By John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service
"The Collector" (Freestyle) is a gruesome horror tale that wastes its potentially intriguing, if somewhat far-fetched, premise in a welter of relentless bloodletting.
In the opening scenes, ex-con and current handyman Arkin (Josh Stewart) is under pressure to repay a debt to his former wife, Lisa (Daniella Alonso). So Arkin decides to break into his employer Michael's isolated country home, where he knows that Michael, a jewelry broker, is storing an extremely valuable gem.
Expecting the place to be empty, Arkin is horrified to discover instead that Michael, his wife, Victoria (Andrea Roth), and their daughter, Hannah (Karley Scott-Collins), have all been taken captive by a sadistic lunatic, who also has booby-trapped the house with killing devices.
At this point, director and co-writer (with Patrick Melton) Marcus Dunstan might have embarked on an interesting study in moral shading, since Arkin, despite being weak enough to steal, is fundamentally too decent to simply flee, leaving Michael and his family to their fate.
But, in place of any such intelligent fare, what follows is a pitch-black painfest in which the fish hooks, barbed wire and bear traps are left aside only long enough for a gratuitous teen sexual encounter.
The film contains pervasive gory violence, including dismemberment and torture, graphic nonmarital sexual activity, upper female nudity, some rough language and a few crude terms and uses of profanity. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O—morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R–restricted; persons under 17 years of age requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
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Mulderig is on the staff of the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
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