It may sound odd to call the horror film The Collection joyless, but if you can’t have a little fun while killing, maiming and torturing people, why bother?
The movie, a sequel to 2009’s gorenographic The Collector, about a psychopathic kidnapper with a fondness for bondage hoods and booby traps, is notably dull and repetitive, even by the standards of an already repetitive genre.
There are, however, a couple of startling set pieces, which should please fans of this sort of thing.
The opening scene, set in a techno dance club, features a massacre by means of a soil-tiller-like mechanism that churns through the sweaty crowd, reducing several dozen sexy extras to a pile of buff, if bloody, body parts in a matter of minutes. This is the MO of the killer (played in the first film by Juan Fernandez and here by Randall Archer, with a wordless menace that somehow manages to feel stiff and amateurish, even under a face-obscuring mask): gruesome mass murder, followed by the kidnapping of a single remaining victim.
In The Collection, that victim is dance-club patron Elena (Emma Fitzpatrick), a rich kid who soon finds herself crammed into in a steamer trunk next to the survivor – and hero – of the first film, petty criminal Arkin (Josh Stewart).
He somehow manages to escape; she doesn’t. The action of this film centers on the mission to rescue Elena by a team of mercenaries that Elena’s daddy (Christopher McDonald) has hired. They force Arkin, against his will, to lead them back to the Collector’s fetid, booby-trapped lair.
Met more by moans and groans of disgust than by screaming, the film is a slightly below-average example of what contemporary horror has become.
It isn’t so much scary as it is depressing.