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Saturday 16 December 2017

a cut above typical horror collection

Brought up on a diet of Friday the 13th and Hallowe'en, I've little time for the modern-day horror equivalents that are high on torture porn but low on thrills.

Hostel wasn't bad, but the sequel was pretty disgusting and amoral. In times like these, the remake of I Spit on Your Grave will fit in just nicely.

So I wasn't expecting much from Marcus Dunstan's latest effort, given his involvement with Saw IV, V and VI, part of the never-ending franchise of OTT gruesome frights.

Here, recession-hit Arkin (Josh Stewart) is a handyman who works in a mansion set deep in some spooky woods.

With the owners away on holiday, he plans to ransack the place and pay off the loan sharks preying on his family over his ex-wife's gambling debts.

Unbeknownst to him, the family aren't away at all -- they're being held hostage by a bondage-wearing madman straight out of Saw who's booby-trapped the house with all manner of knives, acid flooring, razor wire and so on.

It's Home Alone meets Hostel -- with plenty of effectively creepy music thrown in.

The cinematography, too, is effectively chilling and it all works well as a horror movie, except for the modern fashion for being too gruesome.

So we get a diet of teeth being pulled out, lips being sewn shut and fish hooks piercing the skin of unsuspecting victims.

What's worse, the ending leaves The Collector open to a sequel, and then another and another movie.

But the cat-and-mouse bits are worth watching and Stewart is decent as the anti-hero who must decide whether to do the right thing and help save the tortured and trapped family.

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