Tag Archives: experience

Are you ready to own The Collection – out on DVD 29th April #review #scarycollection

24 Apr

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Anyone keen for a bit of blood, guts and gore? Well, this may be the perfect present for you. Out on DVD on the 29th April is The Collection. A splatter-fest from the makers of Saw IV, V, VI and 3D, this is the sequel to the terrifying The Collector and is great, great fun!

Here’s what it’s all about:

When Elena (Emma Fitzpatrick) is talked into attending an underground warehouse party with her friends, she finds herself caught in a Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 12.44.39nightmarish trap where the revelers are mowed, sliced and crushed to death by a macabre series of contraptions operated by a masked psychopath. When the grisly massacre is over, Elena is the only survivor. But before she can escape, she is locked in a trunk and transported to an unknown location.

Fortunately for Elena, one man – Arkin (Josh Stewart) knows exactly where she’s headed, having just escaped from there with his life and sanity barely intact. Going back is the last thing on Arkins mind, but Elena’s wealthy father (Christopher McDonald) hires a crack team of mercenaries to force Arking to lead them to the killers lair. But even these hardened warriors are not prepared for what they encounter: an abandoned hotel turned torture chamber, rigged with deadly traps and filled with mangled corpses.

What is great about this film is that its all about the action. There is no significant backstory build up, the film centres upon one night and where it leads. Bar a quick flashback to open the film, we pretty much start with Elena being stood up by her boyfriend and immediately tempted to put her studying to one side and head out with her group of friends. By heading straight into an action packed start, we’re faced with a roller coaster ride, which makes the film sail through without you even stopping to take a breath.

Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 12.44.55Emma Fitzpatrick is a solid leading lady in The Collection, smart, vulnerable and likeable, she seems less superficial than her group of friends who we meet at the beginning of the film, and her tomboyish look and nature makes her incredibly relatable and likeable to the audience watching – she is in no way a damsel in distress. What we don’t see with her are those moments where you want to shout at the TV screen “don’t go in there” because you know what’s going to happen. Instead we see her making decisions, which probably wouldn’t be too dis-similar to those the audience would make if they were ever placed in this gruesome situation – which in comparison to other horror leading ladies, is a relief!

The entrance of our villain – The Collector himself, immediately reminded me of The Phantom of the Opera – a masked man stood above a room full of people, watching and ready to strike. Quite fittingly you see him descend on a room of club revellers as they are ripped apart by perhaps his largest contraption (something along the lines of a room sized lawn mower blade!) Not a pretty way to go! But you immediately get the sense that this is a calculated, clever human being with a disturbingly sadistic mind, who thinks three steps ahead.

With this, you have the beauty and the beast combination, which makes horror films like The Collection so engaging to watch. The audience is Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 12.45.24kept wondering why Elena is spared, and just when you think you’ve worked it out, another gory surprise is just around the corner.

The supporting cast, comprising of Arkin and the team sent in to save Elena throws another element into the mix. For us skeptical Brits, the team is essentially a hammed up stereotypical American pseudo SWAT team who use their brawn over brains and their single mindedness provides the very subtle comedic undertones to this film. Arkin on the other hand proves himself to be the redeeming protagonist in The Collection. An ex-con who was missing for months in The Collectors capture and like Wentworth Miller in Prison Break is the key to getting the girl and getting out. Like Elena, his character is sympathetic to watch and suitably underplayed, particularly in relation to “the team.” Arkin is resourceful, careful and believable which makes him yet another engaging character to watch.

The Collection isn’t the greatest horror movie of all time, and certainly isn’t on the scale of the Saw films. However, you can’t deny that for what it is, its most certainly well shot, watchable and lots of good fun. I would have loved to have had a few more jumpy moments, but at least I could still go to bed that evening not worrying that some lunatic hasn’t rigged it to swallow me up whole! If you like blood, guts and gore in films, this is definitely a keeper for your ‘collection,’ and in any way it’s certainly worth a watch.

3.5 stars

Hot Tub Cinema… an experience like no other… but be warned!

13 Dec

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Never afraid of trying new ways to watch my favourite films, I spent last Monday night way out East in a warehouse tucked away from the centre of Shoreditch with the promise of a unique cinematic experience, and unique it was!

It was early December and the standard attire would most certainly be hats, scarves and maybe a pair of gloves, one would most certainly not consider a bikini, but on this Monday night, that was the only required item of clothing for this film experience, because it was Hot Tub Cinema night!

The premise of this idea is that film lovers come together to watch a surprise film in the sanctuary of a steaming hot, hot tub, and about a hundred other film fans. For a mere £28, or £225 for the entire hot tub, you can sit back, relax, enjoy table (tub) service as you watch the Christmas comedy that is Elf. A few months back, over Halloween, the film was Beetlejuice and in that instance you were on the rooftop terrace overlooking Victoria Park at the same time.

A novel idea it certainly is. Born seven years ago as a private venture, and the brain child of Asher Charman, Hot Tub Cinema is increasingly growing in popularity, its now populated each night by around 70-100 hot tub cinema goers. The experience isn’t just based within the hot tubs Screen Shot 2012-12-08 at 17.38.38themselves, as you walk in, the “lobby” area in this pop up venue is littered with foam snow, twinkling lights and a few Christmas trees to make you really feel part of the festive season. Once you have collected your wristband on entry, you have the option of a well stocked bar, and stall offering a selection of cinema delights including hot dogs, popcorn and sweets.

A compere runs the night and welcomes seasoned hot tubbers, newbies, and singletons alike to this unforgettable experience. Once you’re in your tub you meet who you will be joined by for the evening. In my tub were a couple of eager two time hot tubbers who judging by previous experiences were here for anything but film watching! It was at this point that the Hot Tub Cinema experience takes its true form. Unfortunately, keen film fans may be less enthusiastic about this experience once they are there. Riding on the premise of a cinema experience, this Screen Shot 2012-12-08 at 17.38.25event seems to be more of a singletons dating/cavorting Ibiza esq experience where any form of film watching comes secondary to drinking, flirting and well…we’ll leave it there.

The group of friends I was with, were excited to watch Elf, Will Ferrell in his prime as an oversized Elf in the quest to help santa and find his real family. But as the film started we were faced with poor sound quality and a number of other groups who preferred to chat, drink and do anything other than watch the film itself. Compared to other experiential film events such as Secret Cinema etc, you wont get anywhere near the same quality, and im sure that the experience is different on different nights varying from tame to wild Saturday night showings, but be sure of one thing, it will be unique and its up to you if you see it as a good or bad thing.