The Collector


Year: 2009
Director: Marcus Dunstan
Cast: Josh Stewart, Andrea Roth, Karley Scott Collins, Madeline Zima, Juan Fernandez


The Collector didn't make as big of a bang on the horror scene when it was released into theaters as it should have. It's box office take was dismal, which is a shame because it is so much better than Halloween 2, The Final Destination. or several other slasher films that have raked in bucks at the box office recently (and hey, it's not a remake!).

Fairly simplistic in its premise, The Collector deals with Arkin, a down on his luck guy who does odd jobs to bring in an income. His wife owes money to some loan sharks and to try to avoid having them harm her or his daughter, he decides to break into a home where he is doing some work (owned by a jeweler and his family) and steal a precious gem stone. Unfortunately, when he arrives, he quickly discovers that he is locked in a the house with a unknown killer who has painstakingly rigged pretty much every inch of the house with elaborate death traps. Worse yet, he has the family in the basement and is brutally torturing them.

The Collector
works for several reason, most of which is the fact the killer is extremely creepy and intimidating. When we do a get a decent glimpse of him (which isn't all that often), the most distinguishable feature are his creepy, glowing eyes. His gait is also unique and unsettling. Because of these tiny details, The Collector really is one of the most interesting slasher villains of the last decade. Additionally, the film works because there is not a boring moment to be found. The action comes fast and brisk and the viewer has almost no opportunity to become bored. The plot proves itself to be unpredictable and the claustrophobic setting of the old house is used very effectively.

Gore hounds and fans of the Saw series might be surprised to find out that this film really isn't all that gory. I definitely wouldn't call it "torture porn," and though there are definitely some brutal murders, they are more in the vain of an 80's slasher film rather than your "Saw" or "Hostel." This film's main focus seems to be tension and atmosphere, and both are achieved incredibly well.

The only flaw to the film is the ending, which is clich├ęd to no end. We have seen this same ending countless times before and it not any more surprising or different this time around. Still, this film is engaging, creepy, and fast paced. It is what a slasher film should be--tense and entertaining--and it is certainly one of the better efforts to have a theatrical release in quite some time.


Fright Meter Grade:

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