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The Collection (iTunes HD Digital Download Review)

It seemed like a long wait, but the day has finally arrived when we get treated once again to the bloody gore and pulverized meat of last November’s The Collection, a sequel to the 2009 horror film The Collector, on Blu-ray, DVD and HD Digital Download.  The film sees Josh Stewart (Bane’s right hand man from The Dark Knight Rises) returning and reprising his role as Arkin alongside Emma Fitzpatrick, Christopher McDonald and more.  Marcus Dunstan is back in the director’s chair and also serves as scribe with Patrick Melton.  If you’re a fan of 2009’s The Collector at all, boy are you in for a treat here.  The Collection picks up right after the brutal events in the first film and really never lets you come up for air throughout its short 82-minute runtime.  Sound interesting to you?  Well…read on for more!  That’s why you’re here.

Film 

So as I said, the film kind of picks up right after the events we witnessed and lived painfully through in the first outing, The Collector.  The thing you need to first understand about the brutal serial killer is the fact that he usually always kills all his victims except one whom he kidnaps and keeps for his “collection” so to speak.  In this case, Arkin just happens to be that one.  Please accept my apologies to anyone who hasn’t seen the first movie.  However, it’s nobody’s fault but your own.  After all, it’s 2013 now and that one came out in what year?  Yes!  2009!

So where was I?  Yes!  Arkin!  Arkin escapes.  He gets away.  But that’s only after our favorite serial killer terrorizes a nightclub, a little reminiscent of the blood bath we saw so long ago in Blade.   And our killer takes a new trophy this time…Emma Fitzpatrick’s character Elena.  And I think it’s safe to say that our Emma has a very protective dad (McDonald) who will stop at nothing to get his daughter back, even operate above the law.  I guess it’s like they always say, if the law’s not working, sometimes you got to take it into your own hands.  You get the picture now.  You don’t need me to spell it out.

A deal is offered to Arkin that he can’t refuse…literally.  That’s because he’s strong-armed and has no choice.  He’s made to lead a small militia into our killer’s hideout in hopes of rescuing Emma before it’s too late.  Arkin wants nothing to do with it.  But again…he has no choice.  Go forth and prosper yo!

I would say this one reminds me a lot of Saw II.  Where The Collector was very original, much like the first Saw film, The Collection amasses a group of people this time around and we watch them get picked off one-by-one in a warehouse-like maze situation…again…much like Saw II…in my opinion.  However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Not at all!  I’m actually quite fond of this 82-minute horror romp.  It’s a gory good time down memory lane with our entomologist fiend as we learn a little more about what gets him off, what he likes to do in his spare time and most importantly…what’s his living quarters like.  The House on the Haunted Hill has nothing on him.  This guy’s persona and interests are very much like Dr. Heiter from The Human Centipede, but even deadlier and stealthier as a physical combatant.  I’m telling you.  Watch out!

But perhaps what I find most appealing and I know that a lot of you will laugh at me for saying this is the feature’s cinematography.  The shot of our favorite serial killer standing in the hallway, gun in hand and two attack dogs on either side of him under the sheer blue light has to be one of the most breathtaking cinematic shots I have ever seen in my life.  I get goose bumps every time I see that iconic image (iconic to me) on the big screen or even as a .jpeg on the web.  With that one shot you know our killer means nothing but business…and I mean the killing kind.  And let’s not forget the fire and ice contrasts when Elena is using the guy’s trophies to put out the flames.  This is gorgeous use of orange and blue hues.  It’s simply breathtaking in my opinion.   Now tell me.  Did you ever think you would hear gorgeous in a sentence within a horror movie review?  Honestly, neither did I.  But I used it.  And I mean it!

However, with all this good The Collection has going for it, the film failed to make a splash at the box office and despite my love and praise for the film most critics were divided on it as well.  The 10 million dollar feature only pulled in about 9 at the box office, but here’s me raising my glass to its success on the home video market.  I want a third story.  Marcus Dunstan says he has one here.  Let’s show him we want it!

Video 

I have to admit.  I know a bunch of Blu-ray enthusiasts will call BS on this statement, but The Collection looks absolutely stellar.  Sure there are moments of slight compression because of it being a digital download, but by golly does it ever look gritty, sharp and vibrant as ever on my HDTV screen.  All pores, intestines and bloody gashes are intact.  However, I was even more impressed by the inkiest and deepest blacks I ever saw on the digital platform.  I’m now actually curious to see if this could even possibly look any better on the Blu-ray format.  Oh well, what’s important is that I’m extremely happy with the 1080p treatment given to this HD download and believe you me…it will see a lot of screen time in my house.  You can take that to the bank.  Fo sho!

Audio 

Equally impressive was the audio here.  I have a new setup in my house, compared to when I used to review Blu-rays on the site and the rear speakers are positioned a little closer to me now, although calibrated for such proximity.  But wow!  This digital download sure makes impressive use of them with its kick you in the a$$ Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track.  Ever slash of the knife, spray of bullets and screams in the dark engulfs you right in the middle of the action as you settle down in your viewing area and plan on being disturbed and grossed out to the max at what’s going on in front of you.  Congratulations.  Turn this one up.  You are in the middle of the mayhem.  It’s almost like being hunted huh?  Maybe the Collector wants you!  And even better…every spoken word is highly intelligible and clear.  What more could you ask for?  I know.  I know.  Lossless audio.  Maybe someday, what’s the hustle.

Extras 

Sadly, there are no iTunes Extras for The Collection.  Oddly enough, its big brother on the Blu-ray format does indulge viewers with some Alternate Scenes, Featurettes, a trailer and even a commentary that as a fan of this film I kind of want to hear.  Oh well.  Beggars can’t be choosers I always say.  It’s just sad they couldn’t share some of the Featurettes with the iTunes Digital Download.  Maybe next time.

Summary  

Yeah that’s right.  Do the math I dare you.  Okay, so I rounded up from 3.125, but that’s my prerogative as Bobby Brown used to say.  I can do what I want to do.  Why?  Because I love this little film.   That’s why!  It’s short.  It’s sweet.  And it makes no excuses.  It’s a bloody good time and a revisit to a franchise that I would love to see a third film produced for.  Hint.  Hint.  So what are you waiting for?  Download it now using image link below or bring it home on Blu-ray.  The choice is yours.  Whatcha going to do?  Either way it’s a win-win with a slashing good time and highly remarkable A/V specs.  Get to it!

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Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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