Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Collector

The Collector 2009
Director: Marcus Dunstan
Writers: Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan
Starring Josh Stewart, Michael Reilly Burke, Andrea Roth, Juan Fernandez, Karley Scott Collins, Daniella Alonso and Madeline Zima
The moniker “torture porn” seems to be bandied around a lot with modern horror movies. Films like the Saw and Hostel films are prime examples of this genre and I think The Collector falls into this category. Though in my opinion a horror film is just a horror film and this film really delivers a good one. This is a film that combines elements from both The People under the Stairs and Saw and does it splendidly. This film creates some unique traps and a great horror villain and I think it is great that you never discover who the collector is and why he is doing this. The film is genuinely bloody and mean and I really appreciate that in my horror films. The suspense in the film is palatable and grueling and the director is able to hold the tenseness throughout the film and the viewer never knows what to expect throughout the entire film. The film also gives us a great sympathetic hero in Arkin. This is definitely a horror film that delivers and one I will definitely revisit; it has the requisite gore, some nice T and A and a great set up.
The plot basics are this, Arkin (Stewart) is hired to fix the windows at the Chase house in a secluded house in the middle of nowhere in Detroit. Arkin has problems his wife owes money to some loan sharks and desperately needs his help. He wants to help but his payment for the week is not enough. So, he decides to rob the safe of Michael Chase (Burke) to pay off these debts. When he arrives at the house he discovers a twisted maniac has captured the family and set grisly traps all over the house. Now Arkin just wants to find a way out of the house in one piece but discovers their daughter (Collins) needs his help, so he will risk his life to save her and to escape from this house of madness.
This is a fantastic horror film. Dunstan’s direction is solid, he sets up the tension of the house filled with traps really well. The cinematography of the film is flawless and I really loved the scene that used the bear traps to bloody effect. The script is solid as well; you really feel for Arkin’s character and want him to succeed. Even though he is a bad guy he has a good side that you cannot help but root for. The Collector is very mysterious and you never know much about him or why he is doing this and I like that. The cast is quite good. Stewart is a great lead and carries the heroic role very well. Fernandez as The Collector is great too; he never utters a line but really conveys his part with his body language. He reminded me a lot of Kane Hodder’s work as Jason. The brief role by Zima is great too; she is very sexy and very charismatic. The SFX and make up effects in the film are outstanding. I especially loved the bear trap scene; it is by far one of my favorite kills in recent horror films. The score by Jerome Dillon is very dark and gothic and really suits the piece. This is a great horror film and definitely going to make my top list of best horror I have seen this year.
This one gets 5 out of 5

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