The Collection, and My Cautious Excitement For It.

EDIT (7/17/13): Having finally watched this movie, I will say that I DID like it. As far as the torture genre goes, there was really only one scene I can recall with any sort of prolonged grossness, and it was camptastic. The movie has a very anti-authoritarian feel that makes me think of such 90s cult classics as Disturbing Behavior and The Faculty. BUT, I did get a few details wrong in this post. The female lead from The Collection is not the same little girl from the Collector. The new film picks up very close after where the last left off.

So last Halloween, I watched The Collector for the first time. What struck me was that: A) the protagonist didn’t piss me off, B) The villain was mysterious and scary enough to take him seriously, and C) The concept of a murderer who utilized deadly and sadistic traps was pretty damn awesome. If you think some of the Collector’s style is a bit too derivative of the Saw series, let me just stop you there. First of all—Saw one-through-whatever was terrible. Second, Jigsaw never captured his victims with traps, he always knocked them out, and placed them in a deadly and controlled environment of his own making.

The Collector’s methodology is completely different, at least under the parameters of the first film. First, he enters a strange environment—a rich family’s home—and rigs it with booby traps. The variability of just how the family members will be caught and when is so high that the Collector doesn’t really have absolute control over the environment. Also, unlike Jigsaw, his motives for killing are unknown. Like Michael Myers, the Collector seems to be some otherworldly man capable of surviving the impossible to do the unthinkable. Here’s the trailer for the first movie:

Now, here are some spoilers for some of you who haven’t watched the movie yet (and I recommend that you do!)

In the first film, as some of you may know, a thief by the name of Arkin enters a rich family’s home due to circumstances forcing him to end his abstinence from crime. But things take a turn for the worst when a slasher appears to murder the entire family. Our protagonist has a choice—leave and save his own skin, or stay and help the people who treated him like dirt and who he planned to rob. In true Hero fashion, our man stays, and through his efforts, he is at least able to save the youngest of the family, a little girl named Hannah.

The big twist at the end was that the Collector was not done. No. Instead of our Hero riding off into the sunset, our maniacal slasher appears to kidnap Arkin and put him in the infamous Last Survivor’s Chest.

Now in the new movie, The Collection, which you can watch the trailer for below, Arkin seems surprisingly whole and well. He’s even brought in to police as a sort of “expert” on the Collector, having been one of the few to survive his attacks. I’m truly curious to see how they explain Arkin’s escape from the villain at the end of the first film. And he isn’t the only one who makes a “return”. In the Collection, Hannah makes a return as a young adult. The trailer shows her heading off to some underground rave, but—surprise surprise! The Collector is there, and with a nasty trap for the crowd.

I suppose Arkin is assuming his role as protagonist again, which is fine by me. But I wonder if the charm that the original Collector had will be lost as the story enters into that scary and soulless world of franchises. It’s written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan once more, with Dunstan directing again as well, and while I try to ignore their involvement with the Saw franchise, I still fear that the new school slasher film with old school roots will become hackneyed and ridiculously commercial.

Okay it’s safe now. 🙂

The other day, I was watching the Hellraiser series inspired by Clive Barker’s novella, The Hellbound Heart, (which is currently available in totality on Netflix’s Instant Watch, by the way.) Now while it is the lowest grossing slasher franchise to date, it’s still perhaps my second favorite, wedged right underneath Halloween, and just above A Nightmare on Elm Street. Why? It was because it’s iconic character, the Pinhead, was not a mute beast who killed with no reason. He had a reason: he was a creature of hell, and he reveled in inflicting the most extreme pain as a form of pleasure. Nothing convoluted or hard to understand about that, right? Even Michael Myers reason for existence seems muddied and confused throughout his long tale, but not Pinhead’s. And as he would put it:

The other reason I like Hellraiser so much is for its use of live special effects. No CGI, no fast cuts, no cutting corners. Everything in Hellraiser is right there for you to see, and it is horrifically imaginative: A woman whose throat is sliced upon and held that way by wire flossed through both her cheeks; a tall and muscular being with no facial features save for twisted skin and a lipless mouth whose teeth ceaselessly chatter; a fat and disgusting creature wearing black glasses whose stomach looks like a victim of circumcision gone wrong. The deaths, while at times over the top and cheesy, were still imaginative, and the special effects did an excellent job of furthering the atmosphere of evil and extreme violence. Throughout its series, I thought Hellraiser managed to retain these qualities.

Will the Collector be able to do this too? I was rather happy with the first movie, and while I’m sort of excited for the sequel, due for release in November 30th this year, I just hope that Dunstan manages to keep his original vision from escaping him. I mean, yes, he was involved with the craptascular Saw franchise of which I loathe, but he was also the co-writer of Feast, which I love to gory little bits. I haven’t seen Feast 2, so I cannot comment on that as far as quality goes. I just hope that the Collector is able to retain some integrity as the horror industry’s “sequelitis” worms its way into the picture.

Halloween is right around the corner kiddies, and it’s my favorite time of year. Expect to hear me talking about spooky things more and more as the clock winds down to October 31st. I’ll probably due a full review on Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, which I’m totally stoked for. I’ll detail the reasons why later, but for now. I’m done. Steam is doing a free-to-play weekend for Saints Row the Third and I wanna know if this game is worth even half of the hype it got when it came out.

By the way, Akumu Love Panic! is at some 2500 words so far! Nearly done, whoo! As for Eikasia? Uhh…wellllll….

I’m working on it. >_<

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