'The Collection' returns to good old days of horror flicks

The masked killer commits his murderous deeds at Hotel Argento.
The masked killer commits his murderous deeds at Hotel Argento.
Posted: November 30, 2012

HE COLLECTION" takes place in a hotel operated by a serial killer who keeps certain victims alive to torture later.

The property would be reviewed poorly on Expedia.com: "We found the staff [of one] to be discourteous in the extreme, prone to chaining guests to gurneys and cutting off their ears.

"The decor consisted of mannequins dressed to look like mangled human beings, or actual mangled human beings, some of whom were not yet dead.

"There were no meals, but some guests were drugged and hazed until they turned into zombies who attacked other guests.

"Also, we did not like the location, and concur with the man who described the hotel as being located in a part of town that rats will not poop in."

The name of the facility is the Hotel Argento, a reference to the Italian horror auteur Dario Argento, famous for his love of spurting blood, an image much in favor in "The Collection."

I don't know whether it's good or bad that we've reached the point in the evolution of horror movies that a picture like "The Collection," with its fondness for slit throats that gurgle forth with Argento-y plumes of purple plasma, feels like old-fashioned fun.

But, after the clinical naturalism of the sado-porn movement, that's where we are. Chuckling at the blood-shower prologue wherein the masked killer lures partygoers to an exclusive rave (the password is "nevermore") that turns out to be a giant lawn mower.

The killer, as is his habit, takes a few survivors back to the hotel, where they're pursued by a private SWAT/rescue team of desperately expendable character actors and the movie's house-of-horrors, "Ten Little Indians" drama of attrition sets in.

Part of what makes "The Collection" (a sequel to "The Collector") feel like a throwback is the way it invites its audience to hiss at the villain, to root for his demise.

The post-"Seven" sado-pornographer evinces a fashionable sympathy for the killer, and a misanthropic contempt for the victims.

It's become boring, and makes the fake-blood freak-outs of the Hotel Argento feel fresh. For sado-porn, maybe it's checkout time.


Blog: philly.com/KeepItReel

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