(18) 86 min
Horror is constantly searching for icons, figureheads and antiheroes. It celebrates its directors (the John Carpenters, Wes Cravens and Tobe Hoopers) like no other genre and worships its villains, with the likes of Freddy, Jason and Leatherface becoming unlikely pop culture idols. The Collector is the latest in a long line of films that hope to gives shock cinema its latest villain of choice.
Josh Stewart is a handy man/desperate father/petty criminal who inadvertently breaks into his rich clients home the same night as the leather masked Collector calls. A brutal and intelligent serial killer who sets elaborate death traps for his victims, turning their own home into a gamut of trip wires, knives and razor blades. Torturing the owners with his unique brand of extreme home invasion. Sealed within this improvised torture chamber Stewart desperately attempts to escape the clutches of this masked maniac, played with silent, imposing menace by Juan Fernández
Sharing many of the aesthetics of the Saw series (the lighting, the tight close-ups, the gruesome and sustained violence) it comes as no surprise that writer Patrick Melton and writer/director Marcus Dunstan have worked on the aforementioned series (parts IV-VII). The Collector perhaps takes itself too seriously and falls for some of horrors most enduring clichés (the thunder, the omnipresent killer, the jarring sound effects), but Stewart makes a likable down on his luck everyman while the gore is exquisitely crafted. There’s depth and mystery to the Collector character that could certainly sustain a new franchise.
General release from Fri 25 Jun.