“The Collection” is a perfect marriage of two very different horror styles making for a throwback slasher film that succeeds in channeling horror fans inner child and having them think twice about sleeping without a nightlight.
Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, who penned the final four installments of the “Saw” series, reunite for the sequel to their original property, “The Collector.” The very mild 2009 hit didn’t exactly do “Avengers” numbers at the box office making a worldwide profit of $3 million and recouping its $6 million budget. Their “Saw” films on the other hand at least made $27 million off similar small-scale budgets.
With “The Collection,” they blend their ultra-violent/exceedingly graphic horror style with that of the 1980s thrillers with the invincible boogeyman mercilessly slaying his victims.
Their unstoppable force is “The Collector,” a silent killer with a gimp-like mask and flair for murderous traps similar to “Saw’s” Jigsaw. While Jigsaw had a slight sense of honor, The Collector has no such restraints and is a serial killer with no motive beyond enjoying torturing and ultimately killing his victims. He’s the rare horror movie villain that’s just scary because he’s got no rationale behind his actions. No one killed his mom or left him to die. He’s just crazy and Dunstan and Melton don’t write him in a way to get any audience sympathy or support. He’s the bad guy that you will actually want to see get stopped and not make it to the next sequel.
For those, like me, who missed the original, the film’s opening segment is jarring and pretty twisted as The Collector kills the patrons at a nightclub save one girl, Elena (Emma Fitzpatrick, “The Social Network”) who he brings to his hideout to his collection. The hideout is an abandoned warehouse filled with dismembered body parts sewed together and other parts discarded in container tubes. It makes for a very unsettling visual and is close to the max I’d assume for most people’s comfort level.
The Collector’s previous trophy, Arkin (Josh Stewart, “The Dark Knight Rises”), manages to escape from his trap only to get forced to aid a not-so crack special missions force in rescuing Elena on behalf of her father (Christopher McDonald, “Boardwalk Empire”).
The acting is good enough for a horror film and Stewart makes Arkin a sensible horror movie character you want to see survive. Beyond him, everyone else screams on cue just fine.
With a brief 82-minute runtime, Dunstan (who also directs) doesn’t waste too much time establishing much more for the plot. We’ve no idea who this security force is other than their leader, Lucello (Lee Tergesen), has protected Elena since childhood, but the rest could just as easily been picked up on the corner and given guns for all we know.
Like “Saw,” the death scenes are wickedly creative and Dunstan doesn’t stick to horror clichés or bother with fake scares having enough confidence in The Collector’s overall creepiness to cover all the genuine scares the film needs. And he truly does.
Dunstan and Melton do offer one of the more satisfying endings to a horror film I’ve seen in a while, but the journey is not for the squeamish and “The Collection” is definitely for those that can handle a lot of sick and twisted violence. Recommended for true torture porn fans.
Rating: 6.5 out of 10