Le Collectionneur [The Collector] (2002)

(In French, In theaters, March 2002) French-Canadian cinema has, in the past ten years, adopted many marketing tactics from Hollywood, and here comes yet another one; the bestseller adaptation. Given the success of Chrystine Brouillet’s mystery series starring inspector Maud “Biscuit” Graham, its cinema incarnation was inevitable. The result is not bad, though it feels heavily derivative of everything else in the American serial-killer tradition, perhaps unjustly; is it possible to read a profiler story nowadays without thinking about Silence of the Lambs? From a technical standpoint, there isn’t much to complain about in Le Collectionneur; the direction is efficient, the overall level of quality is comparable or even higher than most low-budget crime thrillers. The script, on the other hand, is a mixed bag; levels of language vary widely, often even in the same scene with the same characters. The “edgy” child-prostitute sidekick feels gratuitous and annoying. Even the acting had occasional bad moment; Maude Guerin is often flat as the heroine, usually-dependable regulars like Yvan Ponton and Yves Corbeil are unnoticeable and the child actors are only a notch above annoying. Luc Picard mails in his performance as the psycho; it’s a good one, but it’s not up to his usual intensity levels. Still, the film has a definitely local atmosphere, and isn’t bad at all when seen as a whole.

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