The Collector comes from the writers of a handful of Saw sequels, was originally intended to be a prequel to Saw, and the influence of those films is very apparent. It’s not a particularly original film, but if you’re looking for a well-executed home-invasion-meets-Home-Alone horror film it hits the spot.
The colour palette is confined to blue-tinged darkness; clichéd, but it suits the grim tone. The attempts at stylistic flourishes are less successful – it’s like a Nine Inch Nails video, with an overblown soundtrack that occasionally heightens the tension but more often undercuts it with silly sound effects.
The action is mostly confined to a suburban house where the titular villain has assembled numerous grisly traps. The villain is clever, resourceful but not omniscient, while the hero of the piece – a burglar with terrible timing – is sympathetic, good-hearted and surprisingly competent, regularly torn between the right thing and the smart thing. The family living in the house aren’t as well-written: there’s your slutty teenage daughter, angelic little girl, vain soccer mom etc.
The Collector delivers on its modest goals. If it’s the kind of film you like, you’ll enjoy it, but is unlikely to hold much appeal for non-horror fans.