Time: 90 Minutes
Age Rating: contains sadistic violence, sexual themes & offensive language
Josh Stewart as Arkin O’Brien
Michael Reilly Burke as Michael Chase
Andrea Roth as Victoria Chase
Juan Fernández as The Collector
Madeline Zima as Jill Chase
Robert Wisdom as Roy
Director: Marcus Dunstan
In order to repay a debt, an ex-convict breaks into his new employer’s house to steal a valuable gem, unaware that another masked man has imprisoned the family and has set up deadly traps.
I had been hearing about this horror movie called The Collector for a while; the few things that I knew was that it was quite gory and had the same writers as some of the Saw sequels. After surprisingly liking the Saw movies I decided to check it out, and I found it to be quite surprising.
The Collector is a very different take on the home invasion sub-genre, and almost comes across like an R rated Home Alone with the traps, especially with how elaborate they are. As a horror movie it is effective, it has a creepy and intense atmosphere and gets under your skin in a surprising way, even beyond the gore. It helps with how contained the movie mostly is within this big house, anytime the protagonist enters a new room, it makes you feel uneasy as anything could be a death trap. Its definitely not surprising that some of the people who were involved with the Saw sequels were also involved with The Collector, as it takes a lot from Saw. For the most part, I don’t really view Saw as torture porn but if I did, I would say that The Collector also fits into the same category. The first act isn’t the strongest, however it picks up from the point that the main character enters the house and begins to encounter The Collector. As for realism it is really silly and over the top, mainly with how many traps The Collector is able to make in a short period of time.
There are some good performances in the movie. Josh Stewart made for a strong and likable protagonist in Arkin, and the performance and character really added to the movie. Despite little characterisation, it gives good reason as to why he has to break into the central house in the first place, before getting caught up dealing with a terrifying serial killer. The Collector himself was done very well, from his simple yet creepy mask and outfit to the physical performance from Juan Fernandez, he was a truly menacing presence. Definitely one of the most underrated horror villains.
The direction from Marcus Dunstan is strong, the cinematography is slick and fittingly grimy when it needs to be, the camera movements are effective especially when it comes to showcasing the rooms of the house. The traps are very creative and unique, unsurprising considering the connections to Saw. As I earlier mentioned, the traps can be over the top with how overblown and what they use, but if you can buy into the Saw sequels, you can buy into The Collector. The violence is very gory, but also leaves an impact when it happens (and it happens a lot). The score from Jerome Dillon was really good, and sets the right tone for the movie.
The Collector is an enjoyable and underrated horror movie. Its not without its issues but its directed well, and has a strong and likable performance in Josh Stewart and an incredibly creepy and menacing villain. Its definitely a gory horror movie, if you can’t handle the Saw movies then its definitely not for you. If you can however, I think The Collector is worth a watch.