Movie Review: The Collection

Stars: Josh Stewart, Chris McDonald, Emma Fitzpatrick, Randall Archer

Rated R for strong bloody violence, grisly images, language and brief nudity, Running time 82 minutes, Horror/Thriller

Compare to: Cube (1997), Saw II (2005)

I’ve got to be honest, I’ve been waiting on this one for a while. It’s not that the predecessor to this film, The Collector (2009) is a must-see film before you die, I just liked it for what it was anyway: bloody horror, with an antagonist to the villain, something we rarely get in horror movies. Usually, the most we can hope for is a woman running away in her underwear that actually survives, but that’s about it. Her jock boyfriend isn’t as likable as he’s meant to be either. But those are other Horror films.

So an antagonist to the villain would make him a protagonist correct? Again, usually this is true but here, that basic plot lines are abandoned since this is Horror and it’s all about the villain anyway, right?

Elena and a couple friends are going to an underground rave. Everything is ecstasy and seizure-inducing lights until every single guest but Elena is murdered by a serial killer known as “The Collector;” a man whose crimes consist of killing everyone of his intended victims, save for the one he “collects.” After being kidnapped by the fie3nd who committed this one-night mass murder, her adoptive father assembles a team of mercenaries and the one man who made it out of the killer’s grasp before- a thief named Arkin. But when the team gets to the Collector’s home, the house of horrors they enter may not let them leave alive- unless they’re in a box.

This film isn’t for everybody. The biggest compliment it seems to have received so far (or the one the creators are the most proud of) is that it’s “Jigsaw on crack.” Jigsaw, of course, referring to the primary antagonist of the long lasting Saw franchise. It’s not really surprising though, seeing as how the writer of these two films, The Collector and The Collected are from the writer of Saw IV, V, VI and Saw 3D. So if Saw can be compared to industrial music, The Collector is it’s garage band.

As previously stated, what sets this apart from other Horror films is that while people are trying to survive the Collector’s home of booby traps and pitfalls, they’re also actively searching for him, not just trying to get out. This is something that gives the movie an edge over traditional blood-and-guts movies. The Collector also featured Josh Stewart as the security systems man by day, thief by night. Their game of cat-and-mouse then has now escalated to hyenas versus lion. Stewart, who also had a role as Bane’s right hand man in last July’s The Dark Knight Rises reprises his role as the lock-picking Arkin, a character that makes these movies for me. His intentions of not just surviving, but possibly seeking revenge on the man that tortures and mutilates.

As far as Horror villains go, The Collector himself is one of the better ones of more recent years. Personally, “The Creeper” never really didn’t for me. I’m speaking of Jeepers Creepers of course. The Collector himself has the mask, shimmering animal eyes, and heavy breathing to just appear as intimidating as the human spider he represents, catching his victims off guard and holding only one alive, keeping them in a locked box until his next plot unfolds. Much like Jigsaw without the empathy for humanity or any foreseeable motive aside from completing his collection of…you’ll see; he doesn’t have any endgame but to eradicate anyone who interferes.

Myself and the few viewers I was with laughed about the whole way through. The ridiculous, over-the-top violence showcased throughout the film can’t be taken too seriously even if it wanted to be. All this, and an ending that reverses the generic Horror ending and you’ve got yourself a decent movie. Understandably, this will pass just below the radar much like the last one did, but that doesn’t mean it’s entirely without merit. Even if most of it is just blood n’ guts.

Grade: C

 

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