The Collector

Movie review by
James Rocchi, Common Sense Media
The Collector Movie Poster Image
Grisly horror film is smothered in blood and gore.
  • R
  • 2009
  • 88 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 13 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Nihilistic and bleak, the movie's cental mesage seems to be that killing is wrong ... but looks super cool if you film it right.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Although the movie centers on a serial killer's brutal dispatchment of his victims, the movie's lead character does act in a heroic fashion by trying to save a family that's been targeted by the killer (of course, that's after he goes to their house intending to rob them to raise money so his lover can avoid loan sharks, but...).


Constant, extreme, bloody violence as a serial killer dispatches his victims. People are forcibly abducted; a man is hauled off his feet by a winch, then let go to fall three stories; a bound woman has her mouth sewn shut; an acidic glue entraps a cat; a cat is sliced in half by a guillotine. A young man is killed by falling into a vast sum of bear traps. Another is eviscerated, and the camera lingers on his body. A young woman is hurled onto a wall covered with spikes. A chandelier festooned with knives falls onto a man. A man is struck in the eye by a hurled knife. A violent car crash. A dead man's body is used as a battering ram. A dog tears out a man's throat (the dog is later killed, set aflame, and used as a weapon). And much, much more.


Naked breasts are shown (both during a make-out scene and in strip-club scenes). Some kissing and discussion of "doing it" between a teen couple. A couple that's passionately kissing and touching (with her topless) is interrupted by a creepy killer watching them ... and then a series of deathtraps. Some frisky talk between a married couple before they're interrupted by a killer.


Some strong language, including several uses of "f--k," "motherf---er," "s--t," "bitch," "hell," "faggot," "damn," "oh my God," "goddamn," and more.


A car is identified as a Mustang.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A character smokes; a teen pesters him for "a drag," and he complies.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this exceptionally grisly "torture porn" movie is steeped in gore and full of grotesque cruelty perpetrated against both adults and children. While the movie does depict a character making a positive choice (he tries to save some of the killer's victims), any potential positive take-away is shrouded in so much blood and gore that it's next to impossible to make out. There's also lots of strong language (including "f--k" and "s--t"), a few topless scenes (as well as some passionate making out), and some smoking.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRichManGold December 20, 2020
Adult Written byJk12345 June 14, 2017

A great look at future horror

Good, movie creepy disturbing in so many ways but not for younger viewers it contains large amounts of graphic violence, but to me its a great movie if your loo... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byHaithamB November 9, 2013

Moviegoer14: The Collector

Although a familiar formula. But very clever and entertaining. Horrifying.
Teen, 16 years old Written bybretnummer248 September 28, 2013

Alright, Violent Horror Movie

This is a decent home invasion type horror/thriller type movie. The violence is similar to the Saw movies and is quite brutal and bloody. There is also a couple... Continue reading

What's the story?

Desperate to bail his lover out of dire financial straits, a "contractor" -- really a thief who's been casing the home of a jewel broker -- enters the home he's been working on to rob the safe. But after gaining entrance, he discovers that the home -- and its occupants -- are under the control of a masked killer who has a flair for low-tech but ingenious deathtraps. Can our "hero" save himself and the family he was going to rob from the terrifying, grim evil of ... THE COLLECTOR?

Is it any good?

Written by the scribes behind Saw IV, V, and VI -- a fairly grisly resume no matter how you look at it -- The Collector has much in common with that series. There's a killer with a diabolical capacity for traps and tricks, a focus on gore, and even a quiet stress on morality, since the hero has to decide whether making the score and surviving are more important than saving the family he was going to rob.

But The Collector's grim, greasy sadism will make it hard for anyone who isn't a fan of extreme horror to enjoy ... and anyone who is a fan of extreme horror has seen many of The Collector's moments played out before in better films with better actors. While The Collector is certainly inventive enough in how it presents grisly murder, it's not interesting enough in its characters or scripting to make the moments between those bloody triumphs of effects and make-up matter

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the film mixes sex and violence. Why does that happen so frequently in horror movies? Is it just part of the "fun" of the genre, or does it objectify women?

  • Why do you think the character of the serial killer with elaborate plans has become popular in recent years? Is it the cultural influence of movies like Saw, The Silence of the Lambs, and Seven? Or does it go deeper than that?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love scares

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