The Collector (2009)

DVD Cover (Universal)
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Overall Rating 66%
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Ranked #1,693
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Connections: The Collector

Desperate to repay his debt to his ex-wife, an ex-con plots a heist at his new employer's country home, unaware that a second criminal has also targeted the property, and rigged it with a series of deadly traps. --TMDb
William Prael
William Prael
Diane Ayala Goldner
Diane Ayala Goldner
Juan Fernández
Juan Fernández
Josh Stewart
Josh Stewart
Michael Reilly Burke
Michael Reilly Burke
Review by Tobes
Added: March 30, 2010
As someone who loves the Saw franchise, it's always interesting to see what the writers/producers do separate from that series. Sometimes they do some amazing work, such as (Darren Lynn Bousman), who was involved in Repo: The Genetic Opera, one of the most interesting musicals ever. While it wasn't gory like Saw, you could see the Saw influence in the film style, and it made for a great movie. On the flip side of that, there's also some films, such as Dead Silence (written by James Wan), which had nothing spectacular about it but was at least was a "decent" film. Coming into The Collector (written by Marcus Dunstan, who did Saw IV/V/VI, and soon VII), the movie could have went either way with the Saw alum track record, but I'm pleased as a whole to say it was one of the better showings thus far.

The Collector is a horror film that starts off like a drama, but quickly takes a turn into the horror/gore genre. Arkin (Josh Stewart) is a handyman who's also a thief, and the movie starts off with him starting to eye up his next big heist. After finishing up his work, he goes to meet his business partner Roy (Robert Wisdom) to discuss when the job will take place. Arkin is in a rush to get the robbery done, because he needs to pay off some of his wife's "loans", so that nothing happens to either her or his daughter. After convincing Roy that the job has to happen tonight, he heads on his way back to the house that he was working at earlier in the day. As soon as he steps in, and begins to break into the house, everything starts going wrong, and he needs to not only try to finish the robbery, but he finds the family members trapped in the house along the way, and feels the urge to try to save them from the torturous situation they're in.

The entire movie is great, other then one or two glaring flaws that I'll explain shortly. Everything about this movie hits the way it should. The gore scenes are pretty gross and flinch-worthy, and will definitely leave some of the more squeamish people looking away from their TV. The characters are memorable, and you'll find yourself rooting not only for Arkin to get out of the house, but for the other family members to be saved.

Since I mentioned that the movie was written by some of the Saw team, it's worth pointing out that you can definitely tell that this movie is Saw inspired...Not only by the traps and gore that line the movie, but even with the film techniques, such as using a yellow hue on the film when showing a lot of the gore scenes or the industrial music that scores the film.

The greatest flaw of this movie is that the plot to the film just instantly changes about twenty minutes in or so. The film's plot, or the plot that was advertised with the film, is that Arkin needs to steal to get money to save his wife/daughter. They go through a lot of work to set up the film to seem like a heist flick, and then out of nowhere, it turns into the escape from the haunted house from hell. Along with that, they never explain anything about the killer himself...No reason of why he picked that house, no reason of why he's the way he is, no exposition what-so-ever. And yes, it's a horror movie, but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't at least give SOME reason that the killer is the way that he is.

The other glaring flaw of this movie is the house that everything takes place in. I realize that sounds really odd, but let me explain. When Arkin is first scoping out the house, there's absolutely nothing odd about it. Then, when he breaks back into the house later, there's nothing weird going on. But as soon as he touches the safe, the entire house becomes booby trapped. And it's not just small traps like "Oh, I tripped over this wire, and I fell down the steps", it's huge things like a staircase covered with nails, the door suddenly having seven broken deadbolts installed, or a trip wire trap that runs the entire house INCLUDING the room that Arkin is trying to crack the safe in. Even though it's a horror movie, and they usually don't make perfect sense, it's distracting in this movie that the entire house magically goes from family home to death trap in a matter of seconds.

As a whole, I really enjoyed this movie for the most part, other then some of the things I named that I feel like were a distraction. For the Saw fans, or anyone who likes a good film about being trapped, I would highly recommend this. There's also a neat throwback to the first Saw movie in the ending, but I won't spoil it in the review.

xTMDxMorbidDead #1: xTMDxMorbidDead - added 03/30/2010, 08:52 AM
i actually really liked this film, thought it was quite interesting expecially the twist at the end
Ginose #2: Ginose - added 04/04/2010, 11:42 AM
Well, I had fun with it. It was graphic enough for me to attempt to ignore all of the glaring plotholes and lack of setup for ANYONE/THING, but it still felt like a very poorly written affair. Sure, I can shut my brain off and enjoy a good splatterfest, but when I don't even get more than a 15-minute untroduction to the 7 or 8 victims in the movie? That's just poor script-structure. Like I said, liked it, will probably watch it again, sometime, but it wasn't anything I'd praise in terms of modern slasher films.
Chad #3: Chad - added 04/14/2010, 10:59 AM
The beartrap scene destroyed the Saw beartrap, hands down. Other than that, it was a decent and forgettable flick: pop it in, get some enjoyment out of it, forget about it within the week. It's no classic, but it does have its moments. 7/10.
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