With the highly anticipated (most of all by me!) new flick "The Collection" hitting the Screamfest screen this Friday, it felt very timely to revisit an amazing flick some wrongly thought of as mere torture porn fare – welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick! Today’s film is so much more then a simple horror tale, even though it carries the moniker of being from the writers of the "Saw" sequels. It’s a clever mixture of the thriller and serial killer genres, but told with distinctively creative character flair. One house. One killer. One Thief. Let the games begin. We’re jumping into the box of..."The Collector!"
Arkin is a man who is under the gun. His ex-wife is in debt with a loan shark and fearing for the safety of her and his daughter, Arkin has taken on the responsibility. He has gotten himself a job on a crew doing home renovations for the wealthy Chase family. But the choice of job is no accident. An ex-con and master thief, Arkin uses the time to scope and survey the house as he has big plans to swipe a rare gem out of the house safe and pay off the debt. He goes back later that night and enters and opens the safe skillfully. There’s only one problem – someone else is already inside.
I’m not going to spoil any more story events or reveal any of the surprises within, but rest assured the man inside with Arkin aims to misbehave. It’s this aspect of "The Collector" that proves to be most fascinating, unique and original. Yes, there are some scenes of real blood and gore, creepy death traps worthy of the "Saw" franchise and a killer with an affinity for spectacle, but there’s so much more. The witty use of two very different men (a master thief and a serial killer!), who are both equally skilled in attention to job detail in a battle to the death makes for one riveting and fun time.
As the weary Arkin, Josh Stewart is the perfect foil to the brooding mute Collector (here played in mask by Juan Fernandez se Alarcon) and watching them try to outsmart each other is fascinating – two sides of the same coin. Plus I have to hand it to Marcus Dunstan, who not only co-wrote this one with pal Patrick Melton, but also debut directed with the skill of a genre master craftsman – it’s impressive stuff.
I’m not saying there aren’t some elements of the current horror craze within "The Collector," but there’s a killer story difference here that cannot be ignored. Why is it okay to avoid a great film because it may have blood and gore elements, but not seeing a remarkable film because it’s in a say period style is considered cinematically narrow minded? I say cast all terror tale aversions aside and head over to the dark side for some great film – true originality knows no genre boundaries.
Title: "The Collector"
Cast: Josh Stewart, Andrea Roth, Juan Fernandez de Alarcon
Director: Marcus Dunstan
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Company: Freestyle Releasing