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"The Collector"

Directed by Marcus Dunstan.
Written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan.
Starring Josh Stewart, Michael Reilly Burke, Andrea Roth and Juan Fernandez.
Release Year:  2009
Review Date:  8/4/09


Never even saw the trailer for the new horror film "The Collector", but in some ways, that works well...while the film is not great and its ending didn't leave me that happy, the scares and gore in the film more than satisfied my appetite for the occasional nasty genre flick.

Josh Stewart plays a thief fronting as a construction worker; he has money problems thanks to his ex-wife (I'm guessing she's an ex-wife; this is never specifically addressed) and so after meeting with a crime boss, he takes off to rob the house he's currently remodeling, which he knows has a safe in the master bedroom.  When he arrives and begins cracking the safe, The Collector (Juan Fernandez) arrives a few minutes later and...well, let's say that The Collector has a habit of collecting things that most people don't.  The rest of the movie is a one-hour real-time cat-and-mouse game between the thief, The Collector, and some unfortunate souls who have been Collected in the house's basement.

It's not rocket science--good horror films are rated R for a reason.  In "The Collector", those reasons include gratuitous blood/gore/violence, unnecessary nudity (with a strip club scene thrown in just to make sure you know what's up), and scares both real and volume-enhanced.  Knowing nothing about this film coming into it certainly made it better; with a bunch of no-name actors (although, one woman is a bit player from the TV show "Rescue Me"), anyone is just a click away from getting axed, even small children!  And, the setup of The Collector setting up traps all over the house leads to some imaginative, "Saw"-like deaths...ironically, the writers of the last three "Saw" movies wrote/directed this film.

There are the standard moments of unbelievability and killer-won't-die-ness; c'mon, all horror movies need to have them, and then you add in the terrible child acting and Stewart's own lack of talent, and you've got a film that isn't even in the running for the horror film hall of fame.  But, "The Collector" will be a great rent when it makes its way to DVD in two or three days, right after "Land of the Lost."

Rating:  Matinee


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 08/04/09