I came to see the Collection as the only person in my group of five who had seen the original. While everyone else had low expectations of the movie and thought it would be like any other senseless slasher film, I had a lot of hope that it might be more like the first movie in the series. I actually quite liked the Collector (I rated it a 6 over on Metacritic) and I was hoping for something similar but on a larger scale. I was, unfortunately, disappointed.

The movie opens with an unnecessary and, honestly, very uncharacteristic scene of carnage. Seriously, the Collector has been established as a guy who abducts families and runs them through their own booby trapped homes. Now all of the sudden he’s just going to wipe out a few hundred peyople at an underground club? Not really understanding this… Anyway, during all this Arkin – our hero from the original – escapes and the new ‘bait’ girl is taken.

Except, you know, instead of some epic large scale escalation of abductions we follow Arkin and some mercenaries into a menagerie of dead bodies, screwed up people, and just abject gore. I understand that this is a gory slasher film but c’mon. The Collector’s entire modum operandi was altered from the first film and made entirely erratic. Who makes the jump that the guy who kills suburban families for sadistic actually lives in an abandoned hotel where he has some odd thousands of bodies?

I mean, I get that the guy has been terrorizing the city for a little while but he could have at max probably gone through like fifteen to twenty families with about five people each? That’s maybe one hundred people. I just… there was NO EXPLANATION OF ANY OF IT. And that bothered me. If you’re going to change things so drastically and you’re going to escalate things so immensely at least do me the courtesy of explaining how, you know, any of it is possible.

He was a collector, he was fusing skeletons together, he was keeping certain people and screwing them up but… what was the point? What was his motive? What was his end goal? They tried to explain a little bit of it at the end after their false ending but even that didn’t explain much. I was just super disappointed. They should have taken more of a Saw-like turn than going they way they did with this series.

There were a few things that I did like, though.

I liked the girl who played the main heroine. In particular, I liked that she was half deaf. I’m half deaf and people have constantly counted me out in things my whole life. This was actually the first time I had ever seen someone like me in a movie. And though she was called ‘imperfect’ she certainly proved herself.

I also really like Josh Stewart as an actor. He was at the forefront of Criminal Minds’s season finale last year and it was absolutely fantastic. I like him as an actor and I liked him as Arkin. Heck, I like Arkin in general. He’s a good character. The real ending through me a bit and while I appreciated the sentiment was still a bit off. But hey. I won’t be too picky.

And, really, the opening massacre? It wasn’t good in the sense that it made sense but if you’re a gore fan it was some pretty good fan service. Granted, I’m not much of a gore fan myself and the whole set up was terribly unrealistic – there is just no way he could have rigged an entire building to do the things it did without owning it or something. I mean, it’s pretty obvious that you have a shit ton of rotating lawnmower-esque blades hanging from the ceiling. And there’s really only one use for that.

So, should you watch the Collection?

Probably not. If you watched the first one and enjoyed it it’s worth watching just to follow up with Arkin. But if you haven’t seen the original – or if you did and are expecting some of the same – maybe forget about this one for now.

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