Written by: Daniel Hadley
Directed by: Marcus Dunstan
Cast: Josh Stewart, Madeline Zima, Juan Fernandez, Daniella Alons
Did you ever think that Home Alone needed more bloodshed? In my eyes Kevin McCallister was a total sociopath and given the right push could have easily moved on from causing cringe inducing amounts of pain to cold blooded murderer and if that is something you would like to see then The Collector should sate your appetite until the gritty Home Alone remake. That’s not to say that The Collector doesn’t stand on its own.
After Arkin Breaks into a rich family’s home to steal a large diamond he quickly realises that something isn’t quite right about the house, soon he discovers the family have been taken hostage. Several deadly traps have been set and a deranged killer is lurking in the shadows. This is the kind of movie I love. Many people have been quick to dismiss this as a Saw knock off and given that it was written to be a Saw prequel by the writers of a few of the Saw sequels, and with the abundance of traps, the comparison isn’t entirely off base. But the traps and the wince inducing violence are where the similarities end. The Collector should be viewed as something more than just a knock off, this is a very well-crafted suspense thriller as well as a great introduction to a great horror Movie villain.
Unlike Jigsaw the Collector (played here by Juan Fernandez) is a very hands on serial killer and his iconic mask and soulless eyes give him an incredibly menacing look. His brutal merciless approach to dispatching his victims make him incredibly formidable, the cat and mouse game that ensues between him and Arkin is tense, thrilling and terrifying. Josh Stewart is great as Arkin, he’s a thief sure but he has a heart and he literally pours his blood sweat and tears into helping the family trapped within the house.
Marcus Dunstan directed a very slick looking film. The camera work is great, and the way the camera swiftly glides and hovers through the hallways is fantastic. I also can’t fault the script, it’s great to see a horror movie without clichés, the characters here are believable and Arkin makes for a very grounded hero. His actions make sense and although one decision is seen by some as stupid, I see it as human. Arkin is a man with a conscience and I won’t spoil what that decision is but you’ll know it when you see it.
Another slight similarity to Saw is the films grim tone. The violence shown here can be hard to watch at times, its nothing overly gruesome but it’s cruel and vicious and that often hits harder than overblown gore. Arkin is shown to be a desperate man and his decisions here are just that, desperate. Arkin is a man who would love to just get out but his conscience won’t let him, that makes for a good character and a likable one, and it’s tough to see a good likeable character go through what Arkin does in this film, but that’s what great horror is built on.
The Collector is a criminally underrated horror movie. Check it out and give it the recognition it deserves. In my eyes the collector himself should be just as big a horror icon as Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers and Ghostface