- "You'd better be prepared. Give it everything you got. 'Cause if he catches you, he's gonna make you wish you were dead."
- ―Arkin O'Brien, describing The Collector in the second film
The Collector is the titular character and main antagonist of the 2009 horror film The Collector and its 2012 sequel The Collection, and he is one of the most sadistic and perverted villains in cinema, even by horror standards, willing to murder and "collect" hundreds of people to satisfy his sickening urges. He always wears a mask to hide his identity.
Personality and Traits
The Collector, like most serial killers in horror cinema, is an insane, murderous, brutal and violent person who appears to be mentally deranged who kills his victims by locking them in their own homes and killing them in various gruesome ways. His traps, which can vary to various rigged objects (golf club, scissors), are lethal and dangerous.
Despite the Collector's face is never seen (since he shields it with a tight-fitting foam-latex mask with rips for eyes and a mouth, tied behind), it is clear that he is a Caucasian male with brown hair and misty blue eyes that may glow an eerie green. He usually sports black pants, a black sweatshirt with a black leather belt containing knives and a pair of keys, black leather shoes and black gloves.
The man who would become the Collector was the son of a museum owner and entomologist. One day, the father went insane (possibly due to chemical exposure, though the exact cause is unknown) and killed his family, stuffed them, and then placed them at the table on Thanksgiving and ate with them as though they were still alive. Only his son survived, but the experience warped his mind.
Later on in life, the Collector would himself become a licensed entomologist and presumably led a legitimate life, but underneath this was a perverted murder and kidnapping operation, in which the man, called The Collector by the authorities and his victims, would target whole families and kill all but one member, who would have the misfortune of becoming a part of his "collection", and would either be killed through gruesome experiments (after which his/her body parts and bones would be reassembled to look like insects) or driven completely insane. The collection was kept at an abandoned hotel, which was rigged with traps to kill off any would-be escapees and intruders.
The Collector (2009 film)
In the first film, The Collector targets an old couple, killing one while stuffing the other in a red trunk and adding him/her to his collection. Later, he targets the Chase family, posing as a bug exterminator to gain access to their house. When he begins his assault, he brutally kills all but one of the family members through various traps he had set up around the house. He is stopped from killing (or presumably collecting) the last member, Hannah, by ex-convict Arkin O'Brien, who lures the fiendish man into one of his own traps before escaping the house with Hannah. Unfortunately, The Collector seemingly has the last laugh, as he survives, kidnaps Arkin as he was being driven to a hospital, and adds him to his collection.
The Collection (2012 film)
In the sequel, The Collector kidnaps Elena Peters, the daughter of a wealthy socialite, after she escapes one of his rampages and rescues Arkin by sheer chance. During this time, he also kills a large number of teenagers by either shredding them with rotating blades, impaling them with swords, and squishing them with a falling ceiling. Elena's bodyguard, Lucello, forces Arkin to lead a team of mercenaries into the hotel where The Collector keeps his victims to rescue Elena in exchange for terminating his criminal record. The mecenaries are killed or captured one by one. Elena manages to escape the trunk she had been stuffed in on her own, arriving in a horrifying autopsy room, and tries to find an exit, while Arkin separates himself from the group in an attempt to find a way out. Eventually, only Arkin, Lucello, and Elena are still alive.
The Collector tries to burn down the building, but he is stabbed repeatedly by Lucello before killing him, and is then beaten savagely and thrown down a laundry shoot (that has a pile of corpses and amputated limbs at the bottom) and set on fire by Arkin before the latter escapes with Elena. After the fire is put out, the police inform Arkin that no body was found, and he finds The Collector's charred mask in a trunk.
Sometime later, Arkin tracks down The Collector to his house and threatens him at gunpoint. The Collector faces him (though the audience still can't see his face) and asks "You here to kill me?" (his only spoken line of dialogue in either movie), to which Arkin responds that he is going to put The Collector through the same tortures he subjected Arkin to before killing him. The Collector tries to attack Arkin with a knife, but Arkin knocks him into his own red trunk and repeatedly slams the lid on his fingers (screaming "Fuck you!" each time) before sealing him inside.
Arkin presumably made good on his promise and killed The Collector after torturing him.