The best thing about “The Collector” is that it is not a remake of the creepy Oscar nominated Terence Stamp movie of the same name. Instead two alum of the “Saw” franchise, Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton, have partnered up to make the kind of film you’d expect from the writers of “Saw IV,” “V” and “VI.” It’s a gory story about an ex-con turned day laborer (Josh Stewart) who, in an attempt to get some easy money to save his family, breaks into his employer’s house to steal a rare gem. Of course, also inside the house is a nasty surprise—a psychopathic “Collector” (Juan Fernandez) who sets a series of Rube Goldberg-esque booby traps to kill both the residing family and our burglar hero.
“The Collector’s” unholy mix of gorno and heist flick plays like a mash-up of “Saw” and “Home Alone” with extra gore and no jokes. In fact there isn’t much of anything here except for some stylish photography and an anxiety inducing soundtrack.
There are, I guess, as many inventive ways to kill someone as there are people to kill, but the audience isn’t going to care about the ways and means if they don’t care about the characters, and that is “The Collectors” downfall. These characters are so cardboard the most humane thing to do with them would be to sort and recycle them.
Josh Stewart is trying hard here. He’s the kind of character that, if he didn’t have bad luck, as the song goes, wouldn’t have no luck at all. That’s about it for character development here, but in a movie where the characters are so thin, I’ll take it.
What I can’t accept, however, is the dull, repetitious plot. “The Collector,” however, does get a couple of things right—the soundtrack effectively creates a scary atmosphere, and it looks kinda cool—but it is marred by a silly ending that sets it up for a sequel.
It’s clearly being prepped to become the “Saw” of the next decade, a never ending franchise that has kept Dunstan and Melton busy for the last few years. The difference is “The Collector” is a pointless celebration of sadism, whereas the “Saw” movies, gory as they may be, at least have a twisted morality to them—the people in the traps are being punished for their sins. Let’s just hope “The Collector” doesn’t collect enough dollars at the box office to warrant a second installment.