The Collector -- Film Review

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Sharing nothing in common with the 1965 Terence Stamp-Samantha Eggar chiller other than the title, "The Collector" grafts a torture porn payoff onto a heist thriller setup with messy, illogical results.

Having penned "Saw IV," "Saw V" and the upcoming "Saw VI" with Patrick Melton, first-time director Marcus Dunstan admittedly knows his way around the viscerally sick and twisted.

But by this stage in the torture porn game, the prevailing sensation is a case of been there, impaled that.

In the absence of a sturdy, plausible foundation on which to hook all those grisly bits, the film, originally a Dimension release, tends to play out more like a protracted "Saw" outtake reel.

When an ex-con handyman (Josh Stewart) sneaks back into the renovated home of a jeweler and his family with the intention of cracking his safe, he discovers it has since been lethally booby-trapped by a silent, masked serial killer (Juan Fernandez) who prefers to keep his bloodied and eviscerated victims alive for as long as possible.

While the would-be jewel thief manages to navigate his way around the complex Rube Goldberg-like contraptions rigged with knives, bear traps and other sharp stuff, getting the innocent inhabitants out in one piece proves trickier.

Dunstan and Melton -- whose horror script "Feast" was a "Project Greenlight" winner -- and imaginative visual effects supervisor David Karlak deliver some squirm-inducing goodies, but in between the depravity, there's an awful lot of running up and down the stairs, not to mention a ridiculously heavy hand with all that spider imagery.

The proficient cast does what little it can with the lifeless material, which is geared exclusively toward their unpleasant demises.

Opens: Friday, July 31 (Liddell Entertainment)
Production: Fortress Features
Cast: Josh Stewart, Michael Reilly Burke, Andrea Roth, Juan Fernandez
Director: Marcus Dunstan
Screenwriters: Patrick Melton & Marcus Dunstan
Executive producers: Mickey Liddell, Jennifer Hilton
Producers: Julie Richardson, Brett Forbes, Patrick Rizzotti
Director of photography: Brandon Cox
Production designer: Ermanno Di Febo-Orsini
Music: Jerome Dillon
Costume designer: Ashlyn Angel
Editors: Alex Luna, James Mastracco, Howard Smith
Rated R, 88 minutes
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