'The Collection': The Reviews Are In!

Horror enthusiasts gush about 'Saw' writer's latest gore-fest, but other critics are less than impressed.

Halloween is long behind us, but you wouldn't know that if you were judging solely on this weekend's movie offerings.

Out in theaters now is "The Collection," director Marcus Dunstan's sequel to his 2009 horror flick that once again stars Josh Stewart ("The Dark Knight Rises") as Arkin, a thief forced to put his criminal ways aside to do battle with a ruthless foe. By most accounts, the sequel looks to be trading in the first movie's cat-and-mouse terror in favor of ramped-up gore and action, with some reviewers going so far as to make parallels between "The Collection" and James Cameron's "Aliens." Other critics haven't been quite as kind to this latest effort from Dunstan, one of the writers involved with the "Saw" franchise, with some describing the movie as "dumb, gross, gratuitous and overly familiar."

Read on for a round-up of "The Collection" reviews.

The Story

"The Collector's one knack is keeping a human souvenir, and the last we saw of cat burglar-turned-reluctant hero Arkin (Josh Stewart), he had become the killer's latest pet. He manages the mayhem of a nightclub massacre — admirable as a bit of first-act rug-pulling, and the film's first giddy signpost into tongue-in-cheek territory — while the Collector scoops up Elena (Emma Fitzpatrick) as his next victim. Her millionaire father (Christopher McDonald) won't see her taken to escape amid without a fight, and so he hires a team of mercenaries to coerce Arkin into returning to the Collector's lair, a trap-laden hotel, in an effort to rescue the teenage girl." — William Goss, Film.com

The Sequel Factor

"'The Collection' feels sort of like the 'Aliens' to 'The Collector's' 'Alien.' The blood and gore are amped up to high and the idea of a group of mercenaries going to search for a surviving girl feels very similar in tone to Cameron's famous sequel. Sure this latest scarefest doesn't delve into the cat and mouse aspect that made the original frightening, yet it offers tons of over-the-top scares and a funhouse feel. Co-writers Dunstan and Patrick Melton ('Saw IV,' 'V,' 'VI' and 'VII') have effectively made a sequel that expands on their dark and twisted world in a gleefully gory way." —[WJ1] ; JimmyO, JoBlo.com

The Bad Bad Guy

"Unfortunately, the Collector simply isn't a very interesting screen villain. Clad in a black mask that reveals only his eyes and mouth, he mainly communicates by heavy breathing. It makes one yearn for the perversely witty chatter of Jigsaw." — Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

The Back-Handed Compliment

"['The Collection'] has enough nutty energy and oddball touches — 'The Wire's' Andre Royo shows up as a gun-toting, faux-hawk-sporting badass — that it's never boring. Dumb, gross, gratuitous, and overly familiar, sure. But never boring." — Keith Phipps, The A.V. Club

The Final Word

"Whereas the later 'Saw' films were hampered by bloated backstory, various ostentatious agendas, and self-satisfied sadism, 'The Collection' feels utterly unburdened by anything but its lean, fleet-footed plot. The pacing is propulsive, the death pieces are creative, and though the performances are one-note, they're never stiff or distracting." — Chris Cabin, Slant Magazine

Check out everything we've got on "The Collection."