When the guys behind the most recent “Saw” movies had some extra time in their busy schedules they made a small independent horror film called “The Collector”. Since the “Saw” movies they were apart of were nothing but pure crap, I was a little hesitant about watching this movie, but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at how effective and entertaining it was. This is a real sleeper hit in the cluttered world of horror.

Released into a few theatres in 2009 and now on DVD, this movie really delivers the goods. High suspense, brutal violence and gore and characters you actually like for a change. Our hero is Arkin is a small time crook trying to turn his life around, he has a young daughter that lives with his ex-wife. His ex is in deep with some loan sharks and needs money by the end of the night. He has been working a construction job at this rich families home and decides the only way to get the money he needs in a hurry is to rob the place. Things start out well until he runs into the Collector. Kind of like showing up at a party wearing the same dress. These two are on quite the collision course.

Since this movie has so much going for it you tend to ignore the clichéd and ridiculous moments like a strip club scene, Arkin just wants his family back, and the killer that wears a mask not to mention several others. “The Collector” really shines in its building of suspense and the cat and mouse games played by Arkin and the killer. Most of the action takes place in this big opulent house, where they are fully aware of each others presence. The Killer also seemed to have the time and the resources to rig up meticulous traps in each room (this is the ridiculous part) to make Arkin’s life a bit more difficult. While Arkin just wants to rob the wall safe and leave. The Collector wants to torture and kill the owners and who ever comes by. The traps do seem to be obviously inspired by the famous “Saw” traps although with a sort of twist.

As the title advertises the killer collects one live victim and stashes them in a red trunk from each of his crimes. Will Arkin be added to his collection? The ending has its own little twists and turns that are pretty amusing. “The Collector” is definitely worth a viewing or two and a buy if under $10. Hopefully after “Saw” has run its course, these guys will use this gem to make even better films.