Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Film Review: The Collection (2012)

The Collection (Review)
United States/2012
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

The Collector is the target of a massive police manhunt as he continues his brutal serial killing and selective abductions; Arkin is the latest victim of abduction. Elena is a teenager that goes to a secret club to party with her friends. At the club, Elena catches her boyfriend cheating and leaves into a random room to regain her composure. In this room, Elena finds and opens a red chest out of curiosity; opening this chests frees Arkin and unleashes death to an unsuspecting crowd of partygoers. Arkin is able to escape, but Elena is captured. Arkin is eventually recruited by Lucello, a man associated with Elena's father, to save Elena and kill the Collector.

The Collection isn't exactly an original concept, as its very similar to films like The Descent Part 2; unfortunate, considering how much I enjoyed the concept of The Collector. The story starts off with a massive underground party. When Arkin is incidentally freed by Elena, a trap goes off that brutally shreds most of the partygoers; the few that escape the slaughter are eventually killed by the other traps. After being arrested, Arkin is recruited by mercenaries to infiltrate the Collector's home. He agrees under the condition of being freed as soon as they arrive - he does not want to enter the trap-filled home, which is actually an abandoned hotel. Of course, Arkin is tricked and forced to enter with the mercenaries. Meanwhile, Elena escapes her chest on her own and begins search for an exit, but finds death around every corner. I don't really have to continue a film summary, you'll likely be able to predict the rest of the story without me.

First, don't expect a horror film. This is more of an action film with light horror elements. The action is very heavy handed this time around, while the horror mostly consists of gore; the high tension and suspense of the first film has been toned down significantly. There are some great traps; this time, the film implements those dreaded box cutters I hate ten-fold. Also, as a sequel, The Collection is inconsistent with the first film. For example, key plot points of the first film are completely abandoned including the ruby and loan sharks that pushed Arkin into this dilemma in the first place. Also, a minor example, this film takes places days after the first, apparently the bald Collector of the first film has found the secret formula to faster hair growth as he now sports a full head of hair. These major and minor inconsistencies hurt the film significantly.

On top of that, the writers haven't honed their skills since the last time around, it still feels lazy. This whole movie is kicked off solely based on luck, like the original; if Elena had never entered the room, if she never opened the chest, none of this would happen. It's all luck! Also, there
isn't much character for the new introductions like Elena, although the Collector receives some background. Also, the story is generally filled with clichés and a predictable ending, although I did enjoy it a bit. As a side note, the film's runtime is 1hr 22min, but the actual film runs 1hr 14 min without credits.

Josh Stewart returns as Arkin without a little more spunk this time around. I really think he shows promise, at least in the horror genre. The rest of the cast is okay - occasionally, much of the cast overacts or feel unnatural. The special effects are good, the use of computed generated effects is bit more evident. The cinematography is dark, gritty, and grainy - I really like this style; there a few exceptional shots in this film, including the final sequence.

Overall, The Collection falls short of its predecessor on almost every aspect. There are a few redeeming factors, but not enough to warrant a purchase, barely enough to recommend a rental with caution. If you haven't watched The Collector, The Collection might be more enjoyable and forgivable. However, you might as well watch The Collector - the superior film - if you're only going to watch one.

Score: 4/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore. Some nudity.

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