Sunday, April 25, 2010

"The Collector" review

The Collector (2009)

Director: Marcus Dunstan
Writers: Patrick Melton Marcus Dunstan

Josh Stewart ... Arkin
Michael Reilly Burke ... Michael Chase
Andrea Roth ... Victoria Chase
Juan Fernández ... The Collector
Karley Scott Collins ... Hannah Chase
Daniella Alonso ... Lisa
Haley Pullos ... Cindy (as Haley Alexis Pullos)
Jayme Suzonne Riser ... Bar Dancer
Krystal Mayo ... Bar Dancer (as Krystal Dawn Mayo)

A thief needs to find a way to pay off a debt to his ex-wife. When his new employers go out of town, he jumps at the chance to break into their house. He thinks he's concocted the perfect crime. Unfortunately another criminal is already hard at work inside the house. The Collector has staked a claim on the house and anyone in it. The thief didn't count on a serial killer hanging out in the basement but these are the occupational hazards of burglary. The Collector has seen all of the "Saw" movies and lays out many nasty traps to keep anyone from escaping. The thief must decide whether or not to save his own skin or try to save the family, (that he just met and is stealing from), by matching wits with a vicious psychopath.

"The Collector" is a solid horror movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is mean, vicious and nasty. Just as any good horror movie should be. The filmmakers must have had a list of traps lying around that got rejected from the "Saw" movies and decided that they were too good for the world not to see. They were right. For what says entertainment more than leaving a pile of bear traps on the floor so that some poor body can get mangled by them?

Oh sure, you could make a lot of trivial criticisms against the amazing lack of logic on display here. Like, how could the Collector possibly find the time to set up all of these traps? Why would a burglar care about a family he's stealing from? And why in the world would he actually go back to the house after he has escaped? My friend, if these questions affect your enjoyment of this movie, you don't want to watch B-movies.

For "The Collector" is most assuredly a B-movie and a very good one at that. It manages to keep its heavy horror tone from beginning to end. This was a relief for me as I have become a little tired of seeing horror movies with teens acting obnoxious and then getting slaughtered. "The Collector" has a simple plot which quickly propels the story into the house of horrors.

And I love that it's told from the point of view of the thief. Normally you would expect a horror story to be told from the victim's point of view but here the story is really told from the voyeurs side. The thief could have easily listened to their screams and been on his way. But when the thief tries to stop all of the obscene torture he sees, he'll wish he had stayed true to his nature and continued being a reluctant voyeur.

"The Collector" is a ghoulish horror flick that delights in showing torture in graphic detail. It also enjoys not explaining any of the motivations of the Collector. But when you're watching a horror movie, do you really need to know the motivation of the monster? All you need to know is that they enjoy inflicting pain and suffering and must be destroyed. The Collector might just live on to torture again. That's fine with me. "The Collector" is definitely worth a look.

One last thought, I must mention how much I enjoyed the strip club scene. It's shot in dark red and blue mood lighting. I must have watched this scene a dozen times. It uses the Depeche Mode song "I Feel You" for the soundtrack as the thief makes his way through the club. There was something about the stripper arching her back while smoking under red lights that drove me insane. Not insane enough to collect her mind you, but it's these kinds of subtly sleazy scenes that I cherish.

SCORE: 3.5 out of 4 collectors


The White Wolf said...

I've been avoiding the COLLECTOR on purpose: I'm fucking so jealous of the writers/director.

And not because I think they have talent - quite the opposite actually.

But based on your review Dr. I'm gonna go ahead and downlo... I mean rent it.

I love the 'professional' B-movies; the 'amateur' B-movies - not so much.

Dr. Gore said...

Certainly worth a downlo-rental.

This would definitely fall under the definition of professional B-movie. A brutally efficient exercise in torture and mayhem. Good times.

Schroon Lake said...

The movie just sucked, it made no sense at all.

Anonymous said...

I watched this film last night and enjoyed it immensely. I think itll be remembered as an under-rated film. Why? Well in my opinion, the film has its faults, but its main strength is its ability to draw the viewer into a skillfully tense and suspenseful situation which is enjoyable for its own sake. I dont agree with the generally bad reviews of this movie at all. This film, was every bit as enjoyable as a movie such as the original "Saw" film for example, which also wasnt "very good" but wasnt exactly bad either, and in my opinion viewers should note that the same sort of appeal can be had from "The Collector". The film is as clever as it needs to be, in order to do the job it sets out to do. If your somebody that has a major problem with suspension of disbelief, then there might be one or two questionable instances such as the inevitable question of just how the collector(who is like a cat burglar at first) managed to set up all his traps in the first place. For me, the movie won me over these inconsistencies through the sheer tension and suspense on offer. Other problems the reviewer had with the logic of the film, such as the example below, were only really nit picking, in my personal opinion and for me, the movie answers these questions to a satisfactory degree. WARNING-:Spoiler ahead. For example-: "Why would a burglar care about a family he's stealing from? And why in the world would he actually go back to the house after he has escaped?"-Maybe because the burglar wasnt a monster, unlike the collector himself, and no matter what, who would leave a child behind for a monster like the collector to have his way with? The burglar, being a burglar, was still a humane human being, or maybe he was only trying to convince himself of the same? I found it interesting that the film seemed to leave that decision for the viewer to decide. Overall, The Collector is an enjoyable piece of rasher rind for a saturday nights rental.