Movie Review- The Collector

Here’s a review of the Friday release, The Collector.

the-collector-poster-1In Short: The movie has a really great premise and excellent effects but really relies much too heavily on that and fails to follow through with little things like plot, character development, and a sensible conclusion. The Collector is entertaining and the death/torture scenes are more than acceptable, however you won’t want to think too hard about this one because there are quite a few giant plot holes. Don’t rush out to see this one but if you like the genre then you won’t hate it, but you won’t really like it too much either. 

 

This is me leaving the theater unsatisfied and confused.

This is me leaving the theater unsatisfied and confused.

Full Review: The Collector starts off right by setting up the standard operating procedure of our bad guy. Next we are shown the future victims at home readying to go on a peaceful family vacation and our leading man as we see he has the standard troubled marriage and cute daughter that he really wants to do right by. Blah blah blah. We’ve seen this set up before and it doesn’t really matter to be honest because their backgrounds, names and motives don’t effect the outcome of the movie or the rather short rest of their lives.

And thus we arrive at the stormy night where shit is gonna go down. So I’ll spare you the full details but suffice to say there are some rather gruesome scenes that should satisfy the bloodlust of even the most devoted horror fan.

But here is my first major gripe with The Collector. Good premise of being trapped in the house with unusual traps and a creepy looking killer and good effects on the murders. But the makers just completely relied on those things to carry this film through very unspectacular scripting and directing. The movie has an uncertain and somewhat repetitive feel to it. We see Arken run upstairs to try and escape, be unsuccessful, then run downstairs when the killer comes up after him then back and forth again. There is no clear flow to this movie which in this case makes it feel random. But the randomness mostly comes from the audience never being told exactly what the purpose of any of the killer’s actions are. He collects people for purposes unknown and we are not told why which makes you leave the theater with too many questions that a better script would have answered. In this case, leaving things unknown does not add a scary but of randomness but makes the movie confusing and senseless.

Spoiler alert and plot hole rant. The movie is really cool with all the traps but let’s break that down for a second. First of all why are none of the killers added door locks locked when Arken breaks in? They are locked the rest of the movie and the killer was already there and working when Arken arrived so there is no reason they should have been unlocked because there is no way the killer knew Arken was going to try and burglarize the home that night. Next problem, what is the actual purpose of the traps? The family is home in the afternoon and leaving for vacation later in the evening. So one assumes the killer grabbed them before they left because that is where they were being tortured so it makes little sense to kidnap three people elsewhere and take them back there. So he kidnaps them and then spends what must be hours rigging intricate, expertly engineered traps and installing extra door locks, but why? The family is already chained in the basement, are you assuming that you are an inept guard and they will escape and the traps are for them? Or perhaps you assume someone will break in and the traps are for them? When you think on it, all the traps that are set are totally unnecessary. Which pretty much shoots the entire chilling premise right in the kneecap. 

So after a series of gruesome deaths and some gratuitous nudity the film concludes with one predictable plot point after another until ending basically exactly like Saw. The ending is so cliched that it is not exciting and thankfully it doesn’t drag out for too long. Also, for some reason the filmmakers decided to blast techno music so loud during some of the action scenes that no other sounds are really heard and the scenes come off silly and pretty limpdick. It would’ve been nice to see some better sound editing that would have made some of the pursuit and fight scenes more engaging and frightening.

So there are a lot of problems but there are also some positives (The nudity and the kills, duh). Overall, I’d skip this one because it definitely isn’t worth your hard earned 10 bucks on Friday night. But if it rains and there is a matinee showing it wouldn’t be the worst thing to go see.

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