Ex-con handy man Arkin (Josh Stewart) is desperate to pay off his estranged wife’s loan shark debts, so he breaks into his holidaying employers’ home to steal a valuable gem… and finds himself in a ‘Saw’ movie, complete with razor-wire, guillotined windows, fish hooks and a bear-trap. Marcus Dunstan, who co-wrote this and ‘Saw’ IV, V and VI with his partner, Patrick Melton, makes his directing debut with this low-budget, high- concept home-invasion movie. An enervating exercise in B-movie plot mechanics, serial killer clichés and ‘torture porn’ nastiness, Dunstan’s film not only insults one’s intelligence (how did The Collector rig these ingenious engines of pain in just a few hours?), it defies belief. The masked psycho killer’s cypher-thin victims – reluctant hero, wealthy suburban couple, rebellious teen daughter and horny boyfriend – are jerked about like puppets in a sado-slapstick Punch and Judy show. Meanwhile, the cranked-up action becomes exhausting, the ‘surprises’ more predictable, and the plot holes ever larger. Even for hardcore horror completists, this is no collector’s item.
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