The Collection picks up closely after where The Collector ended. Arkin, who was
collected at the end of the last movie, manages to escape just in time to see The Collector capture his next victim, Elena. He jumps through a window, and when he wakes up in the hospital, the head of a private team in search of Elena solicits his help. Begrudgingly, Arkin accepts the offer.
The Collection is as different from The Collector, as The Purge: Anarchy is from The Purge. In both franchises, the first entries are set in single-family houses providing claustrophobic chases. Similarly, here as in Anarchy, a group of mercenaries is let out into large areas, in movies that are a whole lot more action-packed than their predecessors.
The Collection mainly takes place in The Collector’s lair (Argento Hotel, in a nice nod), though it takes quite a flimsy explanation to justify how Arkin can find it. It’s also a complete unknown how he knows the interiors of the hotel perfectly.
But who needs logic? It is clear that Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan decided to double-down on The Collector’s B-movie pedigree, and with The Collection, they go all out. It’s not that the first entry was self-serious, but The Collection almost makes it seem that way.
The Collector’s slasher gore was too much for my liking, and while the violence is more than present in The Collection, it is way over the top, and hard to take seriously. That is by design, and it works. Take the nightclub massacre that kicks off the movie. Here we see a whole dance floor plowed down by an impossibly intricate (and impossible to miss) trap. It’s ridiculous, and that’s fine. It seems fitting,
As we get into the hotel, the cat and mice game is again the center of the story, but the vast maze of corridors changes the rules entirely. Too, having a group of protagonists with automatic weapons changes the game, as do the many brain-washed victims that attack like zombies.
The Collector was a straightforward slasher; The Collection is an action slasher.
And as an action slasher, it succeeds, even more so than the first one succeeded in being a slasher. The Collection is an unapologetic race of gun-fire and over-the-top traps. The Collection might be schlock, but/and it’s proud of it.
I would have a hard time recommending The Collector to anyone who wasn’t interested in the slasher genre, but The Collection should hit home for anyone who likes the later Purge movies. In no way do you need to have seen the first movie to enjoy The Collection. It never falls apart under any lore as the Saw franchise did.
And more is coming, with the unfortunately titled The Coll3cted currently filming. It’ll be interesting to see which way they will take it, but as it stands, I wouldn’t mind a further exploration of the slasher genre’s action facets.
Bonus review fact!
This review is posted on Black Friday, in honor of The Collection’s promotional line:
The Real Black Friday Starts November 30th.
Read the review of The Collector!