Wednesday, February 5, 2014

VALERIE (2002)

VALERIE (2002) 

83 Minutes/Widescreen 
Directed by Jay Lind

Editor's Note: This is not part of the box set that I am currently covering. Still, an excellent film.

Valerie (Maggi Horseman) has been the victim of a violent rape in her own home. To deal with this, Valerie has become submerged in a fantasy reality where she is a vampire. To reinforce this there are a number of people being murdered in the small town she lives in. The police are baffled and the body count rises. To complicate matters Valerie is slowly blossoming into womanhood and all the anguish that can bring. Her best friend Lori (Mellanie Love) is dealing with her own sexuality and adding to the confusion with her overtly sexual advances towards Valerie. Along comes Jack Sickert (Jay Lind) whom Valerie feels a true connection with regardless of the huge age difference. Unfortunately, the vampire fantasy is bleeding over into her reality more and more until it becomes impossible to tell which is which. The key to the problem is the identity of her attacker. Whatever happened Valerie has blocked the face of her attacker. The fantasy world has put the face of a malevolent vampire on the rapist. Valerie must go past the fantasy, force herself back into the situation which caused the trauma. She has to unveil her attacker and deal with it to resolve her conflict before the fantasy envelops reality completely. 
VALERIE is the newest film by underground sensation Jay Lind. A Jay Lind film is a personal thing. There are many themes that he explores over and over again in his cinema. Suicide, fantasy vs. reality, death, art. All of these things are what makes a Jay Lind film rise above the norm. VALERIE is no exception. A huge assistance in the telling of this tale is his newest discovery, Maggi Horseman. She manages to bring a mercurial quality to the lead. At one point she comes across as a sweet, innocent girl with a terrible burden. Then she shifts to temptress and then back again to innocence. She handles this effortlessly making the film an enjoyable experience. 
Director Lind brings a haunting quality to the look of his film. From stark reality footage to color washed scenes of fantasy. When the two worlds begin to collide you can see certain aspects of the film begin to shimmer uncontrollably. We are along for the ride when the lines between vampire and teenager begin to blur. 
The film even manages to rise above it's basic horror storyline. We get a pair of girls that are out of high school, but unsure of where to go next. Just yesterday they were little girls and now the world expects them to be women. Lori's sudden urges of lesbianism throw Valerie deeper into her vampire mode. Perhaps the most haunting images is at the dance studio they both frequent. One minute they are doing their stretches. The next they are in a deep blue world of undead dancers. It emphasis the fact that whatever secret Valerie has locked up in her subconscious is slowly driving her mad. 
As is common with any Jay Lind film he has filled it with gorgeous women, especially Ms. Horseman who is unclothed for a better part of the film. The music varies between a techno funk during bar sequences to a haunting melody reminiscent of the old Universal monster movies. As a whole the movie reminded me of George Romero's MARTIN which was probably a direct influence on VALERIE. This doesn't make it derivative of the older film. Just a different, very interesting take on a familiar theme. Director Lind once again gives us an engrossing, haunting, personal film that gives us a glimpse into his personal world. VALERIE is how a vampire movie should be. Character driven, fascinating and unforgettable. 


Maggi Horseman said...

Hi Douglas,

I'm surprised to see a review of Valerie in 2014. Glad you enjoyed it. Do you know how to get a copy of it?



Douglas A. Waltz said...

Maggi, contact me at and I can get you a copy no problem. I will be happy to.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Doug for the wonderful review. I do always infuse my work, or try to, with personal symbols and dreams. If you're gonna make a movie, you owe it to your audience to put your soul into it. For better or worse. I'm currently writing a script about a painter recovering from a stroke, who may be alone in his home with a serial killer who targets the handicapped. ��


Blog Widget by LinkWithin