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.
After kidnapping and brutally assaulting two young women, a gang unknowingly finds refuge at a vacation home belonging to the parents of one of the victims: a mother and father who devise an increasingly gruesome series of revenge tactics.
Arkin escapes with his life from the vicious grips of "The Collector" during an entrapment party where he adds beautiful Elena to his "Collection." Instead of recovering from the trauma, Arkin is suddenly abducted from the hospital by mercenaries hired by Elena's wealthy father. Arkin is blackmailed to team up with the mercenaries and track down The Collector's booby trapped warehouse and save Elena.Written by
John Gulager: (at around 17 mins) If you look closely at the police arresting Arkin in the hospital, one of them is horror director John Gulager who has collaborated with Marcus Dunstan on other films. See more »
Elena's bra/undershirt strap disappears and reappears multiple times throughout the film. See more »
Elena. I know this must seem like the darkest day of your life. I know you miss your mother. And even though she's not here right now, she'll always love you. You understand that, don't you, darling?
But I'm going to be around more. I will always be here.
See more »
End Credits show how the lead characters died/survived, while displaying their names respectively See more »
I was one of the few who was fortunate to see the original film The Collection is a sequel to, titled The Collector, in theaters, which was released in 2009 to meager but efficient box office earnings. At the time, I liked it enough; it was slickly edited, nicely paced, and I wasn't too familiar with the film industry's obsession with torture porn having missed the Hostel franchise and much of the Saw films during that time period. It was a rather fulfilling piece of horror.
Watching The Collection in the theater left me somewhat bewildered because I thought of the original film as something that was fortunate enough to go to theaters simply because the "right people" were attached to it (namely Marcus Dunstan, who returns as director and co-writer here alongside longtime companion Patrick Melton). After it ended, I assumed that if we were going to get a sequel, or if it would build a franchise that was as big as Saw's, that the remainder of the sequels would take the Hellraiser route and go straight to DVD. Not the case with this first sequel, although due to the low attendance at my local theater, I'm not anticipating The Collecting or even The Hoarding to come to my theater in a few years. But I've been proved wrong before.
Our story picks up where the original film left off; we are greeted again by the likes of Arkin (Josh Stewart), who was taken captive by the ominous "Collector" (Randall Archer), a man with a leather masked who has committed several homicides across a sleepy town, at the end of the first film. We are re-greeted with him when we see our new protagonist, Elena (Emma Fitzpatrick), sneak out to a club with two of her friends only to have most of the party-people be massacred by rotating metal blades rigged professionally through several little intricate wires that could be knocked at anytime.
When the cops find the club dismantled and almost the entire inside population dead, they hospitalize Arkin, but can't seem to find Elena, despite Arkin assuring her dad's friend that she was in attendance. Her father's friend is Lucello (Lee Tergesen) assumes she has been kidnapped (or "taken," seeing as we just got that sequel out of the way), and informs Arkin that if he agrees to lead them to "The Collector's" torture chamber, where he takes all his victims to perform grisly acts of sadism on them, that Lucello and his mercenary team could take him out accordingly. Arkin accepts, but is soon forced to go along with the search-and-destroy mission of the masked figure, and the modest group goes into his lair to find him and get Elena to safety.
Perhaps it's because my inner sadistic side was unleashed or the fact that I've seen almost nothing but horror-schlock like House at the End of the Street or the abysmal Devil Inside this year, I was satisfied during many of the gory, gruesome escapades that took place during the The Collection. They are skillfully done and concocted resembling something of a Final Destination/Rube Goldberg method where one little thing ignites an even bigger thing, which could ignite an even bigger thing that will kill the helpless victim. It gets repetitive, but some sequences are so entertaining and excessive that you feel you should have respect for what you just saw.
Dunstan knows what he is doing with a camera in his hand, and does his best to stray from the unnecessary sequel vibe by inviting in new ideas that "The Collector" does with his victims and how he keeps them held in this ramshackle building with no sunlight or fresh air. The original film took place mostly in someone's house, but having this one take place in a warehouse gives more of a claustrophobic, disoriented vibe, which feels creepier but unfortunately, is not utilized enough.
The Collection maintains the confident direction and the slick production values that made the first one a valuable film in the field of horror. Its sequel brings more to the table than I would've thought, what with the recycled poster and the possibility of the "no one knows this film, but those who do will pay for it" motive that the filmmakers could've held. It isn't exactly what I'd call supreme horror-fare, but as far as gory, gross-out rides go, it stays within its runtime's boundaries, never gets too crazy, and simply never becomes a boring excursion as much as a questionable one. As a slasher figure, "The Collector" isn't wholly memorable, but like Jigsaw of the Saw franchise, he does what a gun can't do, which is give one the long, endless pleasure of sadistic torture had by bear traps, pliers, cockroaches, machetes, knives, injections, poison, or simple trappings in dark, cramped chests.
Starring: Josh Stewart, Emma Fitzpatrick, Lee Tergesen, and Christopher McDonald. Directed by: Marcus Dunstan.
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