Written by first-time director Marcus Dunstan and co-scribe Patrick Melton, those perverse brains behind the Feast and most recent Saw scripts, The Collector was originally conceived as a prequel to the Saw films only to be rejected by the producers. But the Saw series' loss is our gain because this gleefully sadistic, below-the-radar home invasion thriller is a tidy little shocker.
Imagine an 18-rated version of Home Alone where Macauley Culkin is replaced by a 6ft plus, mute masked killer and you're getting close to the core of The Collector. Riffing on Dario Argento's supernatural giallo horrors, Suspiria and Inferno, for atmospheric music, breathy sound effects, strange psychosexual antics and creative murders, it ratchets up the tension to unbearable levels but not without splatterings of the perverse humour that colour Dunstan and Melton's Saw outings.
Pumping the home invasion genre full of gore, suspense, slasher stylings, a little nudity and some physics-based butchery, The Collector is a worthy addition to the hallowed halls of horror and a reasonably smart entry at that. Made by horror fans for horror fans, there's little to recommend to the unconverted or the squeamish but plenty to excite those of us who like unbearably claustrophobic, high tension tales of sadistic violence. Superior low budget horror.