Sometimes you watch a movie and love it. Sometimes you watch a movie and hate it. And then sometimes you watch a movie and you really aren't sure what to think of it. Indifference when it comes to movies is something I absolutely loathe. Quite honestly, i'd rather hate a movie than be indifferent about it. I want to be able to tell people, definitively, that I either hated or loved a movie. Well guys, I really can't tell you one of those two about The Collector because i'm pretty damn on the fence about it. I didn't hate it nor did I love it, which I guess puts it somewhere in the 'liked' category. I loved the premise of the flick and I even really dug the killer, two things i'll get to in a second, but the whole thing just fell kinda flat and, bah, I don't know. There was just something about it that didn't quite mesh with me.
The premise of The Collector is this ; a man who desperately needs to get money for his in debt to the wrong people ex-wife decides to break into the house of a wealthy family, the same family that has employed him for the last couple months as a maintenance man. When he gets there he realizes somebody, somebody much more evil than himself, has already beat him to it and the house is armed to the teeth with Saw like traps of the most brutal kind.
Now the awesome thing about this premise is the way in which the traps are designed. The titular 'Collector' has rigged traps specifically designed to not only keep you in the house, but to keep you from protecting yourself in any way. You go to arm yourself with a weapon, it's rigged to a device that will kill you. You go to jump out the window, it's rigged to a device that will kill you. It's a pretty cool and original spin that's a lot more effective than just merely a whole bunch of traps in random places throughout the house. I really dug the premise and again, I dug the killer too.
'The Collector' really reminded me of an old school almost Italian horror villain. Simple outfit, simple mask, nothing too fancy or flashy. Simple, brutal, and creepy. In fact, he was pretty much a dead ringer for the killer from Sergio Martino's Torso, which i'm sure had something to do with why he felt like a killer from a 70's Italian horror flick to me. Unlike Jigsaw, this dude doesn't only rely on traps and he is not above arming himself with knives and guns. He also has a badass killer dog by his side that gives the one that ate that chick in The Beyond a run for his money. I also dug how not much of the backstory of 'The Collector' was gone into, kinda like Jigsaw in the first Saw movie. They didn't tap into his motives in any way really and never gave any inkling as to why he's doing what he's doing. Me, not being a huge fan of backstory, really liked this and it made him far creepier to know as little about him as the characters on screen running away from him knew. There's surely gonna be plenty of sequels to get into all that stuff anyway. Basically, in summation, 'The Collector' is probably what Kevin McCallister would be like if he turned into a psychopathic killer. And if his parents left him home alone one more time, he probably would've become one! Parental neglect always leads to serial killer, right Michael Myers from Rob Zombie's Halloween?
Now this flick was written by the two dudes who wrote the last few Saw movies and yes, in case you're wondering, it shows. The movie is very Saw esque and in fact, the script was originally conceived as a prequel to Saw. Go figure. Again, it shows. The movie is basically Saw comes home. If Jigsaw invaded a home and set up shop there instead of some kind of filthy bathroom in the basement, that movie would be The Collector. I will say though that at least they didn't go for the shaky cam effects that run so rampant in the Saw movies. Kudos for that.
Now here's the main problem with this movie. It basically feels like one gore sequence after another that is intended to shock the audience. But ya know what? That shit just don't work on me anymore. I'm over it. I've seen it all before. I've seen fingers get cut off. I've seen dudes step on bear traps. I've seen dogs get blown in half with a shotgun. Well, actually no, that last one was pretty cool. The gory kills just didn't do anything for me. They were just....there. I've become so desensitized to that kind of stuff that it really doesn't even have an impact on me anymore. It's sad, but it's true. I think movie critic Clay Clane summed it up best ; "It's like seeing a pop songstress get naked for the billionth time - yeah, she's hot, but we have all seen it before." Maybe if this movie came out five years ago, I would've loved it. It just feels a little too late. I need something a little more than one trap kill after another these days.
It's not that I didn't like The Collector, it just did nothing for me. It left me feeling nothing at all and I hate that feeling. It's stylishly shot and it's a far better film than most of the horror movies that come to theatres and I love the fact that it's a balls to the wall R rated flick, but I was simply not impressed. If you've seen any of the Saw movies, you've really already seen The Collector. Go see Orphan instead!
If you've seen The Collector, leave a comment with your thoughts.