Picking up right where “The Collector” left off, this sequel dials everything up a notch. Everything except overall quality, that is.
After surviving the first film, Arkin (Josh Stewart) finally gets free from The Collector. When a wealthy man’s daughter is taken by him, though, Arkin is recruited to go back into the madman’s lair with a group of mercenaries to get her back. Having seen how the Collector can booby trap his victim’s homes, one can only imagine the horrors that await them in his home.
This movie works well despite losing its way from time to time. Where “The Collector” worked because it was a dreadfully suspenseful night of terror, this film plays more as a torture porn gorefest. That’s it biggest shortcoming: it tries to hard to be the next “Saw” film and that franchise ran its course two or three films ago (basically when the writers of this film took over). The body count here goes through the roof in the opening minutes and as a result, we don’t care about any of those victims nearly as much as we did the handful in the first film. Also gone is the sense of the twisted genius lurking in the shadows. No one knew what he wanted in the first movie, but here he doesn’t seem to want anything other than a massive bodycount – his character becomes a lot less interesting because of it.
So what works? Somehow, despite all of that, director Marcus Dunstan manages to infuse the whole thing with a sense of dread – there are some truly taut moments along the way. As if seeing where the story went wrong from the beginning, there are some surprisingly strong character-development moments to try and put a name with the faces – some work better than others. The finale is, in a word, awesome.
This is a great horror flick if you don’t think too much about it, but it has a pretty niche audience to be honest. The gore is enough to turn off a lot of people, but not enough to appeal to true gore hounds. The suspense makes it a scary ride worth taking, though.