Thursday, December 15, 2016

5 things to love about The Collector (2009)

What’s it about:
Josh Stewart plays Arkin, a thief who is masquerading as a handyman for a wealthy family. When he returns to their house at night to break into their safe he discovers that that they (and now he) have become victims of a serial killer called the Collector who follows a very particular MO. He breaks into your house, locks all the doors, sets up Saw-style traps and then waits until only one person remains alive who he bundles into a box and collects to take to the next house. Will Arkin get out alive? Will he be able to save any of the family members?

5 things to love:
1. It goes without saying but this film will primarily be of interest to Saw fans. The writers Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton wrote Saw IV,V,VI,VII and this film was intended at one point to be a Saw prequel. I was never a fan of the Saw movies at the time but I caught up with them on DVD and enjoyed how insane they got in terms of convoluted plot. The traps in this are much more simple but no less gory and squirm inducing. The worst fate actually falls to the family cat!

2. Josh Stewart is a solid leading man. He’s got this tired, worn out face that really suits the character he plays. His character Arkin is resourceful and smart which makes a refreshing change from the usual stupid protagonists you get in horror films.

3. The film is really nicely shot considering its tiny budget £3million budget. There’s some really good camerawork. I particularly liked early on when the Collector and Arkin don’t know the other one is in the house and the camera looks down from overhead as they go in and out the rooms.

4. The film does a nice fake out ending where the hero escapes only to realise he has to go back in. I know this type of stuff annoys some horror fans but I enjoyed it. (Look out for the humorous alternate ending on the DVD).

5. The Collector is a pretty memorable villain. He doesn’t speak and is only seen wearing his black mask but his viciousness and seemingly indestructibility make him stick in your mind after the film is over.

1 thing it did need:
An explanation for how the Collector managed to set up some many elaborate traps in the house in such a short space of time. It’s a big plot hole that the movie asks you to swallow. It would have been good if there was some kind of explanation.

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