From the Editor

Movie Review Archive

Thank you for checking out my movie review archive. I'm in the process of transitioning to something else, so I will no longer post new reviews to this blog. In the meantime, I will keep these reviews archived; these are from the fall of 2008 to April 2011. Please watch this blog for more info and keep in touch (you can still find me on Facebook and Twitter). Here's to more great movies!

Wes Singleton

North Texas Film Critics Association

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Collector - D

Rated R for pervasive sadistic bloody violence, language and some sexuality/nudity, 88 minutes

Gruesome, bloody awful "Collector" is a "Saw" ripoff

If the new horror film "The Collector" seems familiar, it's because it channels other horror films, namely "Saw" and "Halloween." In spite of some a few nice, tense moments, it's mostly a (no pun intended) a collection of very blood special effects and make-up. The low-budget "The Collector" is a cheap, schlocky affair, with awful, third-rate acting, directing and writing. Forgettable schlocky horror trash, "The Collector" is strictly for those horror-film devotees.

Desperate to repay his debt to his ex-wife, an ex-con named Arkin (TV actor Josh Stewart) plots a heist at his new employer's country home, unaware that a second, masked criminal has also targeted the property, and rigged it with a series of deadly traps. He along with a young girl named Jill who lives at the home ("Californication's" Madeline Zima) work against time to escape from the man, a deadly, sadistic serial killer who not only kills but also tortures people, "collecting" them and putting them in a box to take to his next victims.

Disappointing horror thriller "The Collector" provides any true chills, with the few moments of intensity provided not by the blood, but by the deadly cat-and-mouse game inside the house. It could've worked well, except that director and co-writers Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton already did this with the last couple of "Saw" films. The traps, along with all the torturing and blood and gore, are fun to watch but have a "been there done that" feel to it. And the whole masked serial killer character ("The Man") seems to be Michael Myers long-lost brother.

"The Collector" is unsurprisingly a cheap affair, with mostly TV or no-name actors who are given little to do under all that blood, and there is a lot of it. The best scenes are the ones with a cat-and-mouse feel to it, but they don't last too long in between all the torture scenes, which like "Saw," are repetitive and uncomfortable to watch. The predictable, laughable climax tries to shock, but it only serves to generate a rolling of the eyes.

It's also no surprise that "The Collector" wasn't screened for critics, but then horror fans are known to make a good showing to see what it's all about (witness all the "Saw" films, none of which have been screened for critics but have still opened at number one at the box-office and are very profitable). If you can't get enough of this time of thing, wait about 3 months until the 6th "Saw" installment is released. By that time, "The Collector" will be long forgotten.