Any horror fan that has been paying attention over the past few years knows that two of the biggest writers in the genre are Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton, who broke onto the scene with FEAST and have since gone on to write a few of the SAW films and do re-writes for various big franchise films. So when Dimension Films was looking for a no-brainer project, it only made sense to let the duo make a project to call their own.
THE COLLECTOR (previously known as MIDNIGHT MAN), was Dunstan’s directorial debut from a screenplay his co-wrote with Melton. Originally pitched as a prequel to SAW, the story centers on an ex-con who is in desperate need of money to pay off his ex-wife to prevent her from leaving town with their daughter. When he breaks into the country home of his wealthy employer in an effort to steal a valuable jewel, he realizes that his family has been abducted by a masked killer who has rigged the house with deadly traps.
It’s no shock that working on the past three SAW films has influenced the duo, and it shows in THE COLLECTOR, a raw, gritty and uncompromising horror film that puts the previous SAW film to shame. While I don’t personally believe in the term “torture porn,” this teeters on the edge of being in the same sub-genre.
For the horror fans that want it hardcore and want it brutal, THE COLLECTOR delivers. The film is littered with insane traps that would make Jigsaw jealous, and without giving anything away, you can expect to cringe and cover your eyes quite a few times. The film is edited in a way where the viewer is given no chance to hide, so when a character is dragged across the floor ripping their nails off, you see it. To avoid, don’t even bother coming to the theater.
Most impressive about this new slasher/torture hybrid is the debut of a potential horror icon. The Collector (played by Juan Fernandez) is a creepy character that has two different colored eyed and an S&M-esque mask tied tight to his face (you can see him in the one sheet). His motives take a cue from classic slashers as it’s as simple as “he just wants to own you.” There’s no revenge or idiotic motive behind this mask, he’s quite simply EVIL.
If anything, THE COLLECTOR is a well-shot new modern slasher film, only the killer doesn’t have a specific weapon of choice, he prefers to play a few games. The cinematography is stunning and gives this low-budget project some serious street cred. There is real potential behind this film and Freestyle Releasing is doing such a great thing for horror fans by getting this into theaters. The could be just the beginning folks, you need to witness the birth of THE COLLECTOR in theaters this July or this potential icon will become just a myth…