|release date||November 30 2012|
|writer||Marcus Dunstan, Patrick Melton|
|starring||Josh Stewart, Lee Tergesen, Christopher McDonald, Johnny Yong Bosch, Emma Fitzpatrick, Shannon Kane, Tim Griffin, William Peltz, Eaddy Mays, Michael Nardelli, Justin Mortelliti, Michael H. Cole, Arloa Reston, Courtney Lauren Cumming|
|tagline||Every Great Collector Has A Vision.|
|trailer 1||Trailer #1|
The Collection starts like a music video, glorifying party sluts at angles only an art student would use – all while untiss untiss. Dig it? However, it’s not 1999 anymore. If you go to raves, you deserve to die.
Such is the case in this sequel to 2009’s The Collector. Again directed by Marcus Dunstan, we take a seemingly innocent party atmosphere and turn it into a crazy epic bloodbath.The film then continues in this format, with such mannerisms, so much that the over the top torture porn looks choreographed. And really, the torture porn isn’t really over the top. It’s bareable. The Collection is simply yet another insane array of creative ways to kill people. It’s absolutely ridiculous, but for what it is, it works.
Mr. Peters aka Shooter McGavin (Christopher McDonald)’s daughter Elena (Emma Fitzpatrick) is kidnapped from the rave. Arkin from The Collector has survived his ordeal from the original film and leads Lucello (Lee Tergesen) aka the “I love you, man” guy from Wayne’s World, who is a bodyguard of sorts for Elena, to where the Collector guy lives. And where is that? The abandoned Hotel Argento – whose name won’t take you right out of the movie (sarcasm). It is rigged with its own set of contraptions (see first movie) and somehow the Collector guy is just insanely stronger than most people and starts taking them out one by one. When a trap or The Collector guy doesn’t take someone out, one of his dogs do. Dogs that are both canine and people his has turned into his crazy psychopaths. Yes, his collection includes people that he has drugged up and mutilated. So drugged up and mutilated that they come at the rescue crew like a horde of rage infected zombies – but they just sorta just look like members of Slipknot.
All the while – who’s paying the rent and utilities on this place?
Even with all the nonsense, The Collection is well done and well acted. The imagery, as absurd as it is with slow-mos and gallons of blood, are crafted in an eye appealing manor, as is the sound. While the DVD doesn’t show the crisp imagery of a Blu-ray, it does have impressive audio qualities. Every squish and creek and break is heard which adds to the unsettling nature of the subject matter.
The special features on the disc are basics. There are three deleted scenes and a theatrical trailer. There are also five featurettes: A Director’s Vision, Makeup and Effects of The Collection, Production Design, Special Effects of The Collection, and Stunts of The Collection. Each runs only a few minutes long and are at least somewhat interesting. The commentary is Marcus Dunstan with cowriter Patrick Melton and the two deliver some good insight for those who enjoy this type of feature. They are very passionate about their product and their hard work and dedication shows.
The Collection will make a nice addition to any fan of the first films’ library, however, if you are simply looking to check out, I definitely recommend renting it.
While I didn’t fall in love with The Collection, there’s something admirable about its ambition to not be more of the same. Its increased scope and willingness to stray from the beats of its predecessor, The Collector, indicate that co-writers Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan (the latter of whom also directed) have an actual creative engagement with the material. So if the good news is that they’re not treading the same ground as the first film, the bad news is that – depending on what you’re looking to get out of the experience – it may not work as well.
I rarely play the “depending what you’re looking to get out of the experience” card. After all, what you want is a good horror movie, right? The Collection is certainly entertaining enough to qualify in that regard. But if you’re looking for something with the tension, intimacy, character, relative subtlety and nuance of The Collector… you might be in for a surprise. I’m not the first one to make the Alien vs. Aliens comparison, but I think it’s an apt analogy that breaks down the fundamental differences between the two films. While The Collection has plenty of scares, traps and gore it’s almost an action movie at heart, complete with hired mercenaries subbing in for the colonial marines of Aliens. Another key similarity is that Arkin (Josh Stewart), who we last saw being slammed into a red trunk at the end of The Collector, makes an early escape only to be pressured into playing the Ripley role by leading the mercs back into the lair of The Collector – a world that only he knows.
Why are they heading into said lair? To rescue Elena (Emma Fitzpatrick), the daughter of a wealthy man with the means to hire his own security detail to retrieve her. She’s kidnapped in spectacular fashion during a the film’s particularly inspired opening sequence. Gone is the slow burn of The Collector‘s first 30 minutes, this sequel hits the ground running. If I had to guess, I’d say that around 80 people die in the exhilarating opening 15 minutes of the new film. From the opening titles on up to the aforementioned bloodbath, The Collection demonstrates an impressive swagger – but it has difficulty sustaining it.
A lot of that difficulty stems from the fact that we don’t care as much about the characters this time around. Arkin seems to have lost some dimensionality (which sort of makes sense given his predicament) and the mercenaries are almost flat-out anonymous, relying solely on smart casting to make an impact. When I spoke to Melton and Dunstan earlier this week, they conceded that with an 82 minute run time it’s nearly impossible to allow for Aliens style introductions to our “soldiers.” So there’s a conscious trade-off here in which The Collection sacrifices some potential investment in its secondary characters for sheer momentum.
And, for the most part, that trade-off works. The movie flies by with an impressive amount of carnage to behold. The Collector’s lair makes for a menacing, intricate and surprisingly beautiful setting. The statuesque displays of his prior victims are interesting and artful (even if I’m not sure how storing them in water could at all preserve them). Even additions that are tonal missteps that clash with the first film’s relative practicality, such as a captive/submissive pixie dream girl who would feel more at home in The People Under The Stairs, keep us alert (if not scratching our heads).
If you’re a fan of The Collector, I would advise you to see The Collection with the knowledge that you’re revisiting elements of the original within the context of a new genre. If you’ve never seen The Collector, that’s fine. The new film works well enough on its own intentionally silly terms.