Horror review: The Collector

The-Collector

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 28, 2009

Now here’s a twisted little gem just in time for Halloween nightmare-making. The Collector—no relation to the same-named ’60s thriller in which weirdo Terence Stamp kidnaped hottie Samantha Eggar—should make the backers of the Saw and Hostel franchises think twice, because it takes the rotting corpse of torture-porn out of the abandoned warehouse and Slovakian ruins and dumps it smack dab in the middle of your safe and comfy home.

Josh Stewart, channelling a low-key Edward Norton, shines as Arkin, a young man who’s recently been released from prison and is trying to earn a few bucks as a handyman so he can pay back his ex-wife, who has custody of their young daughter.

But when she tells him his latest payment isn’t enough to keep the loan sharks at bay, his criminal mind helps him decide to burgle his employer’s country home. The wealthy jeweller is supposed to be on vacation, and, besides, he frowned disapprovingly when he caught the kid-loving Arkin playing tea party with his little girl.

When the desperate ex-con jimmies his way into his boss’s sprawling mansion, things get real ugly real fast. A masked maniac has tied and tortured the adults (Michael Reilly Burke and Andrea Roth) and rigged the place with enough fiendish booby-traps to give Saw’s Jigsaw a woody. After falling victim to one of them, a wounded Arkin does his best to avoid detection by their deranged installer and escape the mazelike house of horrors.

Feverishly helmed by first-time director Marcus Dunstan, who cowrote three of the Saw films, The Collector’s arresting photography, razor-sharp editing, ultra-creepy score, and consistently strong performances make it perfect for fans of no-holds-barred horror.

Prepare yourself for an overdose of domestic dread.

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