In many ways, our homes are hallowed grounds. It’s our place of refuge and a reliquary for our family’s memories. Trespassers seeking to do us harm commit a violation of the highest order, but when they turn our own shelters into a tool for our destruction, the infraction is compounded.
In 2009’s The Collector, a masked stranger seeks to do that very thing to a family of four without warning or reason. Framed in this light, the premise had the potential to be a horror classic. However, the end result was lacking in most people’s minds. Still, there was enough potential there to warrant a sequel with 2012’s The Collection.
The Collector as an antagonist has all the ingredients to be a horror icon. He has a unique mask and eyes that shine eerily in the dark. He has a great gimmick with setting elaborate traps and collecting one victim from each of his crime scenes. What holds The Collector back from obtaining icon status is an underwhelming movie that came out at the wrong time.
On paper, The Collector looks great, but his movie came out years too late. Unfortunately for him, The Saw franchise was already well established and his gimmick falls too much in line with Jigsaw’s. There’s also the fact that Jigsaw is a far more compelling antagonist because we know who he is, why he’s killing people, and we can kind of see things from his point of view.
Also, The Collector’s plan doesn’t really make too much sense within the framework of his movie. He sets up tons of elaborate traps in a home with four people. He had no clue that anyone else would be there on his night of terror. When our protagonist breaks into the house to steal from this family, The Collector already has the parents chained up in the basement leaving his bevy of ridiculously elaborate traps for their teenage daughter and a little girl. It makes no sense.
Personally, I would like to see a third movie for The Collector as I feel his potential as a nemesis was never fully realized with his first two films. Third times the charm, right?