Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan
Josh Stewart, Emma Fitzpatrick, Christopher McDonald, Lee Tergesen, Tim Griffin, Andre Royo, Randall Archer, Shannon Kane, Brandon Molale, Erin Way, Johanna Braddy, Michael Nardelli, William Peltz
The derivative concept of The Collector somehow merited a sequel and while the follow-up tried mightily to improve the concept, the end result of The Collection wasn’t overall impressive.
The rules for greenlighting horror sequels are amorphous. When a film makes tons of money, it’s expected that numerous sequels will follow even with diminishing returns. However, The Collector wasn’t a huge hit, making just over $7.7 million at the box office. Granted, the $3 million production project meant a decent return on investment, but getting a sequel out for something that wasn’t terribly popular, not even on home video, was a strange decision.
That said, the sequel to The Collector does better than its predecessor in several ways. Most significantly is higher body count, which for a slasher-genre horror film is a net positive. However, most of the deaths occur early in the film as nubile youngsters party in an abandoned warehouse, unknowingly finding themselves trapped in a house of slaughtering horrors. The entire situation stretches credulity, but is no less entertaining for dedicated fans.
The protagonist from the prior film (Josh Stewart) waits for release from the box in which he was captured at the end of the first film. Stewart reprises that role of the unsuspecting thief, captured and tortured by the man in the black hood. Now, he must navigate through a new lair of horrors at gunpoint in order to rescue the young woman who released him from his steamer trunk prison. After the bloodletting of the first few minutes, disposing of all of the throwaway characters, the depravity of this new installment goes beyond the original in less creative, but more realistic ways.
For horror, this is pretty minor stuff. It might have been relegated to the expansive horror shelf at your local 1980s video store where numerous other cheap, schlocky titles languished, picked up only by those fascinated with such things. The most frustrating element of films like this is the lack of character development or, at the very least, introducing and giving backstory and information to characters that are only going to survive for a few minutes. Horror that kills its young actors early in the film rather than letting them be tortured by long sequences of frights isn’t nearly as exciting as it wants to be.
For all its foibles, The Collection is ultimately a slight improvement over its predecessor. Audiences who enjoyed the first film will find a decent amount worth herein to be entertained by, but the end result really doesn’t feel like the kind of film that would merit a third chapter. Since it’s been almost a decade since this picture released, I doubt we’ll get one, which is probably for the best.
February 23, 2021