Published Oct 29, 2009Taking into account the nature of dispositional alignment and art as measures of social and political climate, we can attribute the appeal of bodily exploitation horror such as this, The Collector, and the abysmal Saw franchise to a collective consciousness and potential criticism of reality entertainment and the preoccupation with external image. As horror typically exhibits norm-violating behaviour in its simplest form, the natural transgression, when privacy made public is the status quo, would be to mutilate and distort these viable bodies.
While this partially explains the motivations behind making exploitative garbage like this, it doesn't justify the lazy storytelling, familiar setup and crass music video aesthetic of the entire ordeal. The People Under the Stairs meets Saw plot finds Arkin (Josh Stewart), an ex-convict, breaking into his new employer's home to help his ex-wife pay-off some loan sharks. Unfortunately, once in there, he discovers the family held hostage by a deranged serial killer who has booby trapped the entire house with bear traps, fish hooks and various projectiles.
Borrowing rudimentary stylistic flourishes from early David Fincher and Mark Romanek, Feast and Saw IV to VI writer Marcus Dustan's directorial debut sets up every bout of bloodletting with awkward edits, colour filters and anticipatory electronic music. It's essentially an orgasmic build-up to the seemingly desirable payoff of graphic dismemberment and disembowelment in as puerile a manner as possible.
Since inventive gore appears to be the only real purpose of The Collector, pointing out the gaping plot holes in character decisions and timeline logicality seems pointless, even though the opening preamble attempts to humanize and motivate our protagonist with a daughter he loves.
One's appreciation for above-average snuff should determine potential enjoyment of this film, which itself acts as another warning sign of our current collective superficial preoccupations. (Kinosmith)