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The Collector

The Collector

Iím such a horror freak. Iím not really sure why itís my favorite genre. Perhaps itís because horror movies can be so predictable. Predictability is a good thing for me; brings more focus to acting, plot twists and special effects.

The Collector. Written and directed by Marcus Dunston with a little help from Patrick Melton. At this point it doesnít matter who they are. Letís just say that they are a part of the latter Saw movies, and based on The Collector, they want to capture the essence of that movieís doom, while borrowing heavily from its gory premise.

The Collectorís main character is handyman Arkin, played by Josh Stewart. Poor Arkin, heís broke. But luckily for him a wealthy family needs security bars installed around their house before they go on vacation. You see they have a safe behind the bedroom mirror brimming with rich people stuff. Heart-of-gold Arkin, secures the windows and hatches a plan.

Later that night, after a sentimental visit with his daughter and a desperate plea from his girlfriend (wife? not sure), Arkin decides to get the money to repay her debt instead of slapping her for using a loan shark. Arkin (think Edward Norton) returns to the house to retrieve the Booty from the safe

Unfortunately, another intruder has taken up residence there and booby trapped the entire house with extremely sharp contraptions. Hit one wire here and something shifts there, causing a sharp or blunt object to release and penetrate some part of a personís body. Usually head or neck traumaóyou know how these things go.

Somehow Arkin gets trapped, and he being our anti-hero/hero, must find a way to get out of the house alive and hopefully bring survivors with him. Good thing for Arkin heís a smart guy. In the horror movie world smart guys are great foes for smart serial killers because thatís really the only thing they can do with their intelligenceÖthat and install security bars.

The Collector has that creepy edge to it. The movie is full of choppy suspense; you just donít know what these contraptions will chop off! Arkin, with his degree in Mouse to the masked killers degree in Cat is no dummy, and the game between them becomes gruesome. Obviously no shortage of gore here, characters materialize as merely script fodder. The fun with these kinds of movies is the execution of the execution.

To me a plot hole is something that doesnít make sense when you think back through the movie you just watched and the series of events adds up to an impossibility. A plot hole should only be realized by the viewer at the end of a movie, especially at its resolution. Ever see Empire Strikes Back? How long did it take Luke to be trained by Yoda on Dagobah (youíre a real nerd if you have an answer).

The Collector isnít so much full of these holes, but what I call Ployholes. A Ployhole is something that happens in the movie, a contrived bit, that doesnít make sense while itís happening right in front of you (like me making up terms). Example: A man returns to a house probably 6 hours later and the entire house has been filled with intricate Rube Goldberg type contraptions. Itís a directorís ploy to get you to believe it could happen, but as itís happening on screen you know that it would be impossible. A ployhole realization happens during the movie. The Collector is filled with these on-the-spot suspensions of belief.

However, as a horror movie, The Collector delivers. Itís purely a device driven film that has no intention of explaining its never ending gore and shock. Like a rollercoaster, it makes you feel uncomfortable because you know youíre strapped in, but what happens next is unclear, a part of the fun. As I said before this movie borrows heavily from the Saw franchise, but it makes no real connection to that fan based audienceónot even so much as a subtle wink.

Josh Stewart doesnít do a lot of acting as much as he does reacting here. Pain thresholds are extremely high (ployhole) and the outcome of the film spells franchise. But overall The Collector is passable and should be available on DVD in a few months.

BTW animal lovers, beware of this film.