The Collector (2009) – Horror Movie Review

Photo The Collector Movie PosterThis one’s all horror, baby. It’s what I refer to as a home invasion slasher, complete with a masked madman who never says a word and whose history is never revealed. His motives should be obvious, though, just read the movie’s title. And if you can handle the gore and overlook a teensy bit of unrealistic plot then you will probably like The Collector (2009) as much as I did.

Photo: Yellow starPhoto: Yellow starPhoto: Yellow starPhoto: Yellow star
4 stars out of 5

Remember when horror moviegoers used to pee their pants for movies with killers they didn’t know a thing about? Sometimes the killers wore masks and moviegoers never even saw the killers’ faces? And the mystery added to the film’s scariness and the villain’s badass factor.

Ah, the good old days.

Apparently, “modern” horror fans can’t be bothered to observe the characters, listen to the dialogue, pay attention to the setting and, if necessary, make an inference once or twice. When did it become a requirement for “good” horror movies to lay everything out on a silver platter and tie it all up with a bow at the end? Uh, hello, Michael Myers didn’t need a reason or a face–he was just evil. Period.

If you’ve read any other reviews then you probably saw something mentioned about plot holes in THE COLLECTOR. Well I disagree, to a certain extent. Sure, I had to overlook one bump in the plot, suspend my disbelief – just once – to stay in the story. But it was worth it.

The writers didn’t take shortcuts anywhere else in the screenplay so I can allow them one “quick fix” because it moved the story forward and plopped me down smack dab in the middle of the fire. I found the opening scenes were more than sufficient to give me the backstory on Arkin (Josh Stewart) and foreshadow the events to come. Around the 25 minute mark was when the action started and it didn’t let up until the credits.

Let me geek out over the writing for just a minute, okay?

Writers are always instructed to throw everything AND the kitchen sink at their characters, especially the main character. We’re taught, if something bad happens, look at the bad thing and make it even worse. Take your character to the brink, dangle him over the edge, then he either saves himself or dies trying. Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan did just that when they wrote the screenplay for THE COLLECTOR. And what they did even better than that was to keep you engrossed in the story and invested in the characters’ survival so that you didn’t sit there looking for what they could do or what might happen next.

You had no choice – you just had to wait and see.

Well I’m not really great at the whole “patience” thing; I just fidgeted in my seat at first and mumbled a bit. But as the tension grew so did my anxiety. It wasn’t long before I yelled comments like “Go! Go! Go!” All the while tapping my foot and teetering on the edge of my seat. I’m not sure the last time I’ve been that anxious and tense. The Strangers (2008) comes to mind but surely there’s been something else since then? (My memory is on vacation at the moment.)

I do know you won’t find too many other horror flicks with as good a match up – protagonist versus antagonist – as this one. Arkin makes smart choices, albeit mostly defensive ones, that really test The Collector (Juan Fernández). It’s quite fun to watch their cat and mouse game; although, in this case, it’s more like a cat and cat game. Good times!



Desperate to repay his debt to his ex-wife, an ex-con plots a heist at his new employer’s country home, unaware that a second criminal has also targeted the property, and rigged it with a series of deadly traps.

Solid writing and genuine acting combined with an excellent use of light, sound effects and music all work together to create a top-notch seriously intense flick that horror fans will enjoy. It’s important to note, however, if you cannot stomach in-your-face gore then you might want to skip THE COLLECTOR. Also, there’s some brief nudity during a sexual situation.

Do you ever talk to or yell at a character during a movie?

Web Resources

The Collector official site | on IMDb | on Netflix | Purchase the DVD

(DVD viewed on 5/5/10)

4 Replies to “The Collector (2009) – Horror Movie Review

  1. Very intriguing review. I guess I’ll have to check this one out now. I started to watch it a few weeks ago, but then I got distracted doing something else and I never did finish it. 🙂

  2. The collector movie is second to none in my idea, however, some parts are unbelievabale. By the way, could you please send me the text(screenplay) of the film .To tell the truth I teach English and I am not very good at listening and want to know all the words in the movie.thanks

  3. @Meisam:

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I don’t have a copy of the screenplay. If you don’t want to listen to the movie then I suggest turning on subtitles or closed captioning on your TV. Sorry I couldn’t be more help. Take care!

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