Are you a fan of “Saw” and other related torture movies, this will be your cup of tea. But if you were tired of the whole “Saw” saga after part three, you better skip “The Collection” because you can’t call it very original. This sequel to “The Collector” (which I’ve never seen) begins impressive, has an anticipated open end and is terribly boring in the middle, with ridiculously improbable situations. It’s never really exciting and ultimately it becomes a cat and mouse game in a big, abandoned hotel, full of deadly and insane booby traps and with rooms that look more surreal as time goes by. To make it somewhat entertaining, I recommend to get a scarf and hat and equip yourself with bells and flags, so that you can encourage the contestants as a real enthusiastic supporter.
Because of the short running time, there’s no wasting of time at the beginning of the film. In a flash, we’re informed that the city is attacked by a ruthless serial killer called “The Collector”. We meet Elena (Emma Fitzpatrick) being towed along by some friends to an obscure secret nightclub. After a skirmish there with her boyfriend, she discovers a suitcase with Arkin (Josh Stewart) trapped in it. Arkin is a victim of the first film who survived and escaped his imprisonment. Only the nightmare starts back again here and short after you’ll get to see the most hallucinatory massacre ever. I did something I rarely do. I re-watched that part twice in a row. Once this bloody part is over, you can say that you’ve watched the best part and from here on it’s just a very long carnage. The creators of the film (especially the writer Patrick Melton, who is also responsible for “Saw IV, V, VI and VII“) paid more attention to the level of sadism than the story itself. You can easily guess what’ll come next. Elena is kidnapped by “The Collector” and Arkin is recruited as a guide for a group of mercenaries to rescue her out of the hands of this sadist.
Putting this film in the same league as “Saw“, is for the latter a little unworthy. The concept of “Saw” was of a very different nature and was put together somewhat subtler. I must admit that “Saw” impressed me. “Jigsaw” kidnapped people because he felt they deserved it, because of the sins they have committed in the past. The choice they had was to save themselves from their situation in a painful way or simply die. “The Collector” had no exact plan in mind in my opinion. He’s simply a psychopath who transforms his victims into grotesque artworks and saves it in formaldehyde. Or he uses them as a favorite pastime and tortures them brutally. His identity is not revealed in this film. It remains a sinister stranger who occasionally puts on a mask and starts killing brutally.
It’s totally absurd to talk about character development, because that’s missing completely. First you have the seemingly invincible killer who has a built-in GPS system because he always appears at the right time and in the right place in this fairly large hotel. And next we have a bunch of mercenaries who will solve the problem. The fact that the one they are hunting just reshaped a whole gang of disco goers into ready-to-eat barbecue packets, apparently doesn’t impress them and they enter unfamiliar terrain seemingly carefree. Their fate is also in hands of one person who knew where this lugubrious building was situated just by using clues he carved into his arm. I would clear off and leave the job to a whole army of soldiers.
There are also inexplicable moments in this film. The way they free themselves out of the metal cage is nonsense. And especially if you see how that person swings into action afterwards, as if it’s hunky dory. Most serial killers in other slasher movies have a motive and a pattern. This “Collector” guy apparently doesn’t have a clue about any plan and just goes on doing stuff. He kills, chops and cuts around, slices and assembles bodies, tortures and torments when he has time. He uses all kinds of instruments to achieve his goal (not like Michael Myers who invariably uses a butcher knife) and also he drugs a whole bunch of victims so they can be used as an army of zombies against intruders. And that’s not all. He also has a collection of raging dogs and tarantulas. You see, there’s enough variation. Ultimately, it’s just a mediocre film with a great deal of attention for the traps and the bloody effects of them. It’s a tough film and the pace is very fast. So fast that you may have missed some slaughtering. Don’t worry ! In the end you get a second chance to watch it again during the end credits. The end invites for a successor, but I’m sure I’m going to skip it.