When I sat down to watch The Collector, I was in a rare state of having no expectations about the film I was about to watch. This movie was out a while ago, and it basically came and went without much fanfare, so I really didn't have any idea of what I was in for. And I must say, man, was I glad I didn't know what I was in for!
The Collector took me surprise. This is as well-made a slasher story as I've seen in quite a while. But even more than that, The Collector is rife with tension, which is greatly accentuated by the heart pounding (literally) soundtrack and exceptional cinematography. Watching it, I realized that I haven't felt this level of tension in a film since I saw David Moreau's French masterpiece, Them.
The plot of the film follows ex-con Arkin as he attempts to settle his ex-wife's debt by robbing his new employer's home when they're supposed to be away on a vacation. But, once Arkin is inside the home, he realizes he's not alone. There's somebody far worse inside the house with him.
Now, as much as I loved The Collector, the film is not perfect. There are some things that make you say, "Now, how did he..." and "What the..." But overall, this is a truly enjoyable film that really deserves a larger following. Screenwriters Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan did some collecting of their own, as you can see certain aspects of some other great horror films at work here, not the least of which are the Saw movies, which they also happened to co-write (from part IV on).
As the horror genre has become slogged down with crappy remakes, re-imaging or whatever you want to call it, it's exciting to see fresh, new blood on the serial killer scene. The Collector is a fun ride, one filled with blood, guts and edge-of-your-seat tension. I give The Collector ****1/2 out of *****.