Reviewed by: JimmyO
What's it about
A young man wakes up alone in a hotel room. He is confused and terrified as he hears a thunderous banging sound coming from the closet. But soon, all his questions are answered when the Collector arrives.
Is it good movie?
I recently had a the pleasure of watching Collector. Youíve probably never heard about it unless you attend a lot of film festivals, but it stars Brad Renfro as Justin, a young man locked away in what looks like a hotel room. He has been beaten by life and it is clear that he is in pain and hurting. And then there are the noises coming from the closet. He shivers as he hears this awful banging sound echo through the room. Soon, someone is at the front door, presumably a parole officer or possibly a drug counselor. It is never clear as we soon find out that this strange man (Matthew Boylan) has other reasons for being there. Both Renfro and Boylan are quite terrific as they play a dangerous game that may very well cost this young man his life. Mr. Renfro was often in the news for the problems he had in real life, it is a real shame that his talent was so overlooked.
In less than fifteen minutes, we are given more than enough information about this situation. But right away, as the story begins, we find Justin lying on the floor and the dingy world he finds himself in. You just know there is some bad mojo going on. Director Dempsey Tillman brings us into this world with a skillful eye. In fact, much of this felt like the early Coen Brothers film, Blood Simple (and yes, that is meant as a compliment). Tillman has the ability to get fancy with the camera without feeling like a bad student film. It all makes for a fascinating, if sort of predictable short that is smothered in atmosphere. I also have to credit the sound department as well as the rest of the crew. Every aspect of Collector is so well done that it is hard to imagine it is only a short film and not part of something bigger. What is on screen is gold as this treads the line between psychological terror and the darkness of abuse. And again, it is nice to remember Brad Renfro as a talented actor and not a headline.
Video / Audio
Everything works in Collector. Dempsey Tillman has himself one helluva cast and crew which made for a very hypnotic story. I wasnít at all surprised by the outcome, but itís all about how you get there. A sharp, disturbing tale that drifts in and out of the real life horror of a man losing his family because of drug abuse. This is absolutely worth seeking out with a couple of terrific performances from the very talented Matthew Boylan and of course, Brad Renfro.