For years now, the French have been kicking America’s ass in the “original” horror film department. While Hollywood continues to remake old franchises, the Frenchies have been piling up a steady stream of fresh and gritty titles like: IRREVERSIBLE, HIGH TENSION, THEM, INSIDE, FRONTIER(S), MARTYRS, and the upcoming THE HOARDE. Their films take a new spin at familiar genres and contain a level of violence and realism that always packs a massive punch. Something American horror films have been lacking since the seventies. Until THE COLLECTOR that is!
Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton are the writing team responsible for the hilariously gore-nographic FEAST trilogy as well as keeping the SAW franchise alive with IV, V, and VI. As rumor has it, THE COLLECTOR started out as an idea for one of the SAW sequels, but turned into something original as it developed. I’m glad they went with that instinct because THE COLLECTOR is one mean, scary movie!
Josh Stewart plays a handyman who must payoff a debt in a major hurry and decides to rob the home of the nice, rich family he works for. There is a valuable stone in the wall safe and the whole brood is going on vacation, so the plan seems foolproof enough, right? WRONG! After he enters the home he soon realizes someone else has broken in and booby-trapped the entire house, making escape impossible. One room’s floor is covered with a kinda flypaper that’s soaked in acid, which one poor cat has the misfortune of treading on. Other rooms are loaded with bear traps and tripwires that can send swinging blades down to chop your head off or catapult you into a wall full of nails if you don’t watch your step. The parents are bound and being tortured by a masked maniac with seemingly no motivation other than murder and mayhem and the children are nowhere to be found. The would-be thief decides to help the family escape from the madman before they are all killed. But what or who is THE COLLECTOR really after?
First time director, Marcus Dunstan does an amazing job of piling on the atmosphere while keeping the tension crackling along from scene to scene. This movie felt very much in pace and style with the best of the French new wave horror films of late and has one of the creepiest killers I’ve seen in awhile. The look of his hooded mask and the way the light reflects in his eyes gave me chills! The film also has one of those, “Holy shit! That’s fucked up!” endings that I love so much and be sure to stick around for the post credits stinger! It’s a kicker!