A lot of my friends had recommended me to watch The Collector, a 2009 film by the writers of the last few Saw sequels. And to think, I first thought they were talking about a remake of the 1960’s Terence Stamp psycho-thriller (so you can tell how much of a lifeless nerd I am). The fact that it was made by the same people who made the last Saw sequels didn’t help much either, as I saw part IV and didn’t like shit about it and haven’t seen any since. But after all the discussion, I finally decided to give in like the wimp that I am and gave it a watch.
The story is simple enough. It deals with an ex-con who is desperate for money to help pay his ex-wife’s debts. Arkin (Josh Stewart), our ex-con, decides to rob the high-tech security house of his current employer, who he thinks is out on a vacation with his family. But when he gets there, Arkin discovers that the house has been targeted by another criminal, a psychotic serial killer known as The Collector (Juan Fernandez) who has set up the house full of deadly traps. Now it’s up to Arkin to try and save himself, and the captured family, from this particularly nasty serial killer.
For the first half-hour of this movie, I was nearly moved to tears. The movie was plagued by the problem of Mtv video editing, full of the quick cuts and montages that plague most modern horror films today (the Saw series in particular). I was almost desperate, even considering shutting the movie off. But then, something happened. We get to the house and we meet our serial killer, and then the movie turns a complete 180.
The character of The Collector is simply the greatest, and most interesting horror movie monster since Tony Todd scared the beejezus out of me in the original Candyman. Every time he’s on-screen, he owns the movie. His look, his body language, his androgynous physique which makes him look both like a man and a woman, and his dark, amphibious eyes. You could see his mind ticking, and he’s quite a frightening character. Few slasher killers are this interesting.
Then there’s the traps. The movie is full of them, and I’m not surprised since the film is so linked to the Saw series. However, the traps here, to me, are much more grotesque and frightening than anything Jigsaw ever constructed. A particularly nasty moment with a needle on the phone made me cringe. I don’t want to give anything away, but they are very bloody and gory. And thank you, filmmakers, for giving me a nice piece of gratuitous t&a thanks to the beautiful breasts of Madeline Zima (Californication). Gratuitous nudity is something that is sorely missed in horror movies today.
So to finish, I highly recommend this film. The first half hour is pretty boring, but once the horror starts, the movie becomes a tour-de-force slasher film with tons of suspense, gore, tits, and a serial killer that will give anyone the willies. Go check it out!