It’s taken a long time to get here, but Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton have re-teamed for the imaginatively titled, The Collection, a belated follow up to the surprise horror hit, The Collector. Starring Josh Stewart (The Collector, The Dark Knight Rises), Emma Fitzpatrick (The Social Network) and Christopher McDonald (Boardwalk Empire), The Collection picks up where part one left off.
Arkin is locked inside a strangely familiar red box when Elena (Fitzpatrick) finds him, but after barely escaping with his life, he is forced to return in order to save the girl. Elena and her friends have become the latest obsession of a crazed killer who collects people in a booby-trapped house of horrors, and Arkin knows all too well the kind of horrors that await them. A team of ‘specialists’ move in to wipe out the danger and from here on in it’s Saw meets Aliens, albeit, on a much smaller scale.
A bloodthirsty opening – glimpsed at in the trailer – gets the ball rolling, tastefully handled by the writers of Saw IV, V and VI. It’s a promising start for sure, but cat-killing curiosity loses its spark as soon as familiarity takes hold. Considering it took almost four years to get here The Collection feels rushed, almost as though there’s a vastly superior movie screaming to be heard. The Collector worked well because it took its time to set up the slaughter, but The Collection has neither the time nor patience for that.
The booby traps – both brutal and creative in part one – play next to no part in the second half of the movie, with our ominous villain preferring to stalk his victims with a trusty blade. It’s Freddy Krueger without the pantomime, and Dunstan runs out of fresh ideas very quickly, with The Collection grounding to a halt after 65 uninspiring minutes. A tidy footnote sets up the prospect of part 3 but it’s hard to imagine anyone will care. Then again, Saw II ended in much the same way and I still stuck around for the next five instalments.
Watchable but unremarkable, The Collection fails to deliver on its promise of gory, thrilling fun. In the time it took to get here Marcus Dunstan has forgotten what it was that made the first film so memorable. Creative kills are replaced by regurgitated stalk and slash, and genuine suspense is dispensed with altogether. Kind of makes you wish you could crawl inside the box yourself. AW