I remember, a long time ago, watching THE COLLECTOR with the commentary on because it helps stomach all the on screen action (by the way, the Joe Bob Briggs commentary on the original I SPIT (pause) ON YOUR GRAVE, is truly the ONLY way to get through that movie), and I remember them talking about how THE COLLECTOR was to be the first film in a trilogy. If I remember right (which I rarely do) I think they said the order was THE COLLECTOR, THE COLLECTORS, THE COLLECTION, but like I said I could be wrong. I hope I’m wrong. I want to be wrong, because if I’m wrong than the intended order was THE COLLECTOR, THE COLLECTION, THE COLLECTORS. This means that somewhere down the line there is still hope for Marcus Dunston and Patrick Melton to make another film in this series.
That’s how I used to think, but after watching THE COLLECTION, I’m not sure anymore if I want a third installment. I’m not exactly sure what the specific spark was that THE COLLECTOR had, but I do know that THE COLLECTION couldn’t catch it. THE COLLECTION is good, but in no way close to equaling its predecessor.
THE COLLECTION is a lot less gross and mean spirited than the first film (except, of course, the opening sequence that takes place in a club. That’s all I’ll say about that). The body count isn’t mostly stacked with innocent victims like the first one. Which is weird, because when I think about the rescue squad sent after Elena, I don’t consider them as innocents because they have guns. Huh, that’s some very odd logic I’m going by.
After the opening scene, this film fails to make my stomach do flips like the first one. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just means that for me it doesn’t pack the same punch as the first one. I actually sort of welcome the concept of The Collector killing armed aggressors, one more family saved from his maniacal clutches.
The film is still appealing and does a few things that bring your mind right back to the traumatizing place it was during THE COLLECTOR. Particularly the scene where our heroes are trying to get out of a cage. How they get out is probably the worst thing this movie shows. I almost had to look away because it was so horrifying. To find out what it is GO SEE THE MOVIE! I really don’t want to ruin that scene for you because it’s a special piece of hell.
Josh Stewart once again plays Arkin in this film, towards the beginning, after The Collector slices, dices, and presses an entire dance club (so…body count at 50 something so far), leaving Elena to be ‘collected’ by him, Arkin wakes up in a hospital bed. Turns out Elena has a rich father and he’s hired a team of specialists to go after The Collector, kill him, and retrieve Elena. Of course, they need Arkin’s help because he’s the only one to tangle with The Collector and live to tell about it. Oh, and they don’t really give him a choice in the matter.
So they all end up at the Hotel Argento (a nice nod to Dario Argento) where The Collector calls home. Then, through a series of mostly unfortunate events, Elena is rescued, but at what cost? To know that you’ll have to see the movie. What I will say is that without doing something extremely clever, the ending sort of closes the book and shoots down the possibility for a sequel.
I already said that I didn’t like this film as much as THE COLLECTOR, but I do still like it quite a bit. It’s not as hard-hitting and never really does anything unforgivable. It could probably be best explained by saying that where THE COLLECTOR crossed the line, THE COLLECTION is happy enough going right up to the line, and then retreating. However, THE COLLECTION isn’t disappointing as a movie, just as a sequel. The biggest reason being that the writers told us things would be explained in this entry, why is The Collector collecting people, what is the endgame?!?
Unfortunately we don’t really get answers to these questions. Or at least, if they are answered, they’re not answered in a way that would satisfy anyone. Here’s what I decoded.
The Collector collects people to serve as his cracked out servants, others he collects for human dolls, others he just wants to continue the torture, others he uses to make terrifying mannequins that he keeps preserved in fluid filled boxes, like museum pieces. So we’re given a somewhat satisfactory answer to why he collects people. However, end game? Not a clue. It doesn’t seem like he’s working towards a goal because he has so many different people for different reasons that it’s impossible to put the pieces together towards a master plan. If any explanation, it’s that he’s a sick bastard that gets off on torture, murder, but most of all control.
THE COLLECTOR was unrelenting, and while I hesitate saying that’s what made it good, it’s certainly what made it unique. Whereas THE COLLECTION is a bit more mainstream and fits better into the mold of what we’re used to seeing in modern horror films. Well, I hate that mold, I want things that think outside the box, and while THE COLLECTOR did this especially well, THE COLLECTION is perfectly comfortable in that box.
I don’t really suggest you watch this one unless you’re a die-hard fan of horror movies, or if you’ve seen the first one. To jump directly into the sequel will have you scratching your head a bit throughout the first half of the film. So watch THE COLLECTOR before you watch the sequel. Just remember that the first is very harsh, but the second one is a bit lighter.