Three years after a gay witch summoned Cupid with tragic results in my novel Scaring Up St. Ick and Arousing QPD, someone has at last made a Valentine’s Day horror flick about the little flying brat to add to my complete holiday horror page.
Although he’s not as cute as my vindictive gay Cupid, this creature is definitely my kind of love demon, and he does what we need him to do in this holiday horror flick; he tears into students on Valentine’s Day with not only his bow and arrow, but other iconic symbols of the holiday, like roses and love letters. The use of holiday cookie cutters is cool as well, but I’ve suddenly seen the same idea in at least two other movies I’ve blogged about in the last few years.
As a prelude to the good stuff, a generally unnecessary voiceover narrative gives us Cupid’s backstory as drawings appear on the pages of an old book. This goes on for about five minutes before we get to the first gruesome kill and a full Monty appearance of our winged killer.
Next we meet an Abigail Breslin clone who casts a spell to capture the heart of her hot teacher.
She’s hot for teacher, I’m hot for principal.
When the best bitch I’ve seen in a horror movie in years bullies the main girl right before the Valentine’s Day dance, the main girl does a revenge spell that goes horribly wrong.
Theoretically Cupid is everything you might want in a Valentine’s Day horror film.
But alas, the gory kills and gruesome looking creature can’t mask the fact that something is just off. The overall tone is flat, with every aspect of the movie falling short of the necessary energy to keep the pace and deliver the kind of horror excitement I crave.
The score is a lilting melody that lacks the urgency to build suspense. Sound effects don’t pack a wallop. The lighting, while dipping into the perfect horror hues, is visually stagnant, so it doesn’t provide the atmospheric shadows or contrasts between dark and light to help set the mood.
Aside from one guy giving me a giggle with his girlish screams, the actors’ reactions to the horrific situations aren’t amplified enough and the dialogue is downright weird at times. For instance, someone seriously says, “Who goes there?” I actually think this and a few other lines might be wink wink moments, because the students are studying Shakespeare in class. Even if that is the case, the possible in-jokes as well as occasional humorous lines just feel out of place, because this is not a horror comedy.
I’d say definitely check this one out for the holiday spirit and the bloody bits, but don’t expect Cupid to get your heart racing. It hits DVD and digital on February 11th from Uncork’d Entertainment, just in time for the holiday.