A murkily directed bore "dealing" with the subject of serial killers and revenge only to reconfirm to its horror-fanboy audience that both are totally badass, The Collection doesn't have much to recommend it beyond a first-reel bloodbath rivaling Blade and Death Ship. When the massacre's lone survivor, Elena (Emma Fitzpatrick), is taken hostage by the masked perpetrator, a rescue mission is promptly formed by her rich daddy's muscle (Lee Tergesen) and the only man to have escaped the killer, ex-con Arkin O'Brien (Josh Stewart), returning from 2009's The Collector. The sequel is the product of Collector collaborators, Project Greenlight winners, and Saw series mainstays Marcus Dunstan and co-screenwriter Patrick Melton. The Collector's premise of an unhinged lepidopterist collecting human specimens comes from the 1965 Terence Stamp vehicle of the same title, while the sequel mines another point of reference. As an at-large monster perpetrates an ongoing holocaust, the police entirely overlook the abandoned Hotel Argento at the edge of town (named for the Italian fantasy-horror director Dario), where the Collector has made the booby-trapped funhouse in which this nasty, brutish, and short film largely takes place. While The Collection certainly exhibits Argento's narrative non-logic, and the hotel has the sort of impossible blueprint that he reveled in, Dunstan and Melton's imaginations are too torpid to honor their inspiration. The overall aesthetic is eclectic cabinet-of-curiosities creepy, all specimen jars and spooky mannequins and Victorian wallpaper, somewhere between The Crow and the Closer music video, while the dull, drubbing brutality crescendos with the comic sniping of a homeless man. Nick Pinkerton
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