The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

COLUMN: “The Collector”: An Underrated and Blood-Soaked Thriller 

Staff+profile+for+Drew+Coffey.
Ashanti Thomas
Staff profile for Drew Coffey.

If you are easily freaked out by the thought of a murderer breaking into your home, this film will surely send a chill down your spine. However, that is what makes the film so entertaining and thrilling.  

The 2009 film “The Collector” was directed by Marcus Dunstan and stars Josh Stewart and Juan Fernández de Alarcón as the vicious but calculated masked killer.  

The story is about a thief named Arkin, played by Stewart, who breaks into a family’s home while they are away on vacation to steal money from their safe.

However, he realizes they never made it to their vacation spot as a serial killer has taken the family hostage and booby-trapped the entire house.  

I will start by saying I really do not understand the negative reviews this film has received over the years. The film was called a “soulless torture porn” by critics which I find especially harsh.  

The film’s suspense and intensity are very well executed throughout with Arkin trying to weave around the killer in the house without being spotted. All the while, trying to navigate a way to save the tortured family.  

The film creatively and entertainingly plays with this somewhat simple concept while adding elements to the killer to make it feel genuinely fresh. The design of the creepy antagonist alone is something that will especially make your skin crawl.  

The additional element of the killer putting very clever traps and obstacles around the house makes a tense and nail-biting scenario for our protagonist. However, I can admit that the logistics of the traps are unrealistic especially as they seemingly come out of nowhere throughout the film.  

Despite that, I also think the camera work and continuity of the house itself are well done and help give the audience a sense of space in this fast-paced story. 

There is a particular scene that stuck with me where we see an overhead shot showing Arkin and the killer in the same space with just a wall in between them. Cool, creative shots like this really add to the chaotic energy this film exudes.  

The characters overall were decent despite the stupid and face-palming moments made by the family members. But hey, we got to get that kill count somehow, right? 

There is certainly one word to describe this movie: relentless.  

The film has a constant flow to it that really works in its favor and keeps the audience invested.  It knows not to overstay its welcome in an already exhausting, but entertaining plot.  

I think the negative feedback for “The Collector” can be chalked up to the other films coming out around the time. Whether it be other home invasion films like “The Strangers” or the numerous “Saw” films consistently coming out, the film unfortunately has fallen out of the public eye.  

And while I do see the similarities, especially when it comes to “Saw,” I do not think that it is enough to count this film out as a fairly effective horror thriller.  

In the end, “The Collector” is a fun watch for those who enjoy home invasion horror movies. It utilizes the plot, creative camerawork, and quick editing to really benefit this fast-paced, gory thrill ride.  

Overall rating: 4/5 

Drew Coffey can be reached at akcoffey or 217-581-2812.

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About the Contributors
Drew Coffey
Drew Coffey, Reporter, Columnist
Drew is a senior television and video production major. He previously served as a reporter for The News.
Ashanti Thomas
Ashanti Thomas, Photographer
Ashanti Thomas is a senior digital media major. She previously served as photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

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