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.
After kidnapping and brutally assaulting two young women, a gang unknowingly finds refuge at a vacation home belonging to the parents of one of the victims: a mother and father who devise an increasingly gruesome series of revenge tactics.
When the Chase family moves to an isolated house in the middle of nowhere in Detroit, Arkin is hired to fix the windows and the doors. Later he meets his daughter and his wife that has a debt with dangerous sharks and needs money, but his week payment is not enough to pay her debts. Arkin plots to heist the safe of Michael Chase during the night to raise the necessary money. However, when he arrives in the house, he finds that a sadistic criminal has imprisoned the family and planted traps everywhere. Arkin seeks a way out of the deadly house to save his life. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
As the story of the Collector unfolds, it quickly becomes obvious that writer/director Marcus Dunstan is knowledgeable when it comes to the horror genre and knows what makes people click.
First, there is a 70s/80s feel to this movie. From the dirty-ish cinematography to the pacing, editing and the casting choices, a lot of this reminds me of the less polished horror films of these decades.
One of the aspects where this movie shines is with its protagonist Arkin. A down-on-his- luck handyman struggling to pay his bills. Josh Stewart was a revelation for me in this role. I can't wait to see what the future has in store for this actor. Is he a one-note actor who was perfectly cast or is this some serious talent? I for one would lean toward the latter. Stewart is perfect in making us feel Arkin is a decent guy with a will of is own but just suffers from a total lack of respect by the people around him. He oozes charisma despite the "loser" role he has to work with and reminds me a little bit of Sean Penn. What makes the film effective is really exploring the character of Arkin early on. There is a simple situation driving this man to do what he is about to do and we can relate to him.
Unfortunately, the movie begins to lose steam when Arkin gets inside the house. At first, the traps and situations are intriguing. But character and story development halts to a crawl. Who is the collector and what is the meaning of this collection? We don't really know and Dunstan doesn't seem to care in the least. Themes explored throughout the movies? Again, doesn't seem very relevant.
As the story progresses, the traps become the star of the film and the whole thing seems more and more far-fetched. What should be the meat around the bone becomes the entire movie. The concept seems more like the latest horror gimmick. It's a somewhat interesting and entertaining one but one must deplore all the character development of Arkin if the rest of the movie was really just about mindless fun.
All in all, this is a solid movie reminiscent of the trashy, dirty 70s and early 80s horror flicks. But it seems to be lacking in themes and symbolism that made those movies so great and I sensed the writing lost its purpose mid-way. I also deplore what I sense like a desperate attempt to build a franchise, as opposed to make a great movie. The movie seems like a setup for sequels, a TV series pilot more than a single work of art to be enjoyed.
The movie deserves a 5.5 and is relatively well-done. If this review seems harsh, it's just that the first half hour or so lets you think the movie will be much more powerful than it actually ends up being.
Very curious to see if a sequel will be done for this one.
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