Movie Throwback: The Collector is Such a Better Movie Than The Collection.

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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. (synopsis courtesy of IMDB)

Starting off, I have to admit that I didn’t have much in the way of expectations for this movie. I made a mistake and watched the sequel (The Collection) first. Since I did not really enjoy the sequel so much, I had barely any expectations of this movie. Instead, I was surprised by the film. While it is far from perfect (plot gaps, some weak filming, etc), overall it was a tense and creepy film that did create a sense of dread and expectation.

[SPOILERS] The film starts out with a several contractor companies working to clean up or update a huge house out in the middle of nowhere. During all of the introduction, the camera follows different contractors, but the camera avoids the faces of all of the contractors. Except for one. Arkin is a security contractor who is installing a security system in this house. While installing the system, Arkin spends some time with the rich homeowner’s family. 

Later that night, Arkin meets up with his daughter and wife. His wife is in debt to loan sharks and Arkin is desperate to get money to save her. He sets up a deal with the loan shark and goes to rob the house that he just worked on. As he breaks in, he finds that not all things are as they seem. While he is opening the safe, the set up of the house is changing. A killer is setting traps at all potential exits.

Here was the first glaring problem. It doesn’t see like enough time passed while Arkin is looking for jewels for the killer to set up all the traps on the doors. Plus, how did Arkin make it through the house with all of the traps and not set one off? If they traps weren’t there, where did the army of killer assistants go after they set up all of the traps in record time?

Arkin hears movement in the house and starts to find the traps and signs that things are not well. Razor blade traps on the windows, bear traps in the dining room, trip wires hooked to all sorts of traps, an acid slime, etc are all the new upgrades to the house. As Arkin evades the killer, he finds the owners of the house restrained in the basement (no sign of the children). The parents are undergoing a hideous sequence of torture at the hands of the bondage mask wearing killer. Arkin also finds a red chest that contains a survivor of the Collectors last murder spree. As the survivor says, he always takes one.

I don’t want to get any further into the plot. There is a ton of tension that rachets up as Arkin must continuously hide from the Collector while still attempting to rescue the family. The Collector slowly kills each and everyone of them, either by hand or by trap. There is a lot of tension that is created as Arkin flees room to room just in front of the Collector and this suspense helps cover up some of the more glaring plot errors.

One thing that sets this apart from The Collection is the development of relationships between Arkin and the family. In the sequel, there is a minimal attempt at character development. There is a definite attempt at creating a sense of sympathy and caring between Arkin and the family, especially the youngest daughter who is the same age as Arkin’s daughter.

Unfortunately, this film does fall into the torture porn genre. It does follow some of the same tropes and does rely on guts and gore rather than real scares. Overall, I would give this movie a 6 out of 10. While it’s not a perfect film, it’s still worth the watch. Take a peak at the trailer below and let me know what you think! If you watched it, let my know your opinion in the comments section below!

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