Thursday, October 13, 2016

Horrors of October - The Collector

The Collector (2009)

In order to pay off some loan sharks that are breathing down the neck of his wife, a recently sprung jailbird heads out to rob the rich estate he's been fixing up during his day job. While casing the joint, he realizes that the house has been turned into a deathtrap dungeon and that its murderous creator is sadistically abusing the occupants. THE COLLECTOR is a very impressive cat-and-mouse thriller/torture porn flick. I am shocked, shocked to realize that this cult gem's creators, director Marcus Dunstan and his co-writer Patrick Melton, are the same guys behind the FEAST series, the movies which made me explode into furious rage during last year's Horrors of October. Unlike those loathsome films, here we get to have likable heroes, a smart script, well executed harsh violence, a killer soundtrack and brilliant establishment of all the rooms, nicks, and crannies of the house. Make no mistake, the brutality on display is amazing but quite queasy, even making me wince at all of the trick wire, fish hooks, hidden razor blades, bear traps and savage dentistry. The titled villain may be normal looking with his average black wear and sporting some tighty whities but he's menacing with his glowing contacts, his handling of weaponry, and the twisted mask he hides under. His wheezing could have been subtracted or toned down though. I do commend Marcus Dunstan's direction but there are several moments of sheer pretentiousness. When he's not cribbing from SEVEN, he's pulling off dumb creative decisions such as zooming into the empty chambers of a gun or showing how a random lighting strike is created and executed. And seriously, did we really need to have a extreme closeup of a spider right at the end? Speaking of, the film does lose major brownie points with its obvious, depressing coda, which you can easily expect once you find out the antagonist's real agenda. If you're willing to venture back into the sub-genre where Eli Roth was the self-proclaimed king, this devilish surprise is worthy of a watch.


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