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Friday, November 30, 2012 - Page updated at 02:30 p.m.

‘The Collection’: Horror flick is a horrible flick in every way

By Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle

There’s a bad movie every week, but it takes a special one to make you start thinking about the decline of Western civilization. Which brings us to “The Collection,” a movie with one idea, and get ready, it’s a big one: Imagine if young people think they’re in a dance club, but they’re actually in a really big food processor.

A second idea is really a subset of the first one and also has a culinary inspiration. Imagine if the few young folks that escape getting puréed accidentally get stuck in ... a gigantic garlic press! Wouldn’t that be something?

And yes, it is something. “The Collection” is bloody, disgusting and ridiculous, but the one thing it’s not is horror, not real horror, not in the sense of tense or scary. It’s not cinema, either. It’s not even fun.

In “The Collection” — from director Marcus Dunstan (he wrote “Saw IV”) — there is a serial killer in a black mask who has been staging mass murders but also abducting individuals to add to his collection. One day, Elena (Emma Fitzpatrick) and her friends go off to an underground dance club (oh no!), and the night takes an unfortunate turn. Most of her friends are liquefied. But Elena, the lucky one, ends up in a trunk in the maniac’s house.

The rest of the movie is about a rescue team’s misguided attempt to save the young woman. And that’s the whole movie: People in a house coming across disgusting things — pickled and decaying bodies — while trying to avoid booby traps. The effect isn’t terrifying or claustrophobic, just numbing and disheartening.