Review: The Collection

'An impressive genre mish-mash of hardcore action, torture porn and slasher archetypes.'

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

Slashers are dicks. They get really cool houses filled with secret passages and booby traps, they get all the coolest masks, and I can’t seem to find any of their signature knives at Crate & Barrel. What’s more, they kill anyone who displeases them, and with no repercussions whatsoever. What the hell is up with that anyway? Don’t these teenagers have families? Many of these victims seem really well to do. Wouldn’t at least some of their folks have the wherewithal and the funds necessary to hire a group of mercenaries to track down these homicidal maniacs and get some much needed revenge?

That right there is the basic concept of The Collection, and that concept is totally awesome. Emma Fitzpatrick plays the daughter of a millionaire, played by Christopher McDonald. She gets kidnapped by a homicidal supervillain called “The Collector,” so he hires a team of badasses to track the killer down, rescue his daughter, and kick that bastard’s ass to kingdom come. They enlist the assistance of the Collector’s one surviving victim, played by The Dark Knight Rises’ Josh Stewart, and storm his secret lair, which turns out to be a garish pit of despair defended by dastardly death traps and the maniac’s doped up, zombie-esque victims, who can no longer tell friend from foe.

Why the hell hasn’t anyone thought of this before? I haven’t seen the original film, The Collector, but the sequel is an impressive genre mish-mash of hardcore action, torture porn and slasher archetypes. It moves like a bullet train from one memorable action/horror hybrid sequence to the next, shot with an eye for creepy lighting and whiz-bang motion, and while I’m not entirely sure that it makes much sense, I had a great time with its ultraviolent concoction of b-movie frippery. The Collection has little to say about society or our personal anxieties, and is not, I would argue, much of a horror film. But as an action flick with horror sensibilities it’s one of the best, existing within the overlapping Venn diagram of each genre at its most extreme.

There are arguments to be made that The Collection could be better – the heroine is a non-entity, the team of mercenaries could have used more characterization and there are plot holes aplenty (in one scene, the heroine picks a lock using the underwire in her bra, even though she wasn’t wearing one) – but the film zips so quickly past each of these trivialities that you hardly notice. Complaining about these things is like fixing your date’s hair mid-coitus. Really? This is what you’re complaining about? NOW? You have other, more immediate concerns in front of you. Like how much fun you’re having.

The Collection is fun. Meaningless, sometimes stupid fun, but it’s not aiming any higher than that. It’s a thrill ride in movie form, and the thrills are well worth the price of admission. You’ll laugh, you’ll scream, and you’ll enjoy every minute of it if your expectations are reasonably low.

William Bibbiani is the editor of CraveOnline's Film Channel and co-host of The B-Movies Podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani