|In Short:||A thief breaks into a house of pain.|
|He always takes one.|
I have a headache. I’m also really tired. And my stomach is acting up. I haven’t been asked to cover this film – heck, I hadn’t even heard of the film before today – but I felt compelled to write up a review.
Before I begin, I should also preface that I’m a huge fan of the horror genre. Huge. Horror, when done right, is probably the best cinema-going experience you can have -- you’ll never be closer to your friend then when you cling to them for dear life; and never will a drink taste so good as when you nervously take sips when things become too tense, to distract you from the oncoming terror; or when the adrenaline kicks in, and your heart is about the burst out of your chest, before the inevitable scare, and you’re left to recoil in your own sweat. Good times.
So, with all that said and done, let me say, without a doubt, this is probably the weakest horror I have seen in quite a long time. Two parts Saw, one part Home Alone, and an all-round shite film!
I have seen my fair share of stinkers -- it comes with any genre, but horror, especially, takes the trophy in that department -- but never have I been so bored at the cinema. It’s also a film that worsens the longer you mull over it. It’s riddled with so many plot-holes, and the entire setup is ludicrously elaborate.
A thief breaks into a house only to find its occupants (who he thought were away on vacation) bloodied and tortured in the basement. The house has been transformed into a DIY: Saw for Dummies, with every room booby trapped farcically (the dining room, for example, is filled with bear traps, and the bathroom upstairs decorated with dangling fishhooks -- I shit you not).
It’s a needless display of lame setups. First and foremost, the killer already HAS the family, save for two daughters, but one is eight and the other is away, so why did he cover one room in acid, put pins in all of the phones, hang butcher-knife chandeliers, and so on. Was he anticipating that a down and out ex-con (played with conviction, and the only decent performance in this film, by Josh Stewart), trying to save his own family from a loan shark, would happen across this house and idiotically trigger the majority of these traps?
At this point you’re probably wondering about the title of this film: y’see, the murderer, in all black attire, and a gimp mask to boot (oh and he unexplainably has glow in the dark eyes) collects people and places their battered bodies in boxes. (I realise at this point it sounds like I’m making this shit up.) He kills the people he doesn’t like and collects the people that he does like. We find this out through one of his jack-in-the-box victims, which actually makes no sense. The killer has no dialogue whatsoever throughout the entire film; did he just decide with this particular victim to spill his guts and detail his entire agenda? Ugh, this movie is so lame.
Unsurprisingly, this film was made by two of the guys that brought us the last three instalments of Saw. I have nothing against torture-porn; it clearly has a strong fan base. I just don’t get its appeal, especially when it’s this pointless. I like films with a plot, strong characters, and a truly disturbing touch, traits The Collector is entirely lacking. Check out the ultra-violent French horror, Martyrs, for the epitome of horror done right (be warned, though -- it’s quite possibly one of the hardest films to sit through, and it only gets worse as it progresses. I highly recommend it). And then come back and watch tame garbage like this.
There is no plot to this film. There’s no explanation for anything that happens. There’s no reason why the killer shows up, he’s never identified, and judging by how this film ends, it looks as though scribes, Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton, are hopeful for a sequel. The idea of sitting through another film as dull and unimaginative as this one is the only terrifying thing about this supposed horror.
-- Mark Ritchie