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The Collection (2012)

the collection movie poster

A man who escapes from the vicious grips of the serial killer known as “The Collector” is blackmailed to rescue an innocent girl from the killer’s booby-trapped warehouse.

Okay, first things fucking last (name that film!?) The Collection is a sequel to the 2009 movie The Collector. Please feel free to click the title to see my full review of it, but in summary, I liked it. I mean, I really liked it. This sequel is written and directed by the same guys, and they are still coming at this on the back of the successful ‘Saw‘ series. So why the hell does this feel like a brand new team have come in and taken everything that was good about the first movie, and messed it up?

the collector and his trunk

the collector and his trunk

In case anyone is interested, the plot for this sequel goes a little something like this. When The Collector takes his latest victim (Emma Fitzpatrick), the only survivor of his previous activities (Josh Stewart) joins forces with a team of mercenaries (led by Lee Tergesen) her wealthy father (Christopher McDonald) has hired to rescue her. It’s good that events pick up immediately where the previous movie left off. I really did look forward to knowing how this would play out, and watched back to back with the first one, it’s a pretty seamless transition. A few minutes into The Collection and I’ll be honest, I was excited! Then we got to a nightclub and I realised this was no longer the same killer from the first movie (quite literally, since they replaced the actor, not that it matters). Dunstan and writing partner Melton may have thought they were crafting a new killer for the genre, and after the first movie that’s what I hoped too. Instead it feels as though they were lazily ripping off the Jigsaw mythos and making a poorer version of him.

Emma Fitzpatrick

Emma Fitzpatrick – the missing girl

The plot of the first film was simple but so effective. We had a burglar named Arkin, played by Josh Stewart who sneaks into a mansion at night and is surprised and abducted by a psychotic killer who has already broken into the house. The house was full of traps, but they were traps that could have been set up by one man. Nothing too elaborate, and in a sense, very realistic in that it could happen. Fast forward to The Collection, and we now see a very public kidnapping, but also a huge public mass execution. The nightclub scene, I don’t know, I can’t work out if it’s genius or ridiculous. I never want to give away spoilers as such, but the traps he set up to kill everyone in this nightclub, it just felt far-fetched to say the least. One huge trap literally mows through the clubbers and tears them in half. How the hell does one man make something like that without the nightclub owner realising. Unless it was his club……..I’m just confused and have so many questions, and sadly things didn’t get much better from here.

Nighclub aftermath

Nighclub aftermath

Events in this sequel show us our killer is back and notorious. He is being hunted and talked about on the news, but no one knows anything about him. Arkin is the only man to have ever survived him, and luckily the filmmakers could get Josh Stewart back to reprise his roles as Arkin, as he is fantastic and the saving grave for this movie. He is forced to lead a black ops team to catch the madman and rescue the girl by the girls rich father. The film just descended into an action film from here, and felt like a Resident Evil movie, in more ways than one. The group head into the killer’s lair (the way they find the lair is actually pretty cool and I won’t give that away) and find it to be one maze-like house of horrors.

the collection

Dogs and guns are frustrating and don’t bring anything good to the movie

I was really looking forward to seeing The Collection. Finally getting to see inside the killers mind, why he does what he does, how does he do it, and getting a glimpse of inside his headquarters. I couldn’t wait, and yet after having seen it, I do feel a little disappointed. Well, very disappointed. I love and appreciate the fact that Dunstan & Melton have tried to make something new, and after the first film I felt it was different enough to stand alone and be interesting enough to go into a franchise. Now having seen the follow-up, it just feels stale and unoriginal. I had such high hopes, but it seems as though they took a bigger budget and just gave everyone guns. We don’t really learn anything about the killer, and there were just so many negatives for me personally with The Collection.

Arkin

Arkin face to face with ‘the collector’

Josh Stewart is fantastic again as Arkin, and is the only real highlight for me. I’m not even going to go into the acting of the others in this film, they were average, I feel the script is more to blame than them. Although Emma Fitzpatrick was solid here, nothing more, but she got better as the film went on. Visually, from the guys that brought you Saw & Feast, there were the usual fast cuts and loud music. It was dark, bloody, grisly and horrific at times, but just felt like a really poor Saw film. If you’ve ever seen the original Saw, there is a scene where two cops go into Jigsaws lair to catch him. Imagine that scene stretched across 70 minutes or so, with a couple of extra cops and more ridiculous traps. We’ve seen it before. Sure, there is lots of blood and torture, but it didn’t feel real and just came across as glorified and ridiculous at times. Especially the nightclub scenes. But if you like seeing people tortured in traps or having limbs broken then this might tick some boxes for you.

the collection

one of his ‘collection’

And yet I would still score this a 6 out of 10, because I will watch it again, and the way the two films fit together should be applauded, and it really did work. There were glimpses throughout of something special lurking underneath all of this, and I just wish they had kept our killer as simplistic as possible, rather than making him seem like an over the top Halloween style killer. The ending was brilliant and far and away the biggest surprise. A good ending can redeem a film sometimes, and it definitely helped bump up my final rating. If we ever get a third part to this trilogy, I just hope they go back to the basics of the first movie.

6 stars

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44 Comments

  1. meeradarjiyr1

     /  February 18, 2013

    Great review! Had a similar view…Josh stewart was brill! Great ending to the film too.

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    • Thank you!

      Yeah he really carries the show here, and the ending was a pleasant surprise. Initially it annoyed me then I liked where they went with it 🙂

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      • meeradarjiyr1

         /  February 18, 2013

        Yeah same, though I was glad he physically got back at him in the same way he did to Arkin. But I really wanted to see his face! It humorously quite reminded me home alone, with all the booby traps etc. Yet of course a much more gory and bloody one!

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        • I mean, we saw his face in the first movie…… Then they recast him and make him invincible. Ah well. I like the Home Alone comparison! Just yeah a little more dark 🙂

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  2. theipc

     /  February 18, 2013

    Great post, Champ!!

    I know you really like the SAW movies but I always thought they were ridiculous. No person in the history of the world is that smart to envision everyone’s moves and make elaborate traps like that. I was hoping for something more with The Collector but I thought the same thing throughout: REALLY??? ONE guy did all of that?? really now…. anyway – I still kind of liked it and looked forward to the sequel and then I saw – in the trailer – a bunch of tarantulas crawling around so I was all “fuck that”.

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    • theipc

       /  February 18, 2013

      Stumbled –

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    • SAW is not ridiculous! As Jigsaw says, if you know people, you get good at anticipating their moves. He left it up to chance, and always gave people a way out. He was a master engineer. Anyway I digress 🙂

      The Collector was good and the writers made a huge effort for all the traps to be easily obtained, you know, bear traps, wire, nails etc. I liked their attention to detail. With this sequel though……..crazy elaborate. And yeah, Im a huge baby when it comes to real spiders, but there is only one scene where he releases tarantulas, and a few crawl on her……they dont hurt her its fine! 🙂

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    • And thanks for the Stumble 🙂

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    • Only lasts a few seconds with the spiders 🙂

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  3. For some reason, this movie was really on my radar but I missed it in theaters. It seemed pretty damn cool for a horror film. Good review, too, and I’m glad you were honest. I still have a huge curiosity however and hope that I can give it a better score when I see it. That’s empty optimism though lol.

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    • Have you seen the first one? If not, watch that first, as it is way way better. This one is good in parts, but as a fan I had such high hopes, and came away a little deflated. I would love to see you score it higher, but Ive seen most people be a lot harsher than I am!! Cheers buddy 🙂

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  4. foxxiecinnamon

     /  February 18, 2013

    Had no idea the Collector got a sequel, I remember quite liking the first one. It was nice and focused being mostly set in that one house with all those nasty traps.

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    • Yeah the location of the first one really helped, gave it a real nice confined feel. Sadly the sequel has a bigger budget and more elaborate locations, so to me it lost a lot of what made the first so good. Maybe you will like it more than me if you get chance to see it 😛

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  5. wordschat

     /  February 18, 2013

    I think I saw the Collector listed on Netflix. Does sound decent but the sequel not so as you say. Aside from Amour looks like this was a lacklustre weekend.

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  6. This sounds too freaky and gory for my taste, Ty. Even the description and photos here made me shudder, ahah.

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    • Thats fair enough Ruth, thats how I feel with love stories normally! LOL. There were worse pictures but my wife reads it and has a certain phobia for certain bits so I keep them images away! Thanks for stopping by anyway Ruth 😛

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  7. Gonna have to disagree with you on this one. I actually watched this for the first time last night, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think a lot of it boils down to whether you like the kind of movie this is trying to be. Your Resident Evil comparison is spot on, but then I love those movies and am more than happy to suspend belief if it means gigantic contraptions doing ridiculously gory things that in reality would just never work.

    If you’re in the mood for a brilliant psychological horror, then this probably isn’t the best option. If you’re in the mood for a decent film with clever contraptions and a fair bit of gore, then you could do far worse.

    Great review though!

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    • Thats cool James!!

      I dont mind those movies you describe, Im happy to suspend my beliefs, but when the first part of this franchise was so rooted in the believable, I dont know why they would then make him into a superhuman zombie testing bad guy. Kind of how I felt with REC 3 – as a standalone film, fine. But as part of a series I felt it didnt respect the original. But hey, opinions are all good, and I appreciate your thoughts. Glad you enjoyed it!

      Cheers buddy 😛

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    • I think it’s also because I’ve just finished watching all the Final Destination movies, and realised I’m a sucker or deaths that involve a near-impossible chain of events that result in a very painful-looking end. But you’re right, as a tie in to the first movie, it doesn’t really work.

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  8. Victor De Leon

     /  February 18, 2013

    Great review, Tyson! I enjoyed both films but the first was slick and brutal (if a bit unbelievable in parts) but I agree with your perspective on this one. I do hope the third will get back to basics. Good job, man. Thanks.

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    • I mean, there has to be a third one right!? But yeah I hope they remove the ludicrous bits from this one. The nightclub, I kind of felt it was cool and then realised just how dumb it was! LOL. Thanks Vic, much appreciated 😛

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  9. I had a feeling this would happen. This first one was such a great surprise for me and I thought it would be perfect just left alone. Not knowing the killer or anything about him just made him much scarier, like Myers from Halloween – less is better, but then they made this one. I still haven’t seen it, but from your review it sounds like all of my fears for a sequel were realized. They should have just left well enough alone, but they never do.

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    • I guess I feel slightly different in that I wanted a sequel, and looked forward to this. Yet I came away with the feeling that everything good from the first had been undone. Never really been about money since they cost little to make and promote, maybe a third could rectify things in the way Paranormal Activity 3 improved the franchise. Time will tell 🙂

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  10. Giving this a miss

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  11. “The nightclub scene, I don’t know, I can’t work out if it’s genius or ridiculous.”

    Let me help you out. Its ridiculous. LOL 😀

    I hammered this one when it came out, I think I gave it an F. 😦 I can see the 6 of 10 though if youre fond of the first one. 😉

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    • Yeah, I remember your review, and I still stand by it being better to have seen the first one! If anything it makes this look worse, man you’d of scored it even lower had you seen the original! 😉

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  12. davecrewe

     /  February 19, 2013

    I somehow haven’t even heard of this series before! I’ll have to check out the first one before I decide if I’ll venture into the murkier waters of the sequel…it sounds like you need to enjoy the first to have any hope of liking the sequel!

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    • Really!? Cool, there we go! For sure I’d start with The Collector, if you hate it there’s no point seeing the sequel! Hope you get chance to see it buddy. 🙂

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  13. Ahah, so you find love stories scarier then Ty? 😉 I guess we all have our preferences when it comes to film genres. I’m not fond of rom-coms either, but a well-crafted love stories definitely are my cup of tea. I don’t like horror as I really don’t want to be plagued by nightmares.

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    • LOL – yeah I’m just not a love story guy. There are exceptions (True Romance!!) and things like Silver Linings Playbook surprise me, but mainly I steer clear. I will watch most things though, and thats why chatting with bloggers is so good as they point me in the direction of new films. And then having someone like yourself still take the time to comment on a predominantly horror blog like mine when you dont like the genre, I really appreciate that! Thanks Ruth 😛

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      • Oh we can’t all agree on everything, but it’s still fun to check out what others have to say about films you don’t necessarily want to see. Btw, since you live in the UK, come and check out a trailer I have posted. Don’t worry it’s NOT a romantic movie, ahah. Let me know what you think!

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    • Ok, unless your tricking me I’ll head over and check it out a little later on 🙂

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  14. I actually enjoyed both films equally even though like you said they feel different despite having the same writers and director. I think the main reason is that they were given a bigger budget and thus they were able to turn the lights on for a lot of the kills as oppose to the dark atmosphere of the first one going more for the gore than subtle shock. I think the killer is one of the best of the past decade or two and really dug Fitzpatrick in this. Nice write up!

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    • I thought the killer was going to be something special, but after seeing this he felt too Michael Myers for me…..without trying to spoil anything!

      Glad you enjoyed the sequel as much as you did. I really want a part 3 to see if they can go back to the roots!

      Thanks, and cheers for stopping by! 🙂

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  1. The Collector (2009) | Head In A Vice
  2. No One Lives (2012) | Head In A Vice
  3. Movie Review: The Collection | A Zombie for the Holidays
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  5. Movie Review: The Collection | Books, Movies, Poetry

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