Tomorrow, horror’s crafty killer, The Collector, returns to the big screen in the sequel, The Collection (review). The follow-up also sees Marcus Dunstan back in the director’s chair working from a script he co-penned with longtime creative partner Patrick Melton.
ShockTillYouDrop.com ventured down to the SLS Hotel in Los Angeles to speak with the duo about the film, specifically about its protagonist, Arkin (Josh Stewart reprising his role), and the black mask-clad villain he takes on one more time. How did Hostel influence the film? What’s different about The Collector this time? Head inside for the goods.
The Collection opens November 30th and stars Stewart and newcomer Emma Fitzpatrick. Midnight screenings begin tonight and, after the jump, you’ll find a complete theater listing.
Shock Till You Drop: What makes Arkin an interesting character for you to revisit? Because you could have easily thrust all of the focus on Emma’s character and roped Arkin in for some last-minute surprise, but he’s as much a major player in this film as he was the first time.
Patrick Melton: Jay Hernandez style?
Marcus Dunstan: Jay Hernandez’s Paxton [in Hostel] was an influence in a way… I liked him in Hostel a lot. I liked how clever he was and Patrick and I saw the original test screening ending where Paxton does something very diabolical to the killer. I was sad to lose Paxton in the Hostel world at the beginning of the second film and I didn’t want to do that with Arkin. Can we concoct a whole new arc for this man? If that first movie didn’t exist, can we put him in this one and make him a captivating source for terror and the action the script required? The answer was a nice yes. This is a chance for a victim to get his shot at the bully. Still be terrified of him, but maybe be willing to take so much pain and hurt himself far worse than that bad guy could ever.
Melton: Plus, he’s a bad guy, but the Collector is a worse guy. Maybe this goes back to our Feast days of dispelling the myth of the hero. He often does things in a situation that are not probably not the most heroic thing to do.
Dunstan: He’s a lousy savior with just about anybody he’s trying to help.
Melton: If he’s around you, you should probably get away because you’ll die. He’ll try to save you though. Plus, Josh is a really good actor. To back up a little bit, we all know these horror movies and we know the sequel can be lame. We certainly could have started all over with three, young nubile characters who go into this club and this club is trapped and that’s the whole movie. And so we consciously opened it like that so the Ryan Tureks of the world roll their eyes and go, “Oh, really? These archetypes and this situation…?” That’s the fun of it, to change it up. It came off of a note to make the sequel with a young, sexier cast. And we asked, “How long do they have to live for?” And they told us they didn’t care, so we went with that and killed everybody.
Dunstan: It became the James Bond opening for the killer.
Melton: Arkin is back being a fly in the Collector’s ointment. He’s a crafty type who isn’t going to go quietly.
Shock: The physique of the Collector has changed. He’s bulked up.
Dunstan: Taking full advantage of making this The Collection and not just “The Collector 2,” we wanted to make this a new experience all of the way through and re-imagine our villain just a little bit. The scenes required somebody to believably depict and hold themselves up in these action scenes. We have a two-and-a-half minute knife fight and I wanted it to be our real actors. It didn’t matter if one of them was in a mask, it had to be about their performance. Randall [Archer] was a performer who also did stunts and his physique was in such a way that it was helpful and we could play it out. We could let our camera work be more ambitious. Randall could hit all of these tough marks without looking because he had the physical attributes down. He could hit the marks in a knife fight, in a burning room with a knife and he couldn’t see and hear. The nice thing is we could keep the performance first and then the stunt work we didn’t have to worry about someone actually getting hurt.
Shock: There’s a striking image being used in the publicity materials that shows the Collector brandishing a gun with a dog by his side. It feels almost foreign to see him with that kind of weapon because he’s so adept at creating these traps. Did you think it was as impersonal as I did to have him with a gun?
Dunstan: Entirely. He takes that gun from Andre Royo’s character. Every time he loses control of his environment, he has to lay it down and get out. And he abandons his skillset and becomes wrath.
Shock: You’re both at work on God of War, but what’s on tap in the horror genre?
Dunstan: Waterproof for Legendary. It has some horrific elements, but it’s being told with a different vibe. What I like about Gremlins was that a horror director did it and pulled back a bit. Even Young Sherlock Holmes had some horror to it. In this case, it’s what if Stephen King got a hold of The Goonies? Let it go there but let the threat be real.
Midnight screening theater breakdown:
Circuit Theater City State
Cinemark Movies 14 Lancaster TX
Cinemark Movies 16 – Gahanna, OH
Cinemark Cinemark 17 Dallas, TX
Cinemark Tinseltown Woodlands, TX
Cinemark Cinemark West Plano Plano, TX
Cinemark Tinseltown Lubbock Lubbock, TX
Cinemark Cinemark Springfield Springfield, OR
Cinemark Tinseltown USA – El Paso, TX
Cinemark Tinseltown USA Pflugerville, TX
Cinemark Hollywood USA Amarillo, TX
Cinemark Tinseltown – Colorado Springs, CO
Cinemark Tinseltown USA – Oklahoma City, OK
Cinemark Tinseltown USA Jacksonville, FL
Cinemark Cinemark Tulsa Tulsa, OK
Cinemark Cinemark 19 Katy, TX
Cinemark Cinemark Woodridge, IL
Cinemark Cinemark Moosic, PA
Cinemark Cinemark – Valley View, OH
Cinemark Cinemark Webster, TX
Cinemark Cinemark Brownsville, TX
Cinemark The Mall of Victor Alley Victorville, CA
Cinemark Cinemark at the Pike – Long Beach, CA
Cinemark Cinemark 14 Denton, TX
Cinemark Cielo Vista Mall – El Paso, TX
Cinemark Cinemark Houston, TX
Cinemark Mall Del Norte Laredo, TX
Cinemark, Century Rio 24 Alburquerque, NM
Cinemark Century Union Landing – Union City, CA
Cinemark Century El Con Tuscon, AZ
Cinemark Century Hilltop Richmond, CA
Cinemark Century Park Place Tucson, AZ
Cinemark Santa Fe Station – Las Vegas, NV
Cinemark El Centro – El Centro, CA
Regal Showcase 8 – Las Vegas, CA
AMC 34th Street – New York, NY
AMC Alderwood 16 Lynnwood, WA
AMC Altamonte Mall 18 – Altamonte Springs, FL
AMC Arapahoe 18 Denver, CO
AMC Barrington 30 Barrington, IL
AMC Barton Creek 14 Austin, TX
AMC Cherry Hill 24 – Cherry Hill, NJ
AMC Cicero 14 Cicero, IL
AMC Citywalk 19 – Universal City, CA
AMC Clifton Commons Clifton, NJ
AMC Coon Rapids – Coon Rapids, MN
AMC Columbia 14 Columbia, MD
AMC Country Club Hills – Country Club Hills, IL
AMC Deerbrook 24 Humble, TX
AMC Downtown Disney 24 Orlando, FL
AMC First Colony 24 – Sugar Land, TX
AMC Freehold 14 Freehold, NJ
AMC Gulf Point 30 Houston, TX
AMC Hamilton 24 Hamilton, NJ
AMC Highlands Ranch 24 Denver, CO
AMC Jersey Gardens 20 Elizabeth, NJ
AMC Lennox 24 Columbus, OH
AMC Liberty Tree Mall Danvers, MA
AMC Mercado – San Jose, CA
AMC Mission Valley 20 – San Diego, CA
AMC Neshaminy 24 Bensalem, PA
AMC New Brunswick 18 – New Brunswick, NJ
AMC Norwalk 20 Norwalk, CA
AMC Ontario 30 Ontario, CA
AMC Block 30 Orange, CA
AMC Palm Promenade – San Diego, CA
AMC Puente 20 – City of Industry, CA
AMC Rio 18 Gaithersburg, MD
AMC Rivereast 21 Chicago, IL
AMC Rockaway 16 Rockaway, NJ
AMC Rolling Hills 20 Torrance, CA
AMC Santa Anita 16 Arcadia, CA
AMC Stonebriar 24 Frisco, TX
AMC Studio 30 Houston, TX
AMC Tustin 14 Tustin, CA
AMC Westminister Prom Westminister, CO
AMC White Marsh 16 Baltimore, MD
AMC Yorktown 17 Lombard, IL