by Rita Aresta
It was a rough day. I had spent most of the previous night awake, no doubt due to the awful wind fustigating the UK (or what the Daily Mail would try to make you believe was a Category 5 hurricane of cataclysmic and post-apocalyptic proportions); in a fatigued state and lacking general awareness, I decided to see this movie, almost by chance. I thought I’d watch it to stop me from falling asleep during the day; unfortunately, it ended up having the opposite effect and I almost had to resort to the Clockwork Orange technique to make it to the end. (Note to self: heed the warning signs of a really crap movie trailer.)
So what’s the premise of this movie? Well, an extremely creative serial killer apparently channelling all his energy into (guess what?) killing people in the most tortured and gruesome of manners. Not that we had already seen that in a certain six (soon to be seven) movie franchise or anything. Oh wait, surprise surprise – the director wrote the screenplay for four of those movies. There are even hints of Hostel and The Human Centipede – a true delicacy. I mean, if you really like what in cinematic jargon is known as torture porn, you may well have multiple orgasms. However, in this case, the object of torture is mostly the audience.
Like pleading with a serial killer ever worked in movie history. Have these people never watched a horror movie?
First, there’s Arkin, a do-gooder-who-has-actually-been-to-prison. Being the unrelenting criminal that he is, he plans to rob the stereotypical All-American family for whom he’s working in order to repay his ex’s debts to some big, bad loan shark, who looks more like he belongs in that Oh My Dayum’s video than in a horror movie. I mean, why is he even paying for his ex’s debt? It’s not like she’s going to break up with him a second time… Anyway, his plan is to steal this big “jewel”, which looks like every other rock in your typical Glastonbury shop; for a split second, I almost thought that Arkin was going to be the killer, but of course that would’ve made it too interesting. It’s worth mentioning that Arkin is played by Josh Stewart, a reasonably harmless actor with a couple of minor roles in Law Abiding Citizen or The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button. He was even in two episodes of CSI, one episode of Grim and four episodes of The Walking Dead…the web series. (The rest of the cast doesn’t even warrant mentioning)
However, as soon as poor Arkin enters the house (a crossbreed of the White House and the plantation mansion from Django Unchained), he realises that 1) the wealthy family that was meant to be going on holiday, didn’t (bloody Brexit, ruining exchange rates everywhere…), and 2) John Kramer a deranged lunatic has also decided to pop in for the evening. There are deadly traps everywhere. Shit.
The Passion Of The Christ meets Happy Feet
The usual lukewarm clichés, with plenty of teeth-pulling, lip-sewing, bear traps, creaky staircases (which alternate between noisy and completely silent, presumably based on the director’s mood during that particular shot) and a completely random pair of boobs. Boobs aside, how is this guy even putting up all these traps in a matter of seconds, or a couple of minutes at best? Is he ordering them for drone-delivery from Amazon? And what’s with the mask that looks like a crossover between Dorset Speed and a bondage corset? They even kill a cat and a bunch of fish; ironically, the dog is pretty mean and actually teaming up with the killer. Bloody Cujo.
In summary – The Collector mostly grabs some ideas from Saw, electrocutes them with a 360 joules defibrillator from hell, takes a dump on them, and wipes them all over the audience’s collective fan.
Denise Hemphill’s “You have the right to remain sexy!”
Dare I see The Collection, this movie’s sequel? Not unless I’m planning of writing a piece on it. Which I may well do.