Written by: Daniel Hadley
Directed by: Marcus Dunstan
Cast: Josh Stewart, Emma Fitzpatrick, Lee Tergesen
The Collection was a movie that left me in two minds; it was a fun action horror movie but it wasn’t on par with its prequel. Horror sequels often don’t measure to their predecessors but given that this was from the exact same team behind the original I held out hope and if this had been a standalone movie I would have liked it a lot more. But as a sequel to The Collector it’s a bit of a disappointment. The first was a straight up horror movie while this is more of an action movie, that has worked in the past Alien and Aliens, 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later for example, but the shift in tone worked for those movies as the subject matter lent well to an action movie. Both zombies (or infected if you want to be precise) and aliens can work inside of action movies, but imagine if Halloween 2 had taken this route, or Friday the 13th – it would be more than a little jarring.
After Arkin (played again by Josh Stewart) escapes from the collector he is taken by a group of mercenaries and forced into helping them rescue The Collector’s newest victim, Elena – the daughter of a very wealthy businessman. It’s a simple set up if a little unoriginal, but not something I expected to see after watching the original. It’s the set up to an action movie not a horror, then its when they get to the Collector’s hideaway that the huge shift in tone from its predecessor really shows. After seeing the first movie I was under the assumption that the collector had somewhat of a small operation, only taking a few people here and there without detection. Well it turns out that the police are well aware of his activities and he has taken dozens of people on a far grander scale for a far more sinister plan.
When the mercenaries make their way into the collectors base of operation they are greeted by his guard dogs, psychotic tongue-less men, and women kept in check with various aggression inducing dissociative and hallucinatory narcotics. After that madness we are shown one of the first of many hand to hand combat scenes. like I said this is an action movie no doubt about it, a sick and twisted action movie but an action movie none the less. The Collector picks of the mercenaries like an evil Batman. He once again shows that he is a formidable villain. Seriously, Brian Mills – from Taken would have a hard time dealing with this guy and Arkin massively bulked up from the first movie (seriously he’s ripped) is a hell bent on revenge and when the two of them throw down its damn cool.
Then after a while we are greeted with the Titular Collection and it really is something to behold. I won’t spoil it for you here but it’s some twisted stuff, the Collector has constructed himself quite the deadly playhouse and the collection itself is the centre point in all the madness, the art department really went to town on these designs and they’re damned cool in a messed up kind of way. That’s what this movie is: cool, it’s a slick action horror movie and it’s also a lot of fun… but unfortunately the tension and suspense from the first film is absent here and the movie suffers for it.
Once again it’s a slick looking movie and the camerawork is great, acting is good across the board and overall I did enjoy The Collection. It almost felt like a movie adapted from a horror comic or graphic novel, whereas the first movie felt a lot more grounded in reality, this one feels quite a bit more over the top, and if you can accept that then you’ll have a good time with it. I also really loved the ending – again no spoilers but it’s a strong conclusion.
It’s not as good as the first and it’s a very different type of film, but it’s a fun movie nonetheless, the Collector is still a great villain and Arkin is still a great character, and in this movie he shows he’s also a badass. The guy is relentless! How many times have you seen a guy get stabbed in the face, shrug it off and keep fighting?