Film Review: The Collector

Not a keeper.

Sharing nothing in common with the 1965 Terence Stamp-Samantha Eggar chiller other than the title, The Collector grafts a torture-porn payoff onto a heist-thriller setup with messy, illogical results.

Having penned Saw IV, Saw V and the upcoming Saw VI with Patrick Melton, first-time director Marcus Dunstan admittedly knows his way around the viscerally sick and twisted. But by this stage in the torture-porn game, the prevailing sensation is a case of been there, impaled that. In the absence of a sturdy, plausible foundation on which to hook all those grisly bits, the film, originally a Dimension release, tends to play out more like a protracted Saw outtake reel.

When an ex-con handyman (Josh Stewart) sneaks back into the renovated home of a jeweler and his family with the intention of cracking his safe, he discovers it has since been lethally booby-trapped by a silent, masked serial killer (Juan Fernandez) who prefers to keep his bloodied and eviscerated victims alive for as long as possible. While the would-be jewel thief manages to navigate his way around the complex Rube Goldberg-like contraptions rigged with knives, bear traps and other sharp stuff, getting the innocent inhabitants out in one piece proves trickier.

Dunstan and Melton—whose horror script Feast was a "Project Greenlight" winner—and imaginative visual-effects supervisor David Karlak deliver some squirm-inducing goodies, but in between the depravity there's an awful lot of running up and down the stairs, not to mention a ridiculously heavy hand with all that spider imagery.

The proficient cast does what little it can with the lifeless material, which is geared exclusively toward their unpleasant demises.
-Nielsen Business Media