Film Review: The Collector

Another year, another highly questionable entry in the torture-porn sub-genre. The Collector offers little originality, little fear, and sadly little entertainment.

So that the mother of his child is able to pay off her debt to loan sharks, Arkin breaks into his employer’s home, to steal a valuable jewel. When he gets inside however, he realises he is not alone…

There are multiple plot holes in The Collector, which generates little appreciation for the story. Even pushing these aside, the crux of the narrative appears to be geared solely on getting Arkin inside the house, and keeping him there, in order for him to see and experience gruesome incidents.

With the lack of an interesting story and very limited character development, it is hard to really care about the fate of the protagonist. Coupled with this is the lack of exposition on the killer carrying out such awful crimes. Whilst director Marcus Dunstan may have been aiming for mystery as the desired effect, the result is actually an air of laziness in the development of this film.

Gore and brutality is not necessarily a bad thing in horror movies. Nevertheless, the graphic imagery in a film should be accompanied by a worthwhile storyline, or at least some amusement. Drag Me to Hell is a good example of a film that successfully combines the abject with amusement and some moments of terror. Sadly, The Collector mixes its gore with neither humour nor any real sense of terror.

The acting in the film is passable. The cinematography offers a grainy and muted quality similar to the Saw films and Hostel. Whilst the effects in The Collector appear quite realistic, the film nonetheless offers little to its audience, other than gore and exasperation.