Le collectionneur (2002)
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Title (Brazil): "O Colecionador" ("The Collector")
Just when I thought I had seen them all (psycho killer vs
detective), this film came to remind some can always improve
things. Instead of pure suspense/action, the film opens many sub- plots that brings an extra to the main plot and characters. It's a
must see for amateurs of the genre and fans of Luc Picard. Actors
are great as well as the filmography.
The DVD What really annoyed me was the DVD version itself. The film is
presented in an anamorphic (2:35:1) format. Wow. Oh, it's very
crisp. But the whole film is shrinked !! It is so annoying I couldn't
follow the story by times. Actors look small and fat, objects are all
deformed, the whole experience is ruined. This is a truly amateur- ish kind of mistake, one that cannot be explained coming from
Chrystal Films and a 5$million dollar production. Thank god I saw
it at the theater.
Bottom line If you wanna rent the film, it's better to rent the VHS. It won't be
distorted and shrinked. Extras on the 2nd disc are nice though.
The film tells the story of a serial killer who kills people and cuts off some of their body parts (SPOILERS) to recreate the body of his parents (THAT'S A PURE COPY OF RESURRECTION!!! It's funny, because in his cottage, we see a lot of stuffed animals, so why didn't he just stuff the bodies of his parents instead of killing a dozen of people...and I have to mention that the motives for all that is never explained! So the film doesn't even study a killer's mind or the origins of his madness, except in a scene where Graham says some of the most pretentious and badly acted lines I've heard in years during an interview). In order to stop him from killing people, a detective named Maude Graham is in charge of the investigation. At the same time, she keeps a young male prostitute and a homeless kid at her home and takes care of them.
First, let's say one thing. It is inspired by a book written by Christine Brouillet, an overrated writer that I recognize as a responsible person for low quality books that always use the same formula. The story of the film is totally unoriginal, it's really a shameful cliche. It completely copies Se7en, and all its derivates (Resurrection, Blowback, Along Came a Spider, among others). It is sad that today, even in Quebec, where directors usually have original ideas, the word "thriller" is automatically associated with a stupid story about a serial killer with cruel methods that is chased by a nice police officer. In Se7en, it worked...it's a good formula, but it has to be exploited the right way. And in Jean Beaudin's film, everything is recycled. It's to originality what a bowl of Kraft Dinner is to food.
Then, there's the acting...it is unbelievably weak, except for Luc Picard, who really got into his role well, even though everything he does or says is a cliche. The protagonist is not so bad, but she really isn't impressive. The two boys are awful, really, I can't believe the director, after the take, said they did a good job and kept it for the final product...unbelievable. It's true to say that the stupid script didn't help them, because the lines are absolutely not natural...Did they have someone to adapt the dialogues for a film? Because it doesn't seem they had someone. Alexis Martin and Yvan Ponton suffer a lot from this huge flaw, because they're usually pretty good actors, but in this film, they seem to repeat their text like machines in front of the camera. On the other side, Luc Picard, like I said before, plays his role very well. The problem is that his role sucks. Yes, sometimes he seems to be exaggerating a lot in his acting (a problem that every actor in the film seems to have, but in a bigger amount) just to look freakier, but he's good, even thought we end up not knowing his character very well, with lots of things unexplained, and a very deceiving ending.
The directing is ordinary, even lower than average. His directing has no style, no signification and is a proof that Beaudin has a lack of instinct, which is essential when directing a thriller. Beaudin doesn't know how to create a creepy mood, as well as to reproduce terror. Okay, he copies the Americans in the settings, the characters, and pretty much everything, but he doesn't even direct the film decently, which is probably the only point that traces a difference between an American thriller and Le Collectionneur. Also, he makes a huge mistake, which is the subplot with the two kids (VERY CHEESY stuff!), which was needless and didn't fit in the film.
Alright, I bashed it a lot, but it certainly has an entertainment value. But again, it's its only goal, unlike the superior Se7en, which had a message and was not only a meaningless show of cats and mice. Briefly said, this film was made to sell out...that's it! And they did. Too bad.
This film has no real directing, one great actor, many BAD ones, a terrible script (especially the dialogues!), and has everything very formulatic.