Sunday, October 26, 2014

31 Days of Horror-Day 26: The Collector (2009)

(dir. Marcus Dunstan)

*First time viewing

     What was originally supposed to be a prequel to Saw, before the idea was scrapped, became another exercise in torture: The Collector. The story follows Arkin, a handyman by day and a burglar by night. Hired to steal a ruby to save his family from loan-sharks, Arkin breaks into a house only the find that someone else has broken in first and has filled every room with deadly traps. Arkin must struggle to escape the house and save the family he was hired to rob.

     The Collector is very clearly Saw-influenced in everything from the traps to the lighting. But unlike Saw, Dunstan’s film lacks a compelling narrative to go alongside all of its traps and gore. There’s no real central mystery to the story, and the Collector is basically motivation-less. We’re told he only collects the people he wants and he kills the rest but we never get any insight into why he’s after the people in the film. And if he’s collecting them, why go through all the torture and traps first? It’s a film that seems like it was never able to seperate itself from its initial pitch, and without Jigsaw the writers never figured out how to build an interesting story around their villain. What’s left is a film that assumes that blood and guts will be enough to satisfy horror audiences. And for some maybe it will, but a film that’s only composed of flesh and lacks a skeleton does not make a particularly memorable ride.

Scare Factor: 2/5 Most of the film’s tension comes from the traps and ensuing gore and while it’s entertaining at times, the lack of a compelling story makes The Collector feel tedious after the first forty minutes. While the sequel, The Collection, is said to expand upon this film, as a single entity The Collector is lacking.

**Available to watch on Hulu 

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