A collection you can get rid of!
One of the first reviews I wrote for Downright Creepy was for The Collector in 2009. I argued that even though it made little sense, it was a lot of fun to watch and I gave it a rating of four out of five “creepy kids”. Since then, I have encountered nobody who enjoyed it as much as I did. And as unlikely as a sequel seems for this barely-known, little-seen movie, one is nevertheless arriving in theaters. And it’s appropriate that it opens around Thanksgiving, because The Collection is a real turkey.
The opening offers promise of an interesting story. In snippets of news reports, it’s revealed that the serial madman from the first movie has been on a killing spree in the city, with bodies piling up and people gone missing. In an elaborate mass murder at an exclusive nightclub, he snatches a new victim, Elena (Emma Fitapatrick) while at the same time, Arkin (Josh Stewart), his victim from the end of The Collector, escapes. Since Arkin is the only one to have survived at the hands of The Collector, Elena’s father (Christopher McDonald) “persuades” him to join an elite rescue team to hunt the villain and find his daughter.
I think it’s a clever set-up that could have extended the thrills and chills of the first movie, as well as solidified the series as a real franchise. But it goes nowhere. If The Collector was far-fetched, it’s a perfect exercise in logic when compared to The Collection. Never mind that Arkin goes from one minute lying in the hospital battered, bruised and beaten to the next minute remembering where he was held captive and leading a posse into the lair. That’s the shortest suspension of disbelief you’ll experience in The Collection.
The ingenious traps and creative coincidences of The Collector are nowhere to be found in The Collection. I take that back. They may be, but the movie is so poorly lit and so sloppily edited that you certainly can’t tell. The abandoned warehouse (really, police didn’t look there?) could/should have been a funhouse of horror for our maniac. But he must have used all his good ideas on other people’s homes and the nightclub mentioned above, because there’s not a single set piece that compensates for the movie’s shoddy production values.
This may be a spoiler, but, come on, you’re not going to see this movie anyway. There’s a tiny bit of logic in our hero’s plan to escape the warehouse: shooting a homeless person keeping warm by a trashcan fire outside might attract the police’s attention. But who is going to call the police from this desolate location? And the fact that a split second later, police cars and ambulances appear out of nowhere, is just too ridiculous an idea to accept, not to mention the fact that these first responders must be deaf since they cannot hear anyone shouting from the warehouse window a few yards away.
All this would be forgivable if The Collection offered at least a couple elaborate traps and gruesome deaths. It’s gruesome, all right, but not in a clever or original way. It’s all the deaths with none of the suspense. How a movie like this can get a major theatrical release while other, far better movies go straight to DVD, I’ll never understand. Although I am a horror movie collector, this one will definitely not be added to my collection.