By almost all measures, The Collection isn’t a movie that should exist. A sequel to the lightly regarded The Collector, a film cobbled together of an unused Saw script. The original hit at the tail end of horror’s extreme torture phase, and it came and went without much fanfare. Yet director Marcus Dunstan and his co-writer Patrick Melton returned for a second go-round. What’s more surprising than the fact the The Collection, now out on DVD/Blu-Ray/VOD exists at all is that it’s a pretty damn entertaining film. The followup dumps most of the extreme torture in favor of a more traditional slasher film.
The Collection works under the assumption that you missed the first and brings the viewer up to speed with a brief montage played over scratchy news clips and flashbacks. For those just joining in, a serial killer known as The Collector kills his victims with a set of painstakingly detailed traps and always kidnaps one victim in order to add them to his “collection”. This time around, he targets a party at an underground club. Fifteen minutes into the film and a few hundred hipsters, preppies, junkies and bromeisters have met their gory end at his hands. In all the hub bub and confusion, our would be heroine Elena (Emma Fitzpatrick) releases Arkin (Josh Stewart-a holdover from the first film) from his captivity only to take his place in the trunk. Arkin manages to escape, waking up in a hospital bed severely injured, wanted by the police for questioning, but alive and free.
Fortunately for Elena her dad is Shooter McGavin (Christopher McDonald) and he eats pieces of shit like The Collector for breakfast. Dad calls on the elite hit squad/extraction team he keeps at the ready for these very situations, and they in turn break Arkin out of the hospital and enlist him in finding The Collector’s lair.
I should mention at this point the The Collection is a film that works much better if you decide to turn off as many brain cells as possible. Otherwise the part of your brain responsible for pointing out when plot devices make no sense is going to shoot off the flare gun and sound the alarms far too often when watching the film. My advice would be to kill off those pesky brain cells with delicious, booze soaked beverages which may or may not contain a tiny umbrella.
The slasher element picks up once Arkin and his merry band of cannon fodder make their way into the killer’s lair, which naturally resides in the abandoned warehouse section of the city. The warehouse is a veritable funhouse except instead of mirrors that make you look like you’re ten feet tall it’s equipped with rabid meth heads that have been forced to chew out their own tongues who will chase you screaming down the hall until you trigger a device that will send a four hundred pound spiked pendulum crashing into your face.
It helps to think of The Collector as Evil Batman. Imagine is after watching his parents gunned down in Crime Alley, Bruce Wayne said to himself “Sweet, now I can stay up all night and watch beastiality porn and read about serial killers” then decided to use his vast wealth to become the world’s most dangerous serial killer. His leather bondage gear is the Batsuit minus the cowl’s ears and cape. He’s obviously loaded since the hundreds of traps he creates can’t be constructed from Dollar Store castoffs. He’s mastered a slew of fighting styles and moves with the silence of a ninja. He’s definitely Evil Batman.
With a handful of highlight reel kill scenes and a brisk pace that pushes the action along, The Collection is an enjoyable, fun but light modern slasher. That’s almost as surprising as the fact that this film exists at all, so mazel tov to Dunstan and Melton. You can tell they have a third film in mind with the little coda at the end, but even there they provide a nice twist on the “presumed dead killer gets the last scare” trope. This one is worthy of a rental or on demand purchase.