Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

If I was paying attention, which is something I’ve never been really good at, I would’ve looked at the box cover for this movie ‘The Collector’ and observed the blurb that went something along the lines of ‘From the Creators of Saw…’ or something like that. You see I tend to actively avoid torture horror as I do find it a pretty damn distasteful genre. I saw the first ‘Saw’ and enjoyed the first ‘Saw’ but I haven’t seen Saw’s 2 through 6 nor will I see ‘Saw VII’ in 3D because quite honestly how times can you watch Jigsaw or whoever torture folks before it stops being entertaining? Still, I watched this movie ‘The Collector’ from the ‘Creators of Saw'… fill in whatever number here... and I kind of enjoyed this movie. It was stupid, inane, nonsensical and stupid… yeah, I know I said stupid twice… but the shock value was high, the tension was higher, the gore was higher still and the look was impressive. I even hear there’s a sequel in the works. Nope, I will not be watching that either.

Larry and Gena are a mature couple just getting home after a raucous night out and are heading up to the bedroom to get down. Odd thing is that there’s a big box in the middle of their bedroom making a lot of noise. Time to call the police I would say. They don’t do that. One of the two will being showing up later worse for the wear.

Fast forward a bit to the lovely home of Michael Chase (Michael Riley Burke) and his lovely wife Victoria (Andrea Roth) who also have a couple of kids in the precocious six year old Hannah (Karly Scott Collins) and the completely slutty teenager Gina (Madeline Zima). The couple is having some work done before they head out of town with a lot of this work being handled by a hard working handyman with the odd name of Arkin (Josh Stewart). Arkin does his job to perfection but before he leaves he alerts the exterminator working the premises that there is a wasps nest that needs to be taken care of. Need to keep an eye on that exterminator.

Arkin, an ex-con, has his own issues as it turns out. He’s a devoted father to his little girl but his wife (Daniela Alonso) is in hock to some loan sharks and needs max loot quick which will thrust Arkin back into his life of crime. This is actually why he is as the Chase household anyway since he marking the joint for robbery opportunities. Thus comfy with the knowledge that the Chase’s are out of town, he breaks in to steal some valuables to save his wife’s kneecaps.

Damn if someone hasn’t beaten him there already. Damn if this dude hasn’t completely truncated the Chase’s vacation plans and has invited them instead to torture land. Plus he’s rigged the house like a mousetrap of death full of lethal wires, acid rooms, chandelier’s made of knives, windows doubling for guillotines and all kinds of goodies. Arkin knows he’s gotta get the hell outta there but the madman hasn’t found little Hannah yet. So Arkin and his heart of gold braves death and this deadly dude with the lethal kung fu skills and his completely evil Rin Tin Tin side kick to save Hannah, because it doesn’t look like he’s going to be able help Mom, Dad and the slutty daughter all that much. And that big box making noise is back. Good luck with that Arkin.

So let’s say you actually like Torture Horror Movies but also prefer your movies to be somewhat lucid and maybe based on some kind of reality just a little bit. Well if that’s the case, after watching ‘The Collector’ we advise you to shut it off and don’t think about it too much after the final credits roll because even the slightest bit of deconstruction will make a Godzilla movie seem more real by comparison.

On the positive side this movie, directed by Marcus Dunstan and co-written by Dunstan and his partner Patrick Melton, has loads of atmosphere as Dunstan makes the most of a low light situation, the tension is usually always high due to the elaborate traps that The Collector has set up and if you like torture and gore, there is torture and gore here for days. Bear traps, needles and thread, knives, body hooks, electricity, crucifixion and all kinds of lovely devices are used to skewer all kinds of body parts and it is on full display for all to enjoy. Plus The Collector himself is completely hateful. No socially redeeming qualities whatsoever, and that's good thing in movies like this.

Now considering how The Collector had the house all booby trapped so no one can get in or out, you may ask yourself how Arkin broke in so safely in the first place and secondly, how come he couldn’t get out the same way? You may also wonder, considering how elaborate the traps and how many of them there are, how did The Collector manage to set them up so quickly. Speaking of the traps, considering everybody is pretty much tied down and the house is totally secure, what purpose do the traps serve anyway? Unless, of course, The Collector is planning on that rare occasion that a safe cracking lock picker will break into the house. Speaking of the lock picking safe cracker… assuming there is no Collector and the crime goes off as planned, who would be the number one suspect in this crime that involved a picked lock and a cracked safe? Probably the ex-con Handyman who just got of out of jail for picking locks and cracking safes. To be as clever as he is this Collector guy, and since he’s not yet aware that Arkin is in the house, he never seemed overly concerned how some of his captors managed to magically get free of their handcuffs and started running through the house mucking things up. Chalk it up to those unknown Harry Houdini skills that some people innately possess which could also be a reason for the elaborate wire filled traps.

Mind you the silliness that is 'The Collector' goes on and on and on and on right up to the absolutely ridiculous sequel designed conclusion, but if you like watching people tied to devices getting stabbed up for no particular reason, all shot in a nice ominous atmosphere, then ‘The Collector’ is definitely a movie to watch.

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