You automatically grow suspicious and lower your expectations when they're giving away movies for free. "The Box Collector" only just came out early 2008, never played in cinemas or even hit rental stores (or at least not to my knowledge) and yet already a TV-magazine here in my country gave away free exemplars last week! That can't be a very promising sign, now can it? Still, I can't deny several tiny aspects about this production intrigued me right from the start. "The Box Collector" is Belgian/Canadian collaboration (those are extremely rare) with an prominent English born producer in the director's chair John Daly who sadly passed away in the meantime already - and the underrated Belgian director Guy Lee Thys at the scripting table. As a fellow Belgian and probably one of the very few people who struggled through Thys' demented horror thriller "The Pencil Murders", I kind of felt obliged to see "The Box Collector" as well. Moreover, the film stars as the aging Margot Kidder ("Black Christmas", "Sisters", "The Amityville Horror") as a psychotic mother and what self-respecting horror fanatic doesn't want to see that? Overall, I can't really be too harsh on "The Box Collector" but it's undeniably a lackluster and derivative effort, with an extremely incoherent script and multiple utterly senseless plot twists. The events take place in a remote and nameless little factory town. Actually, I'm pretty sure the town must be called "Utopia". Why? Because there are gorgeous, voluptuous and easy-going girls everywhere (at the pharmacist, at the bar and even moving in next door) and they all have the hots for the same local yokel. This lucky bastard, however, lives under the reign of his dominant mother and doesn't even have a clue what horrible things she (Margot Kidder) and her crazy Tarot card friend Luz discuss at the coffee table. Her small world brightens up entirely when the sweet beautiful single mother Marie moves in next door with her daughter. Harry falls madly in love, but obviously mommy doesn't approve. "The Box Collector" is a strange movie. I don't think this was an intentional choice, but merely a matter of incompetence. The main storyline isn't exactly what you would call original. The spooky dominant mother is one of the most commonly known thriller concepts, dating all the way back to Hitchcock's "Psycho" and possibly even far beyond, and "The Box Collector" hardly adds anything new to this. The sub plots are wildly uneven, abruptly handled and totally irrelevant, like the marriage issues of a snake-hunting playboy and Marie's jealous ex-husband showing up again. The final twist is just plain bizarre and you better don't put too much thought into that, or else you might end up hating the film. Margot Kidder overacts with a passion, but the show is undoubtedly stolen by the beauty of the Belgian actresses Lyne Renee and Marie Vinck. Yes, this country is the ideally fertile breeding ground for gorgeous, sexy women! One last thing, the odd title refers to the fact that our protagonist like to paint boxes. There are some strange people with even stranger hobbies out there
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