The Collection doesn’t have a whole lot going for it outside of the two leads played by Josh Lucas and Emma Fitzpatrick, otherwise the plot is stale, the scares are scarce and the bad guy is pretty bland especially considering we don’t know much about him outside of his killing ways.
Lionsgate | R – 82 min. – $24.99 | March 26, 2013
Directed by: Marcus Dunstan
Writer(s): Patrick Melton & Marcus Dunstan (written by)
Cast: Josh Stewart, Emma Fitzpatrick, Lee Tergesen, Christopher McDonald, Randall Archer
Theatrical Release Date: November 30, 2012
Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Theatrical Trailer, Digital Copy
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.35
Subtitles: English SDH, English, Spanish
Disc Size: 21.8 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
THE MOVIE – 3.5/5
The Collection is the sequel to the 2009 film, The Collector which barely made a ripple at the box office managing a meager $9.4 million worldwide gross. So three years later, and a reported $10 million budget, the sequel gets a slightly larger theatrical release but managed an even smaller box office take ($6.8 million). Beyond the money, though, this movie is outlandish to the extreme but depending on your cinematic tendencies, this might be a good thing; for myself, I’ve grown tired of lazy horror films that knocking off the Saw movies.
The movie opens with a flashback. No, not a flashback from the previous film but on a man named Mr. Peters (CHRISTOPHER MCDONALD) and his young daughter, Elena, riding home from her mother’s funeral when their car gets t-boned. Fast forward to the present day and we find college-aged Elena (EMMA FITZPATRICK) on the phone with her boyfriend who has cancelled plans for the night but her best friend, and her brother, pulls her for a night out at a rave in a secret location. As luck would have it, and I guess there are no other party places in this town, Elena runs into her boyfriend who is getting down with another chick. She subsequently gives him a mighty punch to the face.
Heartbroken, Elena stumbles into a room, narrowly missing a trip wire, to find a strange box sitting in the middle of this room. She unlatches it and out falls Arkin (JOSH STEWART), who had been nabbed by the Collector at the end of the first movie. Of course, he’s in a panic needing to unlock devices but Elena doesn’t want to stick around, although what’s happening on the dance floor is far, far worse. Waiting and watching from above, the Collector starts a crop cutter, slicing and dicing hundreds of dancers into pieces and those who do escape get caught in yet another trap which, as Elena looks on at her best friend, crushing them to death, with the Collector once again admiring his work from above.
Arkin manages to escape out a second story window (using a dead body to cushion the fall) but Elena isn’t so lucky with the Collector nabbing her from behind as this is his M.O.: to leave behind a body count but take one person alive to perform his dastardly experiments. Arkin is taken to the hospital and magically recovers relatively quickly although he’s under police guard. His wife (played by Navi Rawat for any fans of “Numbers” out there) drops by for a tearful reunion but he soon sends her away after seeing roses with a note attached from the Collector.
Arkin then receives a midnight visit with a mercenary named Lucello (LEE TERGESEN), a longtime employ of Elena’s father, hiring him and a group of ex-military types to discover her whereabouts. Given the police are held to higher standards, Lucello and his team can bend the law and do whatever it takes and in exchange he can help Arkin get out of his problems (to which I’m not entirely sure what they were). In any case, Arkin agrees to help because while he was locked in the box, he made scratch marks on his arm with symbols to point the way to the Collector’s hideout, which they manages to get to: an abandoned wheat factory. Cue the theme to “Scooby-Doo: Where Are You?”
The rest of the 65-minutes or so have these mostly forgettable and cardboard-thin characters, save for Arkin and Elena, walking through the Collector’s factory of horrors with surprisingly precision-point snares/traps and to be dismantled in torturous ways although they are tame compared with the Saw sequels.
There’s little in The Collection that is imaginative and it more or less goes through the motion of a torture porn horror movie, providing little mystery behind the mask and instead make this yet another killer with seemingly supernatural powers a la Michael Meyers (talking about the sequels). The good news is, the film is only about 70-minutes when you take out the opening and end credits, complete with a freeze frame cast call to further pad the running time.
Now, I have found reading some of the reviews on the Net (none from IMDb) that there are two ways you can view this film: the first is it’s a forgettable horror movie with little imagination and even fewer surprises while the other is to check your brain at the door, ignore any sense of disbelief and sit back and enjoying the ride. For me, I have a hard time going with the latter mainly because I’ve seen so many horror movies that it comes to a certain point when I despise lazy screenwriting and instead focus on feeding the thirst for blood by certain segments of the population.
Co-written by Saw 4-7 vets Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, with the latter also directing, The Collection I suppose isn’t a complete waste of time but it doesn’t offer that much new and frankly wasn’t all that entertaining either outside of the scenes with the young and hopefully rising starlet Emma Fitzpatrick, whom, if there is a third movie, will take a starring role in. Outside of her and to Josh Stewart (another actor on the rise following his support role in The Dark Knight Rises), this movie is completely forgettable.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.25/5
This release does come with a matted slip cover. Inside is a slip with the code for the UltraViolet Digital Copy.
Audio Commentary – Co-Writer/Director Marcus Dunstan and Co-Writer Patrick Melton sit down for an amiable chat, talking about various aspects of filming The Collection from the casting, working with different crew members and other different parts of the filmmaking process.
Alternate Scenes (6:09; HD) – There are three scenes which got cut down but nothing of note although the “8MM” one is kind of cool but off style with the rest of the film.
A Director’s Vision (5:04; HD) – Director Dunstan gives his thoughts on making the movie and gets sound bites with the cast talking about their experiences with him to go along with behind-the-scenes footage.
Make-Up and Effects of The Collection (4:45; HD) – This shows off the make-up effects for the movie and more interview footage with those involved in the department.
Production Design (4:25; HD) covers the set design portion of the film headed by Graham Grace Walker (Pitch Black, Whiteout, “The Walking Dead”).
Special Effects of The Collection (5:46; HD) breaks-down the SFX on the movie, in particular the rave scene.
Stunts of The Collection (4:08; HD) takes a look at the, well, stunt work on the project.
Theatrical Trailer (2:12; HD)
Previews – Black Rock, Killer Joe
VIDEO – 4.5/5
Lionsgate releases The Collection on Blu-ray presented in its original 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer (MPEG-4 AVC codec). The picture here, as one would surmise, is pretty dark throughout save for the opening although even that was shot through a blue-lens it seems. Still, with the amount of dark scenes, that could lead to obvious signs of artifacting or pixilation and instead it was deep and stark. When we do get the lighter scenes, the detail levels are excellent and the color array, for what there is, looks nicely balanced.
AUDIO – 4.5/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track kicks in early and often from the rave scene to the Collector’s house of horrors with chains, creepy sounds and Charlie Clouser’s great score. Most of the action obviously takes place in the center and front channels but when we get some rain or dripping sounds, you can hear from the rear channels as well providing for one hell of a home theater viewing experience.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, The Collection doesn’t have a whole lot going for it outside of the two leads played by Josh Lucas and Emma Fitzpatrick, otherwise the plot is stale, the scares are scarce and the bad guy is pretty bland especially considering we don’t know much about him outside of his killing ways. This is very much a direct-to-video movie that somehow got a theatrical release. The Blu-ray at least has some decent features while the audio/video transfers are both very well done so fans of this film won’t be disappointed.