Modern torture-horror movies have one gimmick: gore. We’re supposed to be scared or affected because these characters that we don’t care about are having these very graphic and violent things happen to them, but the fact of the matter is that we usually don’t know much about the characters except that maybe they have a family that is briefly shown. That keeps us from really caring for the characters or rooting for their escape.
That’s not the case in The Collection, the sequel to the 2009 movie The Collector. The Collection is creative in it’s story-telling and the emotional impact of the characters’ journey makes every death, even a simple one, affect the audience even more.
The Collection continues the story of The Collector as Arkin, played by Josh Stewart, who was previously captured by the villain and escapes during a party that the collector throws to gather and kill more victims. Before he jumps out of a window, he sees a girl named Elena, played by Emma Fitzpatrick (The Social Network), in the arms of the collector. Rather than make an attempt at saving her, he saves his own. But while recovering in the hospital, he’s approached by a group of mercenaries that are funded by the girls father. They want Arkin to lead them to where she may have been taken and then threaten him so that he can guide them while inside.
While inside the building, the collector discovers their presence and proceeds to pick them off one by one. Will they get out alive? Will they be able to stop the collector from killing again? The journey is fun to watch.
The Collection combined a lot of different elements well. There was the torture of the victims, the gore of the deaths, the emotion of the story, over-the-top action and genuinely funny moments to release the tension. My favorite part of the movie is Elena’s character. She’s not your typical damsel in distress. Fitzpatrick does much more in the movie than just get captured and scream. While she’s basically the only one in the group that is armed, she still gets to work as soon as she realizes that she’s been captured. Without spoiling a key point in the movie, she basically takes charge during the climax of the film in a pretty cool way.
My other favorite part of the movie is Lee Tergesen, who plays the lead mercenary Lucello. Tergesen’s character has spent his entire life working for Elena’s family and has saved her life once before. Tergesen mixes the perfect amount of seriousness in the action scenes and caring in the scenes in which he’s saving Elena. His performance really stands out because he’s riding a fine line where if he goes any further, his character becomes unintentionally funny.
The movie also does a great job of building up to a few dramatic moments. The bit of violence that elicits the strongest reaction from the audience isn’t the goriest or bloodiest moment of the movie. But because the stakes are so high and a ton of tension has built up to that moment, it’s rousingly successful at producing a cringe-worthy moment. That’s a credit to writer/director Marcus Dunstan.
I rarely recommend paying to see a horror movie, especially one from this genre. But The Collection bucks that trend. I’m recommending you see this one in theatres.