When presented with this over-stylized piece of shit, I thought to myself "Do I deserve this ungovernable martyrdom by way of film?" and the answer turned to be a solid "Yes." I groaned throughout the music video-esque credits and held my face through my palm as the font seized its way across the screen in quick-cut shots along with over-contrasted shots of simplicity. I found out however, this was nothing compared to the introduction to our "anti-hero" as he moped his way across the screen with a general air of unpleasantness to him. Consider me shocked when the end credits rolled and I discovered that the film was actually a decent romp in what is stupidly referred to these days as "torture porn."
To get to the digestible portions of this film, your resolve will be tested. Watching Josh Stewart creep around screen with his character's issues on his sleeve while avoiding the eye of a reclusive killer will turn you off if not handled with delicate eyes. The thinly veiled plot of The Collector is as follows: Ex-con needs money so he attempts to bungle a house only to find that a serial killer has imprisoned the tenants in the basement and ulterior motives might be at stake. Not too shabby for something that could be brainstormed by a lower level primate. It's not just the story that propels this film into watchable territory, it's the Collector himself. Juan Fernández doesn't do much on screen but it's in this cold, stoic killer that evil protrudes, especially through the highly effective mask created for the villain. Hands down, one of the greater motive driven maniacs in recent low budget horror.
To reiterate my shock at finding this film not just tolerable but actually enjoyable and clever, I will again announce my limitless dislike for Marcus Dunstan. He, as a collective, co-wrote and created the Feast trilogy. While the first Feast was a no-rules splatter film with the likes of Henry Rollins as he facetiously graced the screen, the other two sequels shriveled up into a flaccid shadow of what it once was. I blame Dunstan solely for the two train wrecks and to be fair in every regard, he was responsible partly for some of the worst horror series' known to the film community e.g. Saw and Feast. So without a steady track record, who am I to lay my trust on this wavering line yet again? Well, that is in the past. I had and I was assured a comfortable horror experience while also being unnerved at the looming monster lurking through the halls decorated with some wildly over-the-top traps while still being tangibly believable.
When the grand finale was afoot and there was only one place to go but hell, The Collector remained a tact thriller with gratuitous violence and nudity in all the right places. The delivery was calculated and intense with an ending that will have you rewinding your film to the beginning and searching for something, anything to calm this clambering curiosity. I expected this film to be nothing more than an exercise in rebellion against quality and focused more on the gore sake of horror but I was pleasantly reassured that this film only has one place to go and it moves steadily in that right direction. I honestly can't wait for the sequel in hopes for a bit more light to be shed on this "Collector" character. I'd be lying if I said he didn't make the film.