Forgotten Friday Flick – “The Collector”

My previous stomping grounds Starpulse.com has streamlined and simplified their content and as a result years of my column Forgotten Friday Flick has been taken down.  And while there is no shortage of films to cover in the future, there were a few movie notables really near and dear to me that I didn’t want to get lost in the shuffle.  So over the next month or so I’m going to be resurrecting and reposting a few now deleted past picture gems in an effort to keep their lesser-known movie legacy alive.  We’ll begin with a scary piece of cinema that ran on October 12, 2012 in an effort to keep the theme of Halloween front and center – welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick!  Today’s film is so much more then a simple tale of horror, even though it carries the moniker of being from the writers of the Saw sequels.  It’s an engaging mixture of the thriller and serial killer genres, but told with distinctively creative character flair.  One house.  A killer.  A thief.  Let the games begin.  We’re jumping headfirst into the box of…The Collector!

Arkin is a man who is under the gun.  His ex-wife is in debt with a loan shark and fearing for the safety of her and his daughter, Arkin has taken on the bulk of the responsibility.  He has gotten himself a job on a crew doing home renovations for the wealthy Chase family.  But the choice of job is no accident.  An ex-con and master thief, Arkin uses the time to scope and survey the house as he has big plans to swipe a rare gem out of the house safe and pay off the debt.  He goes back later that night and enters and without delay opens the safe skillfully.  There’s only one problem – someone else is already inside.

I’m not going to spoil any more story events or reveal any of the surprises within, but rest assured the man inside with Arkin aims to misbehave.  It’s this aspect of The Collector that proves to be most fascinating, unique and original.  Yes, there are some scenes of real feeling blood and gore, creepy death traps worthy of the Saw franchise and a killer with an affinity for spectacle, but there’s so much more.  The clever device of two very different men (a master thief and a serial killer!), who are both equally skilled in attention to job detail, pitted against each other in a battle of life and death makes for one riveting and fun time.  And as the weary robber Arkin, everyman Josh Stewart is the perfect foil to the brooding mute Collector (here played in mask by a super-creepy and effective Juan Fernández) and watching them try to outsmart each other is fascinating – two sides of the same flawed coin.  Plus I have to hand it to Marcus Dunstan, who not only co-wrote this one with pal Patrick Melton, but also directed for the first time with the skill of a genre master craftsman – it’s a damn impressive debut.

I’m not saying there aren’t some elements of the current horror craze within The Collector, but there’s a killer story difference here way too layered to be ignored.  Why is it okay to avoid a great film because it may have blood and gore elements, but not seeing a remarkable film because it’s in say a period style is considered cinematically narrow minded?  I say cast all terror tale aversions aside and head over to the dark side for just a great film – true originality knows no genre boundaries.


I'm a passionate and opinionated film critic/movie journalist with over 20 years of experience in writing about film - now exclusively for WhySoBlu.com. Previous sites include nine years at Starpulse.com where I created Forgotten Friday Flick back in 2011, before that as Senior Entertainment Editor for The213.net and 213 Magazine, as well as a staff writer for JoBlo.com. My other love is doing cool events for the regular guy with my company Flicks For Fans alongside my friend, partner and Joblo.com writer James "Jimmy O" Oster. Check us out at www.Facebook.com/FlicksForFans.

3 Responses to “Forgotten Friday Flick – “The Collector””

  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    Let the record show Brian is a huge fan of The Collection – http://whysoblu.com/the-collection-itunes-digital-download-review/

  2. Brian White

    This is my most favorite article ever!!!

  3. Jason Coleman

    Appreciate it – HUGE fan of this flick and shouting it loud and proud!