The Collection is a sequel to the 2009 film, The Collector, also starring Josh Stewart (of the short-lived tv drama Dirt) as Arkin. As in the first film, the Collector kills all of his victims except for one, who he kidnaps and keeps inside a box. Stewart returns as the only person abducted to ever escape from the Collector, a psychotic entomologist/serial killer who collects his victims and assemble their body parts as an entomologist would his prized insect collection.
The movie is about a girl named Elena Peters (played by Emma Fitzpatrick) living with her wealthy father in a town where missing persons rate is a major concern. Her boyfriend bails on their date one evening, and this frees up her schedule, allowing her to go hang out with her best friend and best friend’s brother at a very private club in town. Little does she know that she’ll find her loser boyfriend there locking lips with another woman. She punches him and isolates herself in a random room. There she finds a red box with Arkin kicking and punching inside to be let out. She releases Arkin from the box without realizing that her action has just triggered a series of tragic and very brutal events that sends a large rolling mechanism full of knives sweeping across the dance floor, slicing and dicing heads and limbs of unbeknownst victims. Elena witnesses these horrifying events including the death of her best friend but fails to escape. The Collector grabs her and takes her to his hideout in an old abandoned hotel. All the while, Arkin manages to escape from the Collector only to be forced back into the Collector’s life when Elena’s father sends out a personally arranged private unit to retrieve his missing daughter – a daunting task which requires the involuntary cooperation of Arkin.
This movie, following in the footsteps of Saw, certainly has some violent, bloody gruesome scenes. Like Saw, there are dangerous booby traps laid out around every corner, a small crew of would-be victims trapped inside a sadistic madman’s playhouse, and the infamous scene of voluntary dismemberment of one’s own body part to free oneself. Director Marcus Dunstan manages to up the ante on this one. Emma Fitzpatrick carries a solid performance. Josh Stewart adds a level of realism to a character so forced out of his wits that you can see the exhaustion, frustration and fear in his eyes (couldn’t help but noticed a little resemblance to Edward Norton in his film debut Primal Fear). The Collector, played by Randall Archer, never shows his face to the audience and his on-screen presence isn’t at all as intimidating as Leatherface of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The Collection will unlikely generate the same buzz and screams as some of the other films of the same genre.
Nevertheless, this is still a movie for fans of Saw, but not quite the movie for true horror movie fans. It’s just not that scary. Most of what you see here has already been done before in one way or another. It does however redeem itself with a satisfying ending that leaves the franchise open for another sequel, hopefully a more improved one at that.