March 29, 2010

Review: The Collector (2009)

"Now this is how it's done."
Cast Members of Note- Josh Stewart, Andrea Roth, Madeline Zima, Michael Reilly Burke, Karley Scott Collins, and Juan Fernandez as The Collector!

This is a story about a loser named Arkin, who is behind on his child support, and decides to steal an expensive uncut gem to catch himself up. He partners with a seedy pimp, scouts out a house, installs their windows, plans a robbery, and basically ruins his entire life in the process. You have to imagine that any guy named Arkin is prone to mess up his life somehow though, right?

Arkin, in red.
After having a tea party with a little girl (at said house he plans to rob) Arkin takes off to Downtown Compton for a drank, returns later that night when the house is deserted, and starts safe-cracking... only the house isn't deserted! Nope, it seems as if The Collector showed up while Arkin was gone, took the owners of the house hostage, booby-trapped everything, and started hurting them in really sick ways.

A really sick way to hurt someone, in Yellow.
With their oldest daughter out on a date, and their youngest girl hiding somewhere in the house, Arkin sets out to free them, find the kid, and get the hell out of the house. Of course that doesn't go so well. The Collector is a pretty smart maniac you see, and once the oldest daughter comes home for a post-date pounding, everything really goes to shit... Not literally to shit, but things do get pretty bad for everyone, which is shitty, so... yeah.

The Collector, in Black.
And so Arkin and The Collector decide to play a game of hide-and-go-seek all throughout the house, with the added challenge of trap-dodging thrown in to make things more interesting. Can Arkin find the little girl, save the family, and get the hell out of the house? Are they all screwed? What exactly is The Collector collecting? I won't spoil anything that happens for you here, but suffice it to say that it doesn't quite end the way that I figured it would.

Argento tribute, in Blue.
Not often does a movie come along and truly impress us here at THC, and especially when it comes to me. I don't nitpick ruthlessly, and I try to find some good in everything, but so many films just fall short of what they could be, that it has left me a jaded viewer (wink, wink) after seeing so many Horror flicks, and movies in general.

The Collector though, managed to far exceed any expectations that I had for the movie, and left me a bit breathless when all was said and done. I think the cat-and-mouse thing that went on throughout the movie is what really got me, because it was so good and felt natural where many movies use the same device and it feels forced. Tension is the name of the game in this one, and the level of tension the film maintains throughout is palpable.

It also struck me how the director used so many different colors throughout the movie. Reds blues, yellows... I tried to use pictures that showed the color schemes off a bit to illustrate it visually, because I found it all so fantastic. Also, I could be way off base, but I swear that one particular scene was a nod to the color-rich cinematography genius of Dario Argento... It just had to be.

What's in the box ?!?
I get why he went back for the kid, I mean how could you just leave her to such a grisly fate, but damn he was home-free! There may be honor amongst thieves, but that does not include kids! UGH! I would have gone back too, but I still screamed at the screen "No, just run!" He either didn't hear me, or just flat out ignored me.

It was the damn tea party!
I have one nagging gripe about this movie, and that is how in the hell did The Collector have time to set up so many effective traps all over the house, between the time our hero leaves, and when he returns to look for the gem? It's a small complaint, but man there were traps everywhere, and some of them weren't so simple, so it just makes me wonder. Maybe he's just had a lot of practice?

Then again, he look pretty determined.
Ha! This movie is packed to the rafters with sick, twisted, copious amounts of blood and gore, and I have to imagine it will satisfy most gore hounds out there.

Lots of torture in this one too.
Oh yes, we get to see the sexy Madeline Zima in all of her heaving glory, and it is good. Glorious even. Of course, The Collector's meddling ass had to interrupt the sex scene, ruining what I believe would have been full nudity scrumping, and possibly some bondage... but the boobs were a win, none the less.

Oh, sweet Jesus.
Don't steal. Also, never go back for the kid; kids are cunning, they can survive on their own.

Also, never listen to the sexy chick when she says "Come on, it'll be fine!" Because it won't.
This movie was packed with so much nastiness and tension, that all I could say after watching it was "Damn!" Not since the first Saw movie have I been fairly blown away by a "fresh" concept and it's execution, equally. I'm sorry I missed this one in theaters last summer, but am glad I caught it on DVD. If you haven't seen it yet, you need to snag a copy when it hits DVD on April 6th.


The Collector is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD.

Andrea Roth and Madeline Zima are special, special girls. In fact, let's take a look at more Madeline in the post below...


  1. Nice review. Now let me issue...


    I am challenging you to make a post about the TEN MOVIES THAT HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR LIFE THE MOST. That is to say, ten movies that have shaped you as a person and a movie lover.

    Here’s a link to the banner:

    Feel free to split it up if you’d like, and challenge as many others as you'd like!

  2. yes! this movie ruled so hard it hurts. very, very well evaluated my friend.

  3. Yes, this ruled hard for sure!

    And Warfreak...neat Idea. Hmmm...

  4. I am new to this site, and am looking for movies that I may have missed, while also reading reviews of movies that I have seen, The Collector being one of them.
    I am not sure if you have reviewed the sequel yet, The Collection, and you well may have. I just wanted to add this, that the first movie was very much a nod to the original 'Alien' movie, being claustrophobic and dark, one person taking on a monster and trying to save his 'shipmates'; While the sequel, IMO, is very much like 'Aliens', where a team of skilled 'troops' are sent in to kill the monster, only to be wiped out on by one, and leaving the survivor with the first movie to battle the monster once and for all.

  5. Welcome, Mike.

    We did review the sequel. All of our reviews are sorted by year and decade, under the "Review Archives" tab at the top. I think The Collection was 2012?