The Collection (2012)

Although its predecessor was a solid foundation for franchise, The Collection was a formulaic misstep. Faster, Louder, and Gorier, the film tries to up the ante of the first but ultimately sacrifices the buildup and plot that made the first one entertaining. With a laughable villain and extremely predictable dialogue, The Collection spends more time trying to gross out audiences than trying to frighten them. Fans who love the gore and torture genre may find some enjoyment but unfortunately The Collection won’t entertain much else.

The Collection picks up right where it’s 2009 predecessor, The Collector, left off. Until recently, I was unfamiliar with the series, which was largely due to my hesitation in the ‘torture porn’ genre. I was a fan of the earlier Saw movies but slowly the horror aspect of the franchise was replaced with an abundance of gore and disfiguration. Eventually the gimmick lost its shock value as well as my interest. I wanted to give The Collector, as well as The Collection a shot in hopes that it would bring back some of the suspense and fear from the earlier Saw days.

The Collection

The Collector (2009) was a solid horror film despite some parts being a bit of a chore to get through. The film took it’s time and really built a lot of suspense instead of just throwing out its gore, although there was plenty of it. It wasn’t anything groundbreaking but it was a decent addition to the genre and felt like it was a good foundation for future movies. However, The Collection (2012) was a step back, and undid everything that The Collector got right.

After thinking about it I couldn’t help but feel like The Collection was to The Collector what James Cameron’s Aliens was to Ridley Scott’s Alien. The Collection was more ambitious, more violent, and more action filled than the first the difference being is that this worked for Aliens and not so much for The Collection. Gone is the build up and character development that helped strengthen the first movie. In its place we are given shock value gore and ridiculous death machines throughout a predicable and cliché plot, leaving little room for surprise and imagination.

The pacing of the film was incredibly fast and was over before I knew it, which in this case wasn’t such a bad thing. The dialogue reads predictably and the characters are either unlikeable or not given enough time to develop, aside from Arkin who in this case has the luxury of having been in the first film. Josh Stewart, Arkin, is one of the few redeeming qualities of The Collection, although his performance in the first one was better. In The Collector, Arkin overcoming his reluctance to help the captured family was something to root for despite his troubled past. It made the character likeable and really showed a character arc for him. The Collection however, had hardly any sort of entertaining plot. The movie tries to make us care for a father’s captured daughter but it was given nowhere near enough time to develop and contains no sense urgency or rewards. It tries to repeat the reluctant hero of the first but it’s not as endearing this time around. Over all The Collection feels like it’s a paint by numbers kind of movie that spends more time trying to gross out the audience instead of trying to entertain and frighten.

My biggest problem of the entire series goes all the way back to the first one. For a series that’s relatively new to the horror/torture genre, I can’t for the life of me see how the creative minds behind the film choose the mask that they did for the villain. Although it wasn’t as bad in The Collector, I couldn’t help but laugh anytime they did a close up shot in The Collection. The mask makes him look like he’s wearing a wide-eyed batman cowl drawn by a toddler. For those interested here’s a link to an image of the mask. It’s hard to be afraid or even shocked by the gruesome violence and torture when they cut away to such a ridiculous looking mask.

Although its predecessor was a solid foundation for franchise, The Collection was a formulaic misstep. Faster, Louder, and Gorier, the film tries to up the ante of the first but ultimately sacrifices the buildup and plot that made the first one entertaining. With a laughable villain and extremely predictable dialogue, The Collection spends more time trying to gross out audiences than trying to frighten them. Fans who love the gore and torture genre may find some enjoyment but unfortunately The Collection won’t entertain much else.

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Email: Rrsolis@me.com

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One response to “The Collection (2012)

  1. Pingback: Movie Monday Update Week of March 25th | Thinking Cinematic

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