Film: ‘The Collection’ brings the gore, memories of ‘Saw’

By Nathan Gordon | ng312310@ohiou.edu | @GordonRises
The Collection | Directed by Marcus Dunstan | Rated R
RATING: 3.5 /5

The Collection Poster

First Words

I have to open by saying that I am a humongous fan of the Saw franchise. Marcus Dunstan, director/co-producer/co-writer for The Collector and The Collection, and Patrick Melton, co-producer/co-writer, provided the story for Saw 4 – Saw: The Final Chapter. Dunstan and Melton continued with the very violent genre they contributed to when they created The Collector. They have now returned with the sequel, The Collection. Now being that I’m a fan of the Saw films, there should be no shock that I’m a fan of this new franchise Dunstan and Melton might have just created. With that information, don’t be surprised how that affects my take on The Collection.

Plot

Arkin (Josh Stewart), who was put in an uncomfortable condition…literally at the end of The Collector, returns for the sequel. This time around, he is forced to help lead a team into an abandoned hotel to rescue a young woman, Elena (Emma Fitzpatrick), who has been kidnapped by the serial killer known as the Collector.

Positives

While watching The Collection, it is very clear that Dunstan and Melton were involved with the Saw franchise and, of course for me, that wasn’t something to complain about. Visually and score-wise, The Collection is clearly inspired by the Saw films. The entertainment level is also inspired by those films. The non-stop gruesome ride the viewer is taken on takes center stage, again, as it did in the Saw films. The violence doesn’t waste time making those who are fairly squeamish cover their eyes or turn their heads as the most gruesome scene in the movie happens in the beginning. All I’ll say is it involves a club full of people and a large spinning blade (that reminds me of an old lawn mower) coming from the ceiling. It’s also interesting to watch the story play out through a hotel instead of house, as was the case in The Collector. With the hotel, you don’t know what could be behind each door. If you have a sick and twisted interest in films with extreme amounts of violence, The Collection won’t disappoint.

The ending of film is something unexpected and gets your mind wondering. The way it plays out, the viewer is left unsure as to what just happened. You’re not sure if it is leaning towards a sequel or not, but from how I took it, I think it’s screaming for an interesting sequel. If there is any speculation left about a sequel, then I am a happy fan. Hopefully movie brings in enough money for that to happen. 

Negatives

The acting is where the movie took a step or so backwards. Fitzpatrick as Elena wasn’t believable as someone who was in life-threatening danger, especially when your life is being threatened by the menacing serial killer she was up against. Stewart as Arkin didn’t put up as a good of a performance as he did The Collector. As a new fan of Stewart, I was somewhat disappointed. One thing about how Stewart portrayed Arkin was when the character suffers an injury, which was very disturbing to watch, the injury doesn’t seem to be present when Arkin goes up against the Collector towards the end of the film.

All the other characters in the film gave forgettable performances, but I believe the lack of depth their characters were given played a big role in that. But with saying that, I have to point out that there is only so much character building you can do in a movie that’s around 80 minutes long and has the main intent on entertaining you with how much blood they can get in in that amount of time.

Lastly, I wish the background of the Collector that was done at the beginning of the film was done a little different. I would have liked to see some type of summary of the first movie added so that those who haven’t seen The Collector were made aware of what the missed. 

Last Words

This review might, partially, seem like The Collection gave me a lane to reminisce about the Saw franchise that I so deeply miss — and that could be true. It might also seem like that is big reason why I enjoyed the film. That could also be true. But it doesn’t matter. The Collection puts the viewer on an entertaining and gruesome ride that those who find interest in seeing how much blood can possibly be spilled will enjoy.

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