Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Collector

Welcome to my parlor, said the spider to the fly.Welcome to my paulor, said the spider to the fly.

The Collector | A Constantly Racing Mind
Yes I know - I butchered Mary Botham Howitt's poem title, but it aptly describes this movie. A movie worth watching, even if you are not a 'Saw' fan. "The Collector" has the makings of a more than usual horror movie with all the classic plot twists. The director, Marcus Dunstan and screen-writer Patrick Melton, do well by building our reluctant hero's character that we quickly come to know him well enough and empathize with him. Arkin, (played excellently by Josh Stewart) a recently released convict, a local handy-man working for the rich Chase family, shows some innocent kindness to the Chase's youngest daughter. When Hanna invites Arkin to an imaginary tea party, Arkin asks the 10 year old Hannah, "what would you want if you could have anything in the world?" Hannah's reply is, "a Basket Bear”.

The party is brief, cut short by the Hannah's father, Michael Chase - a jewelry broker, a fact that becomes salient to our plot a bit later. We meet, Michael's wife, Victoria, played by Andrea Roth, from Rescue Me - a vain woman who fears aging, and we also meet the family's angry, rebellious, teenager, Jill.

Arkin's dilemma comes in the form of his daughter, Cindy and his shark in-debted ex-wife, Lisa. Lisa needs money by midnight, and Arkin, who had just presented his daughter the brand new 'Basket Bear', promises to get her the money by midnight. Another quick scene involving Arkin's crime associate, Roy, who is played by the relatively more experienced actor, Robert Wisdom, shows Arkin’s motivation for returning to the Chase’s mansion. Arkin wants to rob the Chase's while they are on vacation, steal a jewel, and split 50/50 with Roy the fence. And Arkin wants to do it by midnight, tonight. Roy, warning Arkin, “Terrible thing happen when breaking their routine”.

With all the introductions out of the way, the story moves quickly from here on out. The musical score works well by helping to bring the tension to the surface, building anxiety in the audience. Arkin sneaks back to the Chase's home and prepares to crack the safe hidden in the Chase's master bedroom behind a mirror. Arkin starts this movie, a flawed character, a desperate man, turning to crime to support his family. Do not worry; Arkin's position is about to get worse.

Arkin, hearing noises in the supposedly empty house, just as he is about to crack the safe, realizes that he is not alone. In a manner of minutes, Arkin also quickly realizes that the house is booby-trapped, rigged like a spider's web, ready to spring its many death traps. Finding the adult members of the family still in the house, Arkin ventures to the basement, to find Michael and Victoria, tortured by "The Collector", a sexual sadist hiding behind a wrestler's mask, funky green eyes burning with hatred from within. The DVD case for "The Collector" describes this movie as a, "cat and mouse chase”. And for the best portion of the movie, Arkin, playing the mouse, after trying to save what’s left of the tortured family, found his opportunity to escape this deadly web. He now has the jewel; all he has to do is leave. ... But can he? The remainder of the movie is an epic battle of good and evil; Arkin battling "The Collector" for the soul of Hannah, the family's lone survivor.

Take my humble advice and watch the opening scenes carefully for "the Collector's" method to his madness. Pay particular attention to the opening titles for clues on how to plan a deadly web of bear traps, a chandelier of knives, punji sticks on your stairwell, just to name a few. Watch carefully, at the beginning for the contents of the red chest left in the middle of the house. This is a good, suspenseful, high energy, horror flick; good for a dark stormy night, and remember, “If The Collector likes you, he keeps you; if he doesn't, he kills you.”

Movie Data

Genre:  Crime, Horror, Thriller
Year:   2009
Staring:  Josh Stewart, Michael Reilly Burke, Andrea Roth, Juan Fernández, Karley Scott Collins
Director: Marcus Dunstan
Producer(s)  Courtney Balaker, Tighe Michael Curran, Brett Forbes, Michael Gozzard, Christopher Lockhart, Julie Richardson, Patrick Rizzotti
Writer:  Patrick Melton & Marcus Dunstan
Rating: R

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