The Collection wallows in the kind of torture porn excess that makes it feel like Doc Brown’s DeLorean took us back in time to the dawn of Saw.
It’s no accident, since the minds behind the latter Saw sequels, Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton, are the culprits here. Between the gratuitous gore, mindless violence and plot developments that would only sound cogent to a teen hopped up on Mountain Dew lies a watchable horror entry for those willing to suffer through all of the above.
What The Collection proves is that a horror film stripped of all possible flab as well as pretense–the movie clocks in at a lean 80 or so minutes–can keep our attention.
Elena (Emma Fitzpatrick) is dragged to an invitation only party by her girlfriend where a trap sprung by the Collector turns the rave into a massacre. It’s a fiendishly over the top moment, one that delivers the gore while neglecting the franchise’s prime directive.
It’s hard to collect anything when you’ve reduced an entire dance floor to one big red stain.
Elena is subsequently captured by the Collector, and the poor sap (Josh Stewart) who survived the first installment is forced by her powerful pappy (Christopher McDonald) to help find her.
Slice. Dice. Chop. Skewer. The unlucky souls who enter the Collector’s den soon learn the folly of their mission.
The film’s set design is appropriately haunting, even inspired at times, and the Collector’s raw fury is something to behold. Yet like many horror movies today there’s not a single scare to be had, but that’s likely not even a stated goal. It’s about punishing the dwindling band of heroes in ingenious fashion, and letting us root for good to triumph over unmitigated evil.
You’ll have to stare real hard to find that glimmer of conservatism, but it’s there all the same. It’s why even pedestrian horror films can keep our interest–we’re rooting for fellow human to survive an unspeakable terror, no questions asked.
The Collection does offer other rewards beyond that primal instinct. Both Stewart and Fitzgerald sustain our interest, tip-toeing across the genre tightrope of displaying the requisite fear without looking feckless.
The Blu-ray extras include a commentary track, alternate scenes and a quintet of brief featurettes focusing primarily of how the special effects helped make this unholy vision possible.