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John’s Horror Corner: The Collection (2012), a lousy attempt at a “horror action” sequel to the much better Collector (2009).

February 3, 2019

MY CALL: Look, I enjoyed The Collector (2009) and that naturally made me want to see the sequel… and now, I regret that decision completely. I’m not saying you won’t like this (as I didn’t), I’m just saying that none of the good things from the original are present in this sequel. I’ll leave it at that. MORE MOVIES LIKE The Collector: The Collector (2009) was much better in my opinion, but also a completely dissimilar film in style, concept and delivery. If I had my way, this sequel would never have been made (at least, not in this way).

The opening credit sequence reveals that this is a direct sequel and we learn more specifically what wasn’t so clear (mentioned in passing) in the first film: that this killer “collects” people (i.e., one person per crime scene). The first film stated that he collected people, but we had no idea of the nature of this collection since the movie played out like a Jigsaw serial killer flick.

This sequel’s opening scenes feel a lot like a generic direct-to-video horror as we are taken to a night club. Twentysomethings dancing, twentysomething drama, and lots of attractive twentysomething victims. Right away we see The Collector up on the catwalk as one of our young protagonist’s finds the first film’s victim (Josh Stewart; The Collector, Insidious: The Last Key, The Haunting of Molly Hartley) in a box, much as Arkin did in The Collector (2009), to harbinger what’s in store for her. It’s so outlandish you want to roll your eyes. But, at the same time, when the first trap is triggered and everyone is locked in the club, I’m intrigued at the bloody shenanigans that may ensue. Key word: “may” ensue…

The special effects didn’t impress me. As if trying (and failing) to compete with the opening death scene in Ghost Ship (2002), a huge thresher drops from the ceiling mowing dozens of people to death on the dance floor and others are herded into cages bloodily crushed under an elevator, leaving just a few survivors. The whole scene really… just wasn’t good.

After Arkin escapes The Collector, he is recruited by some team of mercenary soldiers to infiltrate The Collector’s lair to save a wealthy man’s daughter (Emma Fitzpatrick; Bloodsucking Bastards). The lair is huge and could double as a series of sets for a Resident Evil (2002) sequel. It’s populated with brainwashed lunatics, a zealot or two, and over-the-top elaborate traps.

The Collector’s lair includes a medical dissection laboratory complete with cut-up human bodies, organs in formaldehyde jars, a live tarantula collection, macabre sculptures made from human body parts (lots of them), and all manner of ridiculous traps. But the macabre sculptures were the only things to please the eye (and they were spectacular) as the death scenes felt really phoned-in. We also have some mean bone breaks which are really the only good “horror action” part of the movie! This movie is so over-the-top, even more so than its predecessor. The way Arkin leads people to The Collector’s lair is ridiculous, the use of tarantulas is idiotic, and dumb explosive traps do little more than annoy.

This movie is stupid, the dialogue is really stupid, the death scenes are exceptionally stupid, and I’m bothered by the simple fact that I’m watching this. The longer I watched, the more I came to despise this. It’s trying to be both an action movie and a horror movie, but it succeeds at neither. Our killer now has the combat prowess of a certified ninja commando, he has trained attack dogs and machine guns and mechanical doors that seem to conveniently open and close by his very will as if he was Darth Vader pacing about the Death Star. But really, WTF is with all the action movie knife-fighting and fist fighting in this movie? I feel the need to add that I actually enjoyed The Collector (2009). How did this take such a turn into lunacy?

I didn’t even enjoy any of the death scenes in this hot mess. And, on a personal note (i.e., as an entomologist), I really hated that this killer was an “entomologist” only to have it largely misrepresented in the film. A stag beetle display here, a live spider (not an insect) collection there, mostly human medical paraphernalia… plenty of films have done this so much better and it’s not hard. I rarely say this, but I hated this movie.

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