sense of anxiety, Maggie truly channeled her inner voice and wrote a very notable film.

Stay For The Cinematography & Directing

As I mentioned earlier, Scott Pilgrim is the best example to give when watching this film. They play with the cinematography and it is incredible. At first, it can come off as a bit jarring since you aren’t used to the camera movement or angles. However, after you become adjusted to it, the editing is quite spectacular. It provides a creative use of the cinematography. The lighting and color are quite eccentric, using pinks and bright colors to showcase the atmosphere is a solid choice.

Hulu's My Valentine (2020) Dir. Maggie Levin.
Hulu’s My Valentine (2020) Dir. Maggie Levin.

The biggest feat of this film, though, is the directing/editing. The images are often boxed together (showcasing the reaction of each character). Or My Valentine chooses to use extreme close-ups of characters that fit within the scene. The dancing scene is quite incredible as well, with the use of panning and camera movement. Honestly, the highest aspect of this film was the editing and cinematography. Completely incredible and a fresh take on an interesting narrative. Maggie did an incredible job of giving us what the movie was intending to do while making it enjoyable to watch.

The Acting Is Probably The Lowest Point Of My Valentine

The acting for My Valentine is decent, between the characters who are there to die, and the main characters, Benedict Samuel provides the best acting throughout the film. At first, Samuel is a bit… over-the-top, within good reason, but after the film rolls on he does embody the character enough to frighten you. He plays the abuser-type extremely well, which is a good thing in this case. The rest of the cast does somewhat decent enough to keep the film going, but Samuel is what will keep you interested in the actual plot of the film (considering he is the manic one).

Hulu's My Valentine (2020) Dir. Maggie Levin.
Hulu’s My Valentine (2020) Dir. Maggie Levin.

Anna Akana’s character is subpar, at best. The characters don’t even last thirty minutes and if they do, the dialogue they have is the “sassy best friend.” They didn’t add much to the overall plot and barely got any speaking lines. The “twins” played by Britt Baron & Anna Lore respectively deliver their lines as if they have a gun to their head, at least Baron does. You should be aware that most of these actors have acted in 1-2 things prior and some as extras or characters that have little to no lines, minus Glow and a few other series that are mainstream. This could be why the delivery is a bit stiff, but as the two main characters, I did expect a bit more emotion, it just came off as stiff throughout the delivery. They aren’t bad characters, nor do bad delivery, but it was just stiff.

The other characters are not extremely relevant and just background characters so they didn’t add much to the plot either. Since they didn’t have enough screentime, I can’t base their relevance within the film, so I focused solely on the main characters we saw enough. Nonetheless, there are about a handful of side characters that pop up every now and again throughout My Valentine (the Fanclub, the two side characters that are in a band but having relationship issues).

Should You Watch My Valentine?

Well, yes. If you want an enjoyable film, watch it. It is quite a cool take on Valentine’s Day from a woman’s perspective, as the director and writer of the film is a female. What makes this film great is as it stands in Into The Dark it might be the best of the later films and best of the female-directed ones so far. The experimentation with cinematography and directing is what makes it stand apart from previous films in the series.

Fanclub shouting in Hulu's My Valentine to get the fake pop singer off-stage.
Hulu’s My Valentine (2020) Dir. Maggie Levin.

We do have reviews of the rest of the series, here, here, and here. But overall, it adds something exceptional to the series. Of the three releases in season two so far, this is the first with Midnight Kiss being the second. If you love Scott Pilgrim‘s style of editing, you will enjoy this film too much. Maggie creates a world inside this film and it is just too cool not to watch it for that and the narrative. While acting might be a low point and certain elements may not have worked the best, the film overall is still quite a treat.

Into The Dark’s ‘My Valentine’ Is A Valentine’s Day Terror
PROS
THE CINEMATOGRAPHY
THE COLORS & LIGHTING
THE NARRATIVE IS IMPORTANT
MUSIC IS PRETTY SOLID AND ADDICTING
CONS
THE ACTING IS SUBPAR
THE MISE-EN-SCENE IS A BIT OFF SOMETIMES
THE CHARACTERS ARE A BIT DULL AS WELL
ACTING DELIVERY IS STIFF
4.2
POP SINGER WHOM?

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