The Collection (2012)
(18) Running time: 79 minutes
Director: Marcus Dunstan
Writers: Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan
Cast: Josh Stewart, Emma Fitzpatrick, Christopher McDonald, Lee Turgesen, Randall Archer
Reviewed by: Matt Wavish
The bottom line here is that if you enjoyed the superb horror film, The Collector, then chances are you will enjoy this sequel. While this is in no way better than its predecessor, it follows pretty much the same, violent formula which leads to some satisfying, and at times rather disgusting horror. Granted the plot is paper thin, but you can forgive that once the traps start doing their magic once more, and as with the first film, The Collector himself (a returning Randall Archer) is one of the best horror villains to have shed blood on the screen in ages.
The Collection kicks off almost immediately after the events of the first film. Arkin (Stewart) arrives in the Collector’s chilling red box after a truly excellent opening slaughter scene at a night club. The Collector kills a good 100 victims within the first five minutes in a glorious display of gratuitous bloodshed, and immediately the film had my interest. Arkin is “swapped” for another victim, Elena (Fitzpatrick), and while Arkin escapes, Elena is taken captive, prompting her rich Father (McDonald) to hire some trained killers to get her back. With Arkin all over the news as being the only person to have survived The Collectors clutches, the hired killers track him down so that he can show them where Elena is being held. We head to The Collectors abandoned warehouse, and the team intend to save Elena, but are they prepared for the traps and frightening brutality of The Collector?
There is very little more plot than that, and the film is just another excuse to see some people get caught in vicious, and often quite clever traps. If you want to see blood, limbs hacked off, torture and edge of your seat tension as you witness the traps begin to work, then you have come to the right place. The Collection is basically the first film on a much larger scale on The Collectors own turf, and while in no way scary, it is a LOT of fun. Seeing a team of trained soldiers literally reduced to shivering wrecks by a creepy man in a mask is great, but The Collector himself is a lot more animated here. He growls (slightly silly but adds effect), slithers, hides and stalks his victims with precision, agility and chilling confidence. There are many “go on son” moments when the ultimate bogeyman willingly faces off against a large group, showing no fear, he has well and truly been made into a classic slasher icon.
However, there are issues here, mostly with the plot itself. There are a lot of silly ideas which feel forced to simply offer the viewer an excuse to watch some violence. Arkin would have been better just telling the police where the killer was (since they have said how they are hitting a brick wall trying to find him),and considering the reputation The Collector has, the team going in to find him is relatively small, and there is an ending hinting at a third film which shows a direction of the franchise which I worry could kill it. The film feels rushed, and while it looks good on a bigger scale, what made the first film so good was its genius ideas and confined, smaller setting. There was a terrific sense of panic in the first film where you honestly couldn’t watch as someone came close to touching a trap or making a noise. All of that is missing here, and instead the traps just work, and you know they are going to get set off, and the sense of panic is all but lost in a sea of bloodshed and violence.
Saying that, The Collection is the perfect Friday night horror flick to enjoy with some beers and pizza. It is nowhere near as clever as the first film, but maybe it didn’t need to be. Viewers have come here knowing exactly what to expect, and The Collection delivers in spades. Here is an easy to follow, no brains needed horror flick that will satisfy those simply looking for some brutality on their Friday night. The Collector, as I have said, owns the film and is a joy to watch as he viciously takes on his victims. Many horror films can take themselves a little too seriously, so I guess it is refreshing to see a film so upfront about its intentions, and so happy to deliver what the fans were probably expecting. Try and forget just how clever the first film was, and think of this as a very simple slasher flick with some cool traps, and you will find plenty to enjoy here.