The Collector (2009 film)

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The Collector
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Marcus Dunstan
Produced by Brett Forbes
Julie Richardson
Patrick Rizzotti
Christopher Lockhart
Written by Marcus Dunstan
Patrick Melton
Starring Josh Stewart
Michael Reilly Burke
Andrea Roth
Juan Fernandez
Karley Scott Collins
Madeline Zima
Robert Wisdom
Music by Jerome Dillon
Nathaniel Caserta
Cinematography Brandon Cox
Edited by Alex Luna
James Mastracco
Fortress Features
Neo Art & Logic
Imaginarium Entertainment Group
Distributed by Freestyle Releasing
LD Entertainment
Release dates
  • July 31, 2009 (2009-07-31)
Running time
90 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $3-3.4 million[1][2]
Box office $9.4 million[3]

The Collector is a 2009 horror film written by Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton and directed by Dunstan.[4]

Originally titled The Midnight Man, the script was originally intended to be a Saw prequel, but the producers were against the idea and quickly dismissed it.[5][6]


Larry and his wife return home to find the power is out. They discover a large box upstairs, and are horrified by its contents. They are then attacked by an unseen assailant.

Arkin O'Brien is an ex-convict working as a handyman. His latest customers are the Chase family, and he takes a liking to their younger daughter Hannah. While working at the Chase home, Arkin notices several strange insects around the house; a spider in Hannah's room and a large wasp nest in the yard. After work, Arkin meets his wife, whose debt to several loan sharks is due by midnight. In order to protect her and their young daughter, Arkin plans a heist at the Chase home, which houses a valuable ruby. He breaks in, but while attempting to crack the safe, he hears a masked figure who enters in the house and locks the door. Michael, the father of the Chase family, appears, beaten and bloody, and attempts to attack Arkin with a golf club, thinking Arkin is the perpetrator. However, the club is rigged with a trap that incapacitates Michael, and the masked man drags Michael into the basement. Arkin attempts to call 911, but the phone is rigged with another trap, and the windows have been boarded up and lined with razors, making escape impossible.

Arkin retreats to the basement, where Michael informs him that his wife Victoria is trapped as well, his older daughter Jill is out and Hannah is hiding somewhere. He tells Arkin there's a gun in the safe, and gives him the combination. Arkin goes into the other room, a bathroom, where he finds Victoria, who is gagged and has duct tape stapled over her eyes. Arkin takes the gag off and explains that he is trying to help, he then tells her that in order for him to find Hannah she is going to have to scream so he can get back upstairs undetected. Although hesitant at first, she eventually screams and the man comes downstairs, allowing Arkin to go upstairs to get to the safe. Upon opening the safe, Arkin gets the gun, and also pockets the ruby. While searching for Hannah, he finds the same box from the beginning of the film. Hearing noises coming from the box, he opens it to find Larry, now bloody and disfigured. Larry explains to Arkin that the masked man is a "collector" of people - he only collects one person and kills everyone else, like he did his wife. Horrified, Arkin tries to escape, and encounters the family cat stuck in a trap. He frees it but it is killed by another trap when it tries to escape out the window. The Collector hears the commotion upstairs and goes to check it out, but Arkin manages to hide. The Collector notices the dead cat and leaves the room before locking Larry back in the trunk.

Arkin goes back downstairs and discovers that Michael was brutally killed. He goes to Victoria, who was briefly tortured, and frees her from the downstairs bathtub. They head up the basement stairs to try and escape, but after Victoria notices Michael's hanging corpse, she panics and runs into the Collector, who stabs her multiple times and throws her back downstairs. Arkin hides under the desk and watches as the Collector takes a still-alive Victoria back into the bathroom, only pausing momentarily as he frees a dying spider. Arkin heads upstairs and pulls the panels from one of the windows. Meanwhile, the Collector fills the bathtub with gasoline and sews Victoria's mouth shut. Shortly after, Jill arrives home with her boyfriend Chad. As the two prepare to have sex on the kitchen table, they notice the Collector watching them. Chad attacks him but is killed when he is pushed into a room filled with several bear traps. Jill is captured, but she manages to make a 911 call before being taken. Using an alarm clock as a distraction, Arkin frees Jill, but she doesn't trust him, and is quickly killed by a trap when she reaches for a pair of scissors.

Arkin returns upstairs and tries to free Larry, but is unable to. Instead, he decides to flee the house, but as he is escaping, he sees Hannah in the window. He re-enters the house and prepares a trap with Hannah. However, the Collector uses Larry as a decoy and the trap kills Larry instead. Arkin then sends Hannah down a chute into the basement where she hides. Arkin would fight the Collector and pulls off his mask before being knocked unconscious. The Collector then puts his mask back on and later takes him into the basement. The Collector then proceeds with brutally torturing Arkin by hammering off one of his teeth and cutting a wound on Arkin's stomach and letting insects feed in the wound. A police officer responds to Jill's 911 call, but upon arrival he is quickly killed by the Collector's dog; the distraction gives Arkin time to free himself, but he discovers Victoria dead and armed explosives in the basement. He prepares to leave immediately with Hannah but the Collector sees them escape outside and sends his dog after them. After killing the dog, Arkin would start another fight with the Collector with the fight ending as Arkin kicks the Collector into the basement. The Collector, however makes his way out of the basement using a shotgun and hunts for Arkin and Hannah but is lured into one of his own traps. Arkin then escapes the house with Hannah. They run into several approaching police officers, who take them to safety. A conversation between Arkin and a police officer reveals the Collector was an exterminator also working at the Chase house. The explosives promptly detonate and destroy the house.

While being taken to the hospital, Arkin discovers that the ruby is still in his pocket. He begs the paramedic to call his wife but before he can, a large van slams into the ambulance, flipping it over. The driver is then revealed to be the Collector, who kills the paramedic and kidnaps Arkin by dragging him out of the ambulance and placing him in the red trunk from earlier, before driving away.

After the credits, the Collector is seen sitting on his box while watching film slides. Arkin can be heard screaming that he will kill the Collector once he gets out. The Collector then kicks the box to keep him quiet.

Alternate ending[edit]

In the theatrical release of the film, Arkin notices Hannah through the window with the Collector going in her direction, and returns to save her. In the alternate ending he looks back at her before running away, leaving her behind.



Theatrically released on July 31, 2009 in the United States, the DVD was released on April 6, 2010.[7] A rental version was made available February 12, 2010 through Blockbuster Video's Exclusive Line.[8] The DVD includes two deleted scenes and also an alternative ending which is Arkin leaving after seeing Hannah in the window – thus cutting off the remaining 25 minutes of the film.[citation needed]


Critical reviews[edit]

The Collector was met with generally negative reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a rating of 30%, based on 69 reviews, with an average rating of 4/10. The site's general consensus reads, "Increasingly tedious displays of gore makes this torture porn home-invasion-horror more programmatic than provocative."[9] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 29 out of 100, based on 11 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[10]

Clay Clane of BET noted that, "You will squirm, but aren't we getting a bit desensitized to these routine torture flicks? It's like seeing a pop songstress get naked for the billionth time – yeah, she's hot, but we have all seen it before."[11] Bloody Disgusting gave the film a 3.5/5 and wrote that The Collector is "a raw, gritty and uncompromising horror film that puts the previous Saw film to shame." The reviewer also believed that the character of the Collector had the potential to become a new horror icon.[12]

Box office[edit]

On the opening day, the film opened in 1,325 theaters, grossing $1,325,000.[13] The film has grossed $7,712,114.[14]


Main article: The Collection (film)

Patrick Melton said this in an interview:

"I didn’t think it necessarily would happen because while the movie did well for its budget, it certainly wasn't a blockbuster, but it did well enough that the film’s producer, Mickey Liddell, wants to make a sequel and of course wants me and Marcus to be involved again. So we are seeing if we can work out some sort of a deal for us to write it and for Marcus to direct, but right now it’s just in the deal stage. It is a possibility. I couldn't imagine it being made without Marcus directing it."[15]

Shooting began in October 2010[16] of The Collection which was released on November 30, 2012. Josh Stewart reprises his role as Arkin.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ McNary Dave (July 17, 2009). "Duo sparked by 'Project Greenlight'". Variety. 
  2. ^ Daniels, Hunter (July 31, 2009). "Exclusive: Writer/Director Marcus Dunstan and Co-Writer Patrick Melton Interview – THE COLLECTOR". 
  3. ^ "The Collector Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 28, 2009. 
  4. ^ Confirmed! The Collector DVD Coming in April
  5. ^ "How 'The Collector' Was Almost a Prequel to Saw!". Blooding Disgusting. Retrieved July 21, 2009. 
  6. ^ "INTERVIEW: Marcus Dunstan & Patrick Melton". July 31, 2009. 
  7. ^ "The Collector DVD Release in April?!?". December 28, 2009. 
  8. ^ Full Specs and Art for DVD and Blu-ray of The Collector
  9. ^ "The Collector (2009)". Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved September 20, 2014. 
  10. ^ "The Collector: Reviews (2009)". Metacritic. CNET Networks. Retrieved December 29, 2009. 
  11. ^ "BET Review". BET. Retrieved July 31, 2009. 
  12. ^ "The Collector Review". Blooding Disgusting. Retrieved July 27, 2009. 
  13. ^ New Stills From The Collector
  14. ^ "Box Office Mojo – The Collector". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 2, 2009. 
  15. ^ "The Collection". March 15, 2010. 
  16. ^ "The Collection". bloody-disgusting. April 28, 2010. 

External links[edit]