The Collector is a film that is somewhat hurt by its own hype. It's written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan (who also directs), the writing team who penned the last three Saw films (including part VI). News broke right before its release that the film was almost a prequel to Saw. In the horror community, being a part of the Saw franchise is a rather large achievement. Even if you're not a fan of the franchise, it's hard to deny how well the Saw films do at the box office as their gross revenue is sometimes up to ten times what the film's budget was. The down side is that The Collector seems to make this point blatantly obvious. The film gives off a sense of deja vu throughout its entire duration. The Collector's traps are very reminiscent of Jigsaw's traps, at least in the way they're set up (reverse bear trap in Saw compared to the bear trap scene in The Collector). The Collector also looks and feels like a Saw film. The quick edits that a lot of people expressed their dislike for in Saw are used more often than not in The Collector. Grainy and high contrast filters along with those quick edits make it a bit hard to distinguish what events are actually occurring on screen at times. The first ten minutes or so of the film feel like an extended music video. These qualities don't necessarily make the film bad, but a film that's advertised as being original shouldn't have so much in common with a well distinguished franchise in the same genre; let alone when some of the same people are involved. Something that may have been easily averted if the marketing campaign didn't throw that fact in the public's face.
With all that being said, the film still has enough originality going for it to bring in horror fans. While the film does have its flaws (the main one being, how'd The Collector have time to set up all these traps?), they actually don't take away from the overall enjoyment for the film. What The Collector collects is rather interesting and even with its similarities to Saw, it's an original horror film that isn't a remake. Something we don't see a lot of anymore. What also might make or break the deal for horror fans seeing this film is that it doesn't shy away from blood and guts. The bear trap sequence alone is rather gruesome, but you do get to see some intestines make a cameo. So this definitely isn't for the squeamish. The film did leave a few open-ended questions, but they don't seem to be negative. The most memorable one is more of a sense of wondering why a certain character did a certain act rather than it being a glaring mistake. If this gets turned into a franchise (which depending on its reception, it just might), we'll probably get answers in the sequel(s). The Collector also seemed to establish a bit of tension at times, while the closing moments of the film were similar to a seesaw. The events that unfold seem to be going in one direction, but then quickly shift and go in another direction.
TV spots are saying things like, "Horror has a new icon," and that The Collector is the best horror film to come out in years. While the latter could be debated, the first part of that statement could very well be true. I, personally, wouldn't mind seeing more of The Collector as I like the idea and the character. The film as a whole, however, may have let its influences shine brighter than its original aspects. In retrospect, The Collector is an entertaining horror film composed of a decent antagonist, standard acting, an original storyline, and a few buckets of gore.