Film / The Collector

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The Collector (2009) is an American horror film. Arkin O'Brien is a ex-con that breaks into a house to steal valuables, only to discover that a second person has already broken in, captured the residents, and has set up a variety of high-concept booby traps. Arkin is forced to try to figure out a way to save those he intended to rob, and also fight to survive.

A sequel, going by the title The Collection, was released on November 30, 2012, and was marketed as the real Black Friday.


The Collector and The Collection provides the following tropes:

  • Actionized Sequel: The Collection.
  • Antagonist Title: The first movie.
  • Arachnid Appearance and Attire: The Collector seems to have an affinity with spiders. With his mask and bizarre eyes he somewhat resembles one, his traps fulfill the same function as a spider's web, and he keeps a number of them as pets. He even has a minor Pet the Dog moment where he opens the basement window and releases a spider back into the wild.
  • Axe Crazy: The Collector, being a psychotic sadist that puts people through Cold-Blooded Torture For the Evulz.
  • Anti-Hero: Arkin is a Type II or III in the first film. He broke into the house so that he could help his wife pay off her loan shark, and after finding out the family was being held prisoner, he tried to help them.
    • Firmly becomes a Good Is Not Nice in The Collection. Likely becomes a Type IV with his capturing of The Collector, after he had gone through 11 entomologists, The Collector's actual job, just to find the right one.
  • Anti-Villain: Lucello is Type IV in The Collection. He desperately wants to get Elena back and so he cons Arkin into entering The Collector's hotel. But he gradually ends up trusting him and also pulls a Heroic Sacrifice in the end.
  • Alternate Ending: One that ends the film halfway even! In the alternate ending, Arkin, instead of going back in the house to try and save someone, just flips off the house and skips town.
  • Badass: Arkin by The Collection, Lucello Elena is deaf in one ear and manages to outwit The Collector's traps.
    • Always from the second one, even just for a moment, the Collector himself is also one. He beats four armed and trained mercenaries all by his own using an hook and his bare hands. Also it appears he knows some figthing movement.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: The climax of The Collection.
  • Booby Trap: The Collector's M.O. for those he selected and captured.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The strangely silent exterminator working for "Master Trap" who briefly interacts with Arkin is implied to be the Collector.
  • Complexity Addiction: What else can you call so thoroughly booby-trapping a house after you've already captured almost everyone in it?
  • Crazy-Prepared: The Collector. He even began to reach levels close to The Chessmaster by The Collection.
  • Decapitation Presentation: Lucello does this to one of Collector's killer dogs.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: The titular Collector is a walking, talking one, capable of rigging a whole house with extensive death traps within five minutes, rigging even more elaborate death traps in a club, fill an abandoned hotel with hundreds of traps that he never sets off by mistake, is combat capable enough to fight and kill trained mercenaries, more or less walks off being set on fire, and has zero motivation for all his monstrous deeds beyond 'For the Evulz'. He's less a serial killer than a malevolent force of nature, or a wizard.
  • Downer Ending: The first film.
  • The Faceless: The Collector again. Though in both movies, they do show his face.
  • Final Girl: Arkin is a male example in the first film. He and Elena are examples from the second.
  • Fingore: We get a few sliced fingers here and there.
  • For the Evulz: One the Collector's main reason d'etre.
  • Freudian Excuse: At the very end of the second film, Arkin says to the Collector that has father must've fucked him up pretty bad.
  • From Bad to Worse: More so than the Saw films.
  • Gorn: It is written by Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton, the same writers for the Saw franchise and Feast, what do you expect?
  • Hope Spot: At the very end of the first film, Arkin has managed to escape the house and save the little girl, and and stumbles onto police who call an ambulance for him. What's more, he's managed to keep ahold of the stone that'll allow him to pay off his wife's loanshark. But then The Collector rams a van into the ambulance, causing it to roll over on it's back. He kills the paramedic, and traps Arkin in his box.
  • Infant Immortality: You didn't really think Hannah was in any danger, did you? In the alternate ending, though, she certainly is...
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sure, he may be a robber but Arkin is only doing the robbery to pay off his ex-wife's Loan Shark problem, as well as to protect her and their daughter.
  • Karma Houdini: Averted with the Collector in The Collection.
  • Karmic Death: Arkin locks The Collector in the box then burns him alive at the end of The Collection, similar to what The Collector had done to Arkin at the end of the previous film. It's also suggested that Arkin's about to REALLY go midieval on The Collector's ass for a long time after.
  • Kick the Cat
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: In The Collection, The Collector gets his ass handled to him by Arkin in a glorious No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, and he will almost certainly be killed by him.
  • Knife Fight: Between Lucello and the Collector.
  • Knife Nut: The Collector's preferred weapon for when he has to kill someone hands on.
  • Left the Background Music On: At the end of the second film, a man walks into his house and begins to sort his mail. He hears something, and begins to wander the house armed. The music begins to get louder and more tense...until he reaches out a switches off the radio he had turned on a few minutes earlier.
  • Light-Flicker Teleportation: In the second film, Arkin is exploring a room in the hotel where the lights keep flickering. The Collector enters the room, and slowly sneaks up on him. Arkin turns around just as the Collector lunges at him. Then when the lights flicker again, we see that Arkin managed to slip out of the room before the Collector could get him.
  • Malevolent Masked Man: Very VEEERY malevolent.
  • Museum of the Strange and Unusual: The Collector has turned an abandoned hotel into one.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: After all the shit The Collector has caused him, Arkin gives one to him at the end of "The Collection" after Lucello's gives his life, so he can give Arkin a chance to attack.
  • Papa Wolf: Mr. Peters is willing to do anything to get her back even that means hiring outside help and killing the man who collected his daughter.
    • Arkin himself is one, especially after seeing the "Get Well" card from The Collector.
  • Red Right Hand: The Collector has animal-like reflective eyes that give a glowing effect. A close up in the second film makes the pupil appear to be one solid color.
  • Right-Hand Attack Dog: Just one of the Collector's many weapons.
  • Serial Killer: The Collector
  • Sequel Escalation: The first movie featured a house filled with traps. The sequel features not only a massive Death from Above scene set inside a club, but also has lots more traps inside the hotel that The Collector resides within.
  • Slave Mooks: Using a combination of torture and drugs the Collector drives some of his victims permanently insane and then sics them on intruders en masse.
  • Suddenly Voiced: The Collector at the end of the second film.
  • Tempting Fate: The second film opens with a flashback showing Mr. Peters and a young Elena driving home after the death of her mother. He promises her that he'll always be there for her. Not three seconds later, they're hit by another car. They both live, but it happens so quickly that it almost seems darkly comical.'
  • Took a Level in Badass: Arkin in The Collection.
  • The Tooth Hurts: The Collector uses a chisel and hammer to knock out one of Arkin's teeth.
  • Torture Porn
  • Torture Technician
  • Trap Master: The Collector, almost to Reality Warper levels.
  • The Voiceless: The Collector, in true slasher fashion. Until the very end of the second film.
  • Unexplained Recovery: The Collector survives and without any scars after being fully engulfed in fire at the end of The Collection.
    • Arkin at the beginning of the second movie. By the end of 'The Collector, his hands are shredded, he's had a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown with the Collector, he's been all sliced up, and he gets hit by a car when he finally flags down some cops. In The Collection, after an unknown length of time in the Collector's hands, we find him basically unharmed if completely soaked in blood. No explanation given.
      • Not to mention that despite re-breaking his arm to get out of a cage, Arkin has no issue delivering a no-holds-barred beatdown to the Collector at the end of the film. True, one of the other characters 're-set' the arm, but they might have well have just healed it outright.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Arkin escapes from the house and is about to leave when he hears the little girl screaming. He tells himself to keep walking but ultimately returns to save her.
  • Your Head Asplode: Happens to Basil (guy in the towel) in The Collection.

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