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OFF Review: The Collectors

February 2, 2010
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By Chad Larson

I’ve had trouble with insomnia before, but not nearly the kind of trouble the poor girl in “The Collectors” does.

As the film opens, we see that she’s writing in her journal about her hallucinations. She walks down the street and witnesses a strange couple, dressed in black and wearing masks, appearing out of some sort of distortion.

Following them around town, she sees them examining people’s thoughts. All of the thoughts seem to be negative. The thoughts are placed in a box.

This movie, despite having only one word of dialogue, really does a good job of creating an atmosphere. The opening setup with pages from Faye’s journal and her tossing and turning in bed shows that she’s really starting to slip due to her insomnia. I was surprised at the quality of the audio and special effects.

There’s a deeper story at work here than what we are seeing. Faye’s alarm clock sits next to a copy of the Watchmen graphic novel. Watchmen of course tells the story of superheroes living in an alternate 1985, in a world that is on the brink of annihilation due to the growing tensions between the US and Russia. The first person whose thoughts are read by the Collectors is reading a copy of Newsweek, the cover of which says “The new cold war: tensions rising with Russia.”

There are many references to war, Nazism, dictators, George Bush being an evil dictator, etc throughout the movie.

At the end of the movie, I found myself wondering if Faye was hallucinating the Collectors and just playing off of the existing tensions and global concerns in her world, or if there was really some strange otherworldly power at work that only she could see.

Good movie, if you like otherworldly stuff, you’ll really enjoy it. “The Collectors” screens at the Oxford Film Festival on Saturday at 5 p.m.

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