director Marcus Dunstan
I chose to watch The Collector because I mistook it for The Collection (2012) (if you look, the posters are very similar, not just the titles). I chose it (mistakenly) because local film critic Mick LaSalle of The San Francisco Chronicle derided The Collection as one of the most puerile non-cinema wastes of time ever. See, I highly dislike LaSalle (though I earnestly read the paper) and when he gets on particular high horses and lambastes things, it makes me want to see them.
Unfortunately, I only realized my error after having watched The Collector, which it turns out, is The Collection‘s predecessor. The Collection is a sequel, which I don’t think that LaSalle made note of.
Apparently it was also meant to be a prequel at one time to the Saw (2004) franchise but for reasons unknown was given its own freedom to be.
It’s the story of a down-on-his-luck handyman who decides to rob the house of the family he’s been working on, only to stumble upon a sadistic scheme being played out. A masked killer is capturing and torturing the family, has booby-trapped the house in Rube Goldbergian-lite, and likes to add torture to the mix. The would-be thief becomes the would-be hero, trying to rescue the family (and failing with the exception of the youngest daughter).
It’s torture porn, to an extent. There are moments of torture or violence that are lingered upon for what seems like more than gross-out effect. With its masked menace, who has no small element of bondage gear about him (and reminds me vaguely of the much more entertaining Wes Craven flick, The People under the Stairs (1990). It’s also this bizarre concept of the overly elaborate monster who has constructed some lugubrious set of traps that no real killer ever would. Or would have had the time to!
Anyways, it is what it is and it’s not terrible. It’s moderately well-made for what it is.
Did I like it? I haven’t really gone in for the torture porn genre. I only saw the first Saw and the first Hostel (2005), though I guess that I did watch The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2010) and The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) (2011). Since I failed in my attempt to watch The Collection, the real aim of the rental, I guess that I will still have to queue up that one for whatever deranged reasoning I had in the first place.