By Robert Horton Herald Movie Critic
The holiday season: trimmed trees, wrapped presents, corpses hung by the chimney with care.
“The Collection” is one of Hollywood’s periodic examples of counter-programming, a grisly, no-holds-barred slasher picture arriving just in time for Christmas. It’s a revolting movie in every detail, all the more so for being made with a certain amount of craft.
This film is a sequel to a low-budget success from 2009, “The Collector,” which is not to be confused with a John Fowles novel (and subsequent ’60s movie) of that title. This “Collector” is a masked freak who hides in a condemned, booby-trapped building and does terrible surgical things to his kidnapped victims.
The sequel begins with the hero of the first movie, Arkin (played again by the haunted-looking Josh Stewart), springing free of the madman’s grasp. Unfortunately, mask-boy seizes an innocent young woman named Elena (Emma Fitzpatrick) and totes her off to his castle of terrors.
Her father is wealthy enough to send a crack team searching for his daughter, and they persuade the hapless Arkin to lead them back into the chamber of horrors. He’s thrilled at this prospect, as you can imagine.
Nonstop amputations and bloodlettings follow. Really nonstop: Say what you want about director Marcus Dunstan checking off various “Saw”-related influences and steampunk devices, but the movie has absolutely no downtime, no filler, no boring scenes of simple human interaction.
We know this from the first five minutes, when Elena’s apparently innocuous visit to a nightclub turns into a mass bloodbath. Seems the Collector has rigged an elaborate thresher-like machine that will mow its way across the dance floor when the party’s at full pitch. Evidently the Collector is no fan of Lady Gaga.
It is a mystery how the Collector has the time or energy to construct his complicated killing methods. I guess when you love your work, the hours just fly by.
So does the movie, which clocks in under 90 minutes. I give “The Collector” grudging credit, for being so disciplined and relentless. I wish Dunstan had more command of the movie’s landscape, because the house of horrors is pretty much one room after another, with little connecting one place to the next (and little to explain why drugged zombies are in one place, and angry dogs in the next).
The gross-out factor exists pretty much solely to test the audience’s endurance, and not appear behind the times — because you know those “Saw” guys are going to crank out another sequel soon.
“The Collection” (1½ stars)
Ultra-violent sequel to 2009’s “The Collector,” in which a masked killer does elaborately nasty things to his kidnap victims. Give the movie credit for its relentlessness; there’s no wasted time in this brutal and bloody outing.
Rated: R for violence, language, subject matter.
Showing: Alderwood Mall, Everett, Galaxy Monroe, Meridian, Cascade Mall.