Dave's Rating:

3.0

The saw-ing continues.

Now that the French have turned extreme and the centipedes have turned human and all that... stuff... happened in A Serbian Film, what's left for run-of-the-mill Americans who simply want to moonlight as homicidal maniac torture-dudes? Not a lot, sad to say. Even the sartorial choices have narrowed. Sure, you look appropriately dangerous in that scrotumnal, black leather head-corset, but Leatherface did it first and black-metallic Bagul from Sinister is much more 2012.

Having said that, neither raw originality nor taking it beyond the limits of barfy, can't-unsee-that-stuff disgust has ever been the most important thing about a horror movie. So welcome back, faceless, apparently motive-free Collector of The Collector. We didn't miss you but you've really upped your kill technique. For that alone you deserve a second chance.

A guy (Josh Stewart) from the first round of the game of Human Carcass Wipeout has survived, and it's his job to help a team of killer-tracking mercenaries feel their way through the booby-trapped maze-like hallways of the Hotel Argento (wink), the site of The Collector's personal stash of bones and entrails. See, The Collector is fresh from a triumphant night of murdering every single club kid in his own rigged death-disco. (Don't arrive late or you'll miss the sight of hundreds of people getting mowed down and pulverized to that oontz-oontz-oontz sound -- and for the sake of your own enjoyment don't get all hung up on the logistical, financial and structural impossibilities of a lone psycho's rigging of a dance club with slowly descending lawnmower blades, or wonder, perhaps aloud in the theater, if, in fact, he is the proprietor of that dance club and, if so, why he would wreck that enterprise, thus driving himself out of business, and, furthermore, why would he own a dance club?). At the still-oontzing mass grave he locks up lone survivor Elena (Emma Fitzpatrick) in a trunk and carts her back home for more experiments. Elena's rich Dad (Christopher McDonald) hires the mercenaries, they enter the trap and then boom -- more impalements.

Director Marcus Dunstan (with co-screenwriter Patrick Melton, both of them more or less responsible for the more or less rote and dull Saws four through six, as well as the one that was in 3D) seems to have found a new lease on death with this feature. It's energetic, never stops moving, revels in its own meaninglessness, and delights in the gross-out of corpse-piles, vivisections, iron maidens, humans driven mad from fear (and possibly rabies from the looks of it) and the silliness of trapped people yelling directions to one another ("THAT WAY!") as they scramble for safety in a set that's meant to look like it's been precisely calibrated by a mastermind maniac but that never feels as though its off-camera creators really took much time thinking through the actual architecture of such a place. It's a throwaway subgenre I like to call Who-Cares Horror, the kind of film that aims for its target audience and a reasonably satisfying level of blood-spray, by and for fans of human mulch. You know who you are.

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