Tuesday, April 19, 2016

THE HOARDER (RLJ DVD) - Available now on DVD and On Demand

I have an awesome friend named Steve Mezo who runs Tattooed Steve's Storage Unit of Terror, a Horror based Facebook page and blog that has a "tell it like it is" writing style and helps us to remember the best of Horror's yesteryear. I love to promote The Storage Unit of Terror, and it comes up now because I'm actually reviewing a movie that takes place in a storage unit! That's a first for me. For that The Hoarder should be commended; the movie actually found a bit of novelty to pick at. The movie is available now from RLJ on DVD and On-Demand and while it isn't exactly my favorite Horror picture of the year it has its merits in creating a fun space in which to create a somewhat generic Horror tale. 

The Hoarder reminds me of The Collector. It's not exactly The Collector mind you with all the clever traps and the home invasion aspect or clever twist at the finish. The lead character, titular hoarder has this way about him that conveys a rather intelligent predator who is used to getting what he wants in this hobby and who regularly fulfills his OCD mission in life, to collect or hoard. He's clever. The storage unit itself is a sort of labyrinth designed to capture his prey and prevent any accidental escapes. You can tell that this fella is damn good at his collecting (good collectors make the best hoarders). 

What I found most effective is that the damn thing felt like it was actually a real possibility. I get lost helping friends move shit into and out of their storage units all the time, and those are small rural units. What if it was a larger scale unit in a space that was not well traveled, large and filled with units. Think of how many other crime shows seems to have some element based in a storage unit.  Not necessarily Horror programming though some do use the unit sparingly. What evil lurks behind those metal doors? I know fellas who used to hold band practice in their unit and never got busted and a bunch of ripping guitars and drums are damn loud. How hard would it be for a guy to plan out a mouse trap in an active complex where 90% of the time, the place feels like a vacant warehouse?

Once you have the inkling that there is some truth to a story like this, that it isn't just a Horror plot, you get the Hostel effect. When I watch Hostel I'm always thinking that Hostel is what Eastern Europe must truly be like. Why would it not be, right? Rich folks wanna kill everybody and Eastern Europe is a desolate, somewhat bombed out place in desperate need of money... right? Obviously both those statements are fairly far from the actuality of Eastern Europe, but somehow I got it in my head that the concept could really happen and most likely really has happened in some capacity in the part of the world. The Hoarder could totally happen, and once I let that sink into my brain a bit, I'm not sure I'll ever be able to go into a storage unit again without thinking I might be the next victim. That makes for a good Horror movie.

Of course some of the acting is flawed and the effects work is passable but isn't spectacular. The whole thing ends up feeling more like a generic hack and slash flick than that novel Horror movie I had dreamed it could be from the concept and location. It's not a bad movie, but it is a missed opportunity. It all ends as I believe I expected it to finish out. If you plan on watching The Hoarder make sure to visit the local storage unit when your finished. Take a stroll through. See if you feel the eyes of the hoarder on you.  You might find that this picture has a little something that manages to get inside you.

You can order a copy of The Hoard now.

From RLJ:

RLJ Entertainment (NASDAQ: RLJE) brings you the THE HOARDER. Directed by Matt Winn (January 2nd), the film stars Mischa Barton (“The O.C.”), Robert Knepper (“Prison Break”), Andrew Buckley (“The Extras”), Charlotte Salt (“The Tudors”), Emily Atack (“Tracey Ullman’s Show”), John Sackville (“Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles”), and Valene Kane (“The Fall”). THE HOARDER is available on Digital Video and on DVD for an SRP of $27.97 on Apr. 5, 2016.

Ella (Barton) sneaks off one night to snoop through her fiancĂ©’s storage unit on the seedy outskirts of town. But deep in the lower levels of the warehouse, Ella and a half dozen storage unit customers discover there’s more than old furniture and memorabilia being locked away here. A relentless psychopath has started his own “collection,” and unless Ella and the others can survive the blood-soaked rampage of the Hoarder, and find a way out of the maze-like building, they’ll never see the light of another day.

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