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60 out of 90 people found the following review useful:

Not Afraid To Be Horror

Author: t-g-orrell from Indiana
8 July 2010

I've read reviews off and on that dog this movie. I wonder sometimes if the people that dislike this movie so much, dislike the horror genre. If I were to rate a musical, I would probably give it a low score myself.

This movie is not perfect, but because the horror in it is done well enough, it is worthwhile to suspend some disbelief to go along with the ride. This isn't a PG-13 teen scare. People tote the term "torture-porn" I think because the killing is done is such an unapologetic, organized fashion. Every kill is planned and gruesome. In the horror genre, what actually is wrong with that?

While Rob Zombie and others are destroying monsters (Zombie basically killed the icon of Michael Myers) by humanizing them too much, it is refreshing to have a new killer killing for killing-sake. Isn't that worth a ride (assuming you are into horror)?

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76 out of 125 people found the following review useful:

Original and refreshing yet somewhat bittersweet

Author: chrismsawin from United States
2 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Collector is a film that is somewhat hurt by its own hype. It's written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan (who also directs), the writing team who penned the last three Saw films (including part VI). News broke right before its release that the film was almost a prequel to Saw. In the horror community, being a part of the Saw franchise is a rather large achievement. Even if you're not a fan of the franchise, it's hard to deny how well the Saw films do at the box office as their gross revenue is sometimes up to ten times what the film's budget was. The down side is that The Collector seems to make this point blatantly obvious. The film gives off a sense of deja vu throughout its entire duration. The Collector's traps are very reminiscent of Jigsaw's traps, at least in the way they're set up (reverse bear trap in Saw compared to the bear trap scene in The Collector). The Collector also looks and feels like a Saw film. The quick edits that a lot of people expressed their dislike for in Saw are used more often than not in The Collector. Grainy and high contrast filters along with those quick edits make it a bit hard to distinguish what events are actually occurring on screen at times. The first ten minutes or so of the film feel like an extended music video. These qualities don't necessarily make the film bad, but a film that's advertised as being original shouldn't have so much in common with a well distinguished franchise in the same genre; let alone when some of the same people are involved. Something that may have been easily averted if the marketing campaign didn't throw that fact in the public's face.

With all that being said, the film still has enough originality going for it to bring in horror fans. While the film does have its flaws (the main one being, how'd The Collector have time to set up all these traps?), they actually don't take away from the overall enjoyment for the film. What The Collector collects is rather interesting and even with its similarities to Saw, it's an original horror film that isn't a remake. Something we don't see a lot of anymore. What also might make or break the deal for horror fans seeing this film is that it doesn't shy away from blood and guts. The bear trap sequence alone is rather gruesome, but you do get to see some intestines make a cameo. So this definitely isn't for the squeamish. The film did leave a few open-ended questions, but they don't seem to be negative. The most memorable one is more of a sense of wondering why a certain character did a certain act rather than it being a glaring mistake. If this gets turned into a franchise (which depending on its reception, it just might), we'll probably get answers in the sequel(s). The Collector also seemed to establish a bit of tension at times, while the closing moments of the film were similar to a seesaw. The events that unfold seem to be going in one direction, but then quickly shift and go in another direction.

TV spots are saying things like, "Horror has a new icon," and that The Collector is the best horror film to come out in years. While the latter could be debated, the first part of that statement could very well be true. I, personally, wouldn't mind seeing more of The Collector as I like the idea and the character. The film as a whole, however, may have let its influences shine brighter than its original aspects. In retrospect, The Collector is an entertaining horror film composed of a decent antagonist, standard acting, an original storyline, and a few buckets of gore.

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40 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

Visceral fun

Author: Cujo108 from Cleburne, TX
31 July 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Arkin is an ex-con turned handyman who cases the houses that he works on. When his wife needs money to pay off some dangerous loan sharks, he decides to break into the house that he's currently fixing up, that of the wealthy Chase family, ahead of schedule. The family is all set to go on a vacation, so he figures it shouldn't be too much of a problem. When he hits the house late at night, everything seems normal aside from a suspicious guard dog leashed in the front yard. Arkin shrugs it off and goes for the safe, but while attempting to crack the combination, he hears someone moving about in the house. You see, Arkin isn't the only intruder on the property. A sadistic madman has beaten him to the punch, only he isn't interested in collecting gemstones. He's interested in collecting people that he deems worthy, and those that he doesn't will meet a most unpleasant end.

Going into this film on the weekend of it's theatrical release, at the very least I had hoped for a pleasant diversion. It had certainly caught my eye, but the director's connection with the atrocious Saw franchise gave me reservations. Fortunately, not only did I have nothing to worry about, but seeing it wound up being the best time I had in a theater last year. What transpires for the majority of the film's running time is a tense game of cat and mouse between Arkin and the collector. You can tell that the latter suspects someone else is running around the house, but Arkin manages to avoid him while trying to rescue the family in the process. In fact, the collector never would have known about Arkin, as he was out of the house without ever having been spotted. That damn kid!

Marcus Dunstan and his crew really did a lot with the budget they had. The film has a unique look and sound design. The look is a large part of what drew me to the film in the first place back when the TV spots were airing. Solid use of music as well. It's fierce, it's visceral and it's nasty, but the atmosphere created here is what sets the thing apart from others. That and the collector himself, a wicked villain who goes after his victims with an intensity that I found refreshing. No slow slasher walk here. The eyes were a nice touch too, reflective like those of an animal.

The security system from Hell is an intriguing twist on your typical home invasion setup. It certainly makes for some unique situations. There's a different trap around every corner, so no running at full blast to make an escape and you had better watch where you fall. The boyfriend's fate is the film's best set piece, almost Grand Guignol in it's execution. There's also one demise that can best be described as human flypaper.

There are some suspension of disbelief flaws in there, but I enjoyed the ride too much to really mind in this case. It's a mean horror film that is strong on mood and takes itself seriously. Hard to believe it's from the guys behind various Saw movies, as I can't stand any of those.

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58 out of 97 people found the following review useful:

The movie hard core horror fans have been waiting for

Author: aprilataylor from United States
31 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If you're tired of all of the watered down PG-13 so-called "horror" movies of late and if the thought of sitting through one more remake (or "re-imagining" as the studios have dubbed them) makes you want to tear your hair out then The Collector will be a welcome respite. Yes, there are similarities to Saw and Hostel and yes some will deride this flick as being nothing more than the latest entry into the "torture porn" genre but if you're a horror fan and you let those things deter you from experiencing this film on the big screen then you're going to miss out on a truly enjoyable evening at the movies.

Full disclosure: I LOVED the original Saw and have at least liked all of the sequels. I wasn't a big fan of the original Hostel and there have been several other so-called "torture" flicks that have elicited no response from me other than a big yawn. The writers/directors of The Collector were involved in the creation of Saw 4-6 but I think that they've done a much better job with this movie.

Don't go into this flick expecting a complete retread of Saw because you're not going to get it. Sure, there's a killer who utilizes a form of traps to kill people but his methods are different. First off, he gets his own hands dirty, unlike Jigsaw, who sits back and watches from a distance. Second, redemption apparently doesn't matter to him. The major difference between The Collector and Jigsaw is that Jigsaw gives people a chance to save themselves. The Collector doesn't want you to live... unless you're the one that he's chosen to collect (see tag line, "He always takes one").

This film has a basic plot but it's in its simplicity that it excels. There are no convoluted layers to see past (or to laugh at, as is so often the case) and the basic setup doesn't try to be anything fancy. You'll learn everything that you need to know about the main characters within the first 15 minutes and then you can just sit back and watch everything unfold.

The camera work is excellent and the film comes across as extremely dark, discordant and claustrophobic. The soundtrack is perfectly in tune with the feel of the movie and really heightens the timing of each of the scares.

By now I'm sure that you've heard that the film is very bloody and that's an understatement. There is nothing contained within the trailers that will prepare you for what you're going to see on the big screen. The film made everyone in the audience be they young, old, male or female, gasp at least once.

If you're into gore I highly recommend that you see this film and make sure that you stay until the end of the credits.

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106 out of 195 people found the following review useful:

Disgusting,Suspenseful, Awesome

Author: Mister Nelson from United States
1 August 2009

I saw this film yesterday with two of my friends.It was this or Funny People but I've lost faith in Adam Sandler since "You Don't Mess With the Zohan" And none of us wanted to watch Harry Potter so walking in to the The Collector it was fifty fifty that it was going to be any good considering it's from the writers of the last couple of Saw movies. But I was surprised at how great it was. The setup was quick the violence is gory and there was some scary disturbing moments plus the last couple of minutes were really intense. And The Collector puts Jigsaw,Jason,and Freddy to shame at least in my opinion.Plus this was way better than the amazingly crappy Transformers 2.

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51 out of 91 people found the following review useful:

Worth a view from all these CGI movies!

Author: joselnieves81 from United States
13 August 2009

I have seen all the big summer blockbusters and I have to say they were good some even great but I've grown a little old on all the CGI. The Collector yes it does take away from SAW and HOSTLE but in its on way is worth a viewing. Yes the story has many plot holes and it leaves you guessing on why and how but if your a big gore and horror fan then this is the movie to see. It holds nothing back in form of gore and torture. Cheaply done and yet very well executed. No big name actors or big budget effects. In my opinion its what has been missing this summer. I would like the second part as in SAW 2 to answer all of the questions that this movie left us guessing. I look forward to seeing The Collector character again!

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18 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Another flesh-and-blood serial-killer whose powers make Odin, Darth Vader, Pinhead, and Nosferatu red with envy.

Author: fedor8 from Serbia
25 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It started some time in the 90s, roughly. The typical big-screen serial-killer's power, stamina, skills, intelligence, and incredible luck grew with every additional retarded thriller. Eventually – and this was a natural progression of the retarded regression of this increasingly cretinous sub-genre – the serial-killer acquired magical powers as well, but without becoming a ghost or a demon (which is the only way all this illogical piffle could be half-way justified). This is when the movie serial-killer became invincible. By the 00s, he had as much power as all the Nordic and Hindu gods combined, and then some. TC: another recent entry in a long line of such amazingly mindless little filmic concoctions. If green, bug-eyed aliens ever invade us and slaughter us all, they might one day find a copy of TC, watch it, and then realize: "Yup, we were right all along. We did the right thing."

The "Collector" (duh name) is a man (not a creature) who has no rhyme, reason, or purpose. He simply shows up at a random household, kills and tortures everyone in sight, but has a generally friendly relationship with spiders and large blood-sucking cockroaches (which he keeps in jars and occasionally feeds with blood pouring out of his victims' stomachs). We are told by his bloodied and beaten up "bait" that the Collector "kills people he doesn't need, and keeps those he wants". (Huh?) Not in one scene is there the slightest indication that this might be true; he kills everyone. Besides, what would he keep any of those dumb stereotypes captive for? They're awfully-written Tinseltown characters; who the hell needs them? I certainly don't. So in a sense "the collector" is quite right to kill them all, but while he's at it he should have gone for the writers' and the director's throats, too, and then jumped off a cliff: the only way to get rid of ALL of the wasteful carbon-based debris here.

Nor is it even clear how the hell "bait" knows this about "the collector", considering that the killer doesn't utter a word during the entire movie. I can't quite picture the killer driving, with "bait" sitting in the back of the van in his box, the two holding a conversation: "Well, you know, I keep those I want and kill those I don't want. That's kinda my shtick." In fact, when the movie finishes, you are none-the-wiser about either the killer's appearance, motivation or his background. He starts off as the perennial non-descript Man In The Mask, and he leaves the movie as the Man In The Mask, pissing off in his van. The point? None. What have we gained from TC? Diarrhea. The writers didn't even bother to give us a back-story, not even vague clues to it. To return the favour, I won't bother to watch anything else they ever did or will do in the future; certainly a great way to build up a fan-base.

The killer manages to set about a gazillion booby-traps within a single night, a workload that a team of experts would be required for, working for at least a day. The booby-traps are so intricate and spread out that it would require slow tip-toe walking – at all times – for this so-called "collector" to even move about the house without falling into any of them, especially since it is dark half the time. He has super-human strength (and this description might be considered an insult by "the collector" because his physical prowess is about 1000 times larger than super-human), and yet the burglar manages to throw him around the kitchen like a rag doll. Even sillier, by that point the burglar shouldn't have had energy left to punch out a baby seal, let alone a killer with Jedi powers; the burglar had already been cut, butchered, tortured, burned, slashed and diced… Perhaps he too has super-human powers? Why would I even ask this question: of course he does.

As does the little girl. Her very predictable survival is just one of the many symptoms of the clichéd script. Somehow she manages to achieve what none of the seven adults had. Not the only predictable plot-device or turn of events: did the writers of this tired script actually think that we didn't anticipate that the burglar would be hit by a police car? That's the oldest shtick in the book. What we could NOT anticipate however was that the writers would actually get "the collector" to ram his car against the ambulance and then pick up the burglar, whom he then very predictably sticks into his "bait-box" - nevermind the dozen police cars all around.

Just so the film-makers ensured that we know that everyone in this movie is either a mindless zombie moron or a hell-fire demon-god, the burglar actually CARES about the fact that he's got the diamond, and even ASKS the ambulance technician what time it is so that he can deliver it on time to his loser wife. That scene could have been so funny – in a silly ZAZ comedy. Why would they include such a goofy, funny moment in a sadistic-killer-on-the-loose thriller. I am so SURPRISED that such a perfectly put-together movie would have such a silly glitch.

But it's me who's silly; I am actually trying to tie some of these dumb shenanigans to the real world. TC's parallel universe makes the "Hellraiser" franchise seem like a BBC science documentary series. There is nothing in this run-of-the-mill flick that even remotely has to do with the world we humans inhabit. This ridiculous "story" might as well be set on planet Zong.

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27 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

Does It Even Matter Anymore?

Author: chicagopoetry from United States
25 September 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm still scratching my head trying to figure The Collector out. A guy who gets a job as a pest exterminator (right?) returns to the home of his employer to rip him off of some big diamond only to find the house has been taken over by yet another invincible maniac in a mask (how original) who has, wait a minute, set intricate traps throughout the entire mansion using wires and fish hooks and bear traps and spears and gummy bears (no not really) and so many wild gadgets that it would have taken a semi-truck to deliver it all, not to mention a spool of wire the size of a living room. Okey dokey, I guess it doesn't matter if it makes sense, because the lighting is good, think Saw sequel ripoff, the traps are like a demented Home Alone meets Last House On The Left, someone is screaming bloody murder in just about every scene, there is a small child that needs to be saved, and, ah, let us not forget, there is an invincible maniac in a mask killing everyone. Isn't that just what the world needs, another movie about an invincible maniac in a mask killing everyone. Since I saw this the day after seeing Laid To Rest, I can't help but to compare the two. At least Laid To Rest knows what it is and isn't trying to be so artsy fartsy about an hour and a half of torture and brutal murder. The truly sick thing about this movie it is that it is so well made on such a big budget with such thought put into it, that it is nothing less than a sin that all that talent went to waste on yet another BS movie about an invincible maniac in a mask killing everyone. Freakin' get a script!!!!

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13 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Very (Un)pleasantly Surprised.

Author: tim-danaher from United Kingdom
20 June 2010

Pleasantly surprised since this is a way-above average shocker. Unpleasantly surprised because there's an awful lot of unpleasant surprises!

This had me jumping, open-mouthed, rewinding to check that I'd REALLY just seen what I saw...I don't think I've been as jumpy as this since the tower scene in 'In Bruges'.The editing of the gore scenes was brilliantly done, adding to the tension and the in- your-face, jumping-out-of-the-shadows quality. I'm also surprised that the writers and director were able to keep the ending they did: I thought it would have been preview- screened out of existence.

The film did take a while to get going, but when it hits its stride...phew! Although I'd never seen any of the actors before, the performances were top- notch.

Makes the last SAW films look like a teddy-bear's picnic...apparently, it was written by the writers of the last few SAW movies. They seem to have found their form again.

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15 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

One of the worst movies I've seen

Author: johnginn from United States
17 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Dull, witless, boring torture porn. Lazy, unimaginative, cynical, trite. Ripoff, cash grab, formulaic junk. Unbelievably stupid and derivative, starting with the now standard Fincheresque title sequence a la Se7en (a movie you'd be better served watching again a hundred times before seeing this movie even once). The plot makes no sense. Don't argue; it doesn't. It doesn't make sense and it doesn't even care that it doesn't make sense. The lone purpose of the "plot" is to set up a threadbare scenario upon which can be draped a few gruesome murders. None of it makes sense or can be understood. How does the Collector build all the traps in such a short time? WHY does he build the traps at all? For what purpose? He's in an empty house in the middle of nowhere. Who's he expecting to catch with the traps? Why, for the love of god, would he go to ALL THAT TROUBLE? Answer: Because he exists beyond all constraints of logic or reality. He's a cobbled together standard-order generic cliché psychopathic serial killer, that's why, and he does all this because he knows that the scriptwriters are going to contrive reasons for people to fall into his improvised house of horrors.

I still can't get past the awesome trouble he went to hauling 700 pounds of bear traps into the house. WHY WOULD ANYONE DO THAT? Answer: because no one would. But hauling those traps in and setting them and placing the trip wires that would send someone into them, the work of several hours or more alone, is but a tiny fraction of the trouble and endless expense he went to, all that nailing and planning, and running wires everywhere through walls and up and down staircases, and mounting guillotines in windows and multiple deadbolts in doors, and cleaning up after himself, all the sawdust picked up and tools put away, along with the ladders and scaffolding he would have needed to attach things to ceilings, all of that work down in the span of a couple hours, and all of it done between bouts of victim torturing.

The other traps he set, not only are they impossible, the stupidity of them defy belief. "Hey, I know! I'll put this golf club here in this out of the way upstairs bedroom so that when someone grabs it, (although, again, logically, the chances of someone making it up to that bedroom and grabbing the club are almost infinitely small) it will set off a million little trip wires attached to tiny springs and fragile looking gears that will, by some miracle of engineering, be capable of dragging a 180 pound man through the house and suspending him, briefly, from the ceiling before dropping him to the floor. Oh! and also, I'll rig a similar device to a pair of scissors that will catapult a woman onto a wall of spikes and activate a projector to play home movies of her as an innocent child on her impaled teen slut body in a display of irony that no one will be around to see. It's a feat of engineering that would require days of planning, but no, I'm just going to rig it up in about five minutes.

But why go on? The film is bleak and ugly, stale and pointless. A cynical exercise in franchise building, obviously made with an eye to a Collector 2, 3, 4 and 5, but never, just as in this one, having anything to say, a point to make. Horrible. Horrible. Just a terrible film. The slightest application of critical thinking utterly destroys it, so here we have a film that demands, literally, that the viewer JUST NOT THINK. You can watch this film, or you can have a brain that is capable of forming coherent thoughts, but you can not have both. You owe it to yourself to find something better to do with your time than to watch this movie.

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