Originally, I went to the Redbox to pick up The Boy and Deadpool. Unfortunately, neither were available, which is how I ended up with The Hoarder. I figured a slasher film with Mischa Barton attached couldn’t be too bad, right? After all, Barton has been in some decent horror flicks such as I Will Follow You Into the Dark and Walled In. Well I was wrong, way wrong. The Hoarder isn’t the worst film I’ve ever seen, but it certainly isn’t good.The main problem plaguing the film, is that it’s lazy. The script lacks even a morsel of originality. The end result is a boring movie destined for the bottom of the bargain bin at Walmart.
The Hoarder follows Mischa Barton as a suspicious woman who goes with her best friend to snoop through her fiancé’s storage unit. Instead of finding evidence of his infidelity, they stumble upon a gory secret that has been confined inside the building. Barton’s friend is soon captured by something she can’t even begin to comprehend. She bands together with a diverse group of storage renters to survive the night.
I’m giving a brief overview of the plot rather than all of the details, because frankly the details aren’t very interesting. Every character in the film is played as a trope rather than an actual person. First there’s Barton as the protagonist who comes off as bland and whiney. Next, there’s the cop who has a penchant for aiming his gun at innocent people for no discernible reason. Then there’s the uppity city slickers who spend way too much time bickering over their marital issues. Rounding out the group is the hippy chick who acts like a Whole Foods shopper, but is secretly a hardcore drug abuser. Now these characters might work in a campier film, but in a serious horror movie like The Hoarder, they’re just annoying.
I think most of the actors are doing the best they can. Although, Barton seems like she’s phoning it in. I have to put the blame on the shoulders of the director, Matt Winn, and the screenwriters. In addition to being annoying, the characters make some of the worst decisions a character in a horror film can make. They routinely split up for absurd reasons like they need to go retrieve something from their unit, or they need a Methadone fix. They also spend an insane amount of time arguing over irrelevant matters like lifestyle choices and yearly incomes. I mean, hello! Your life is on the line, maybe these discussions can wait?
The worst moment of the film comes towards the end, when the killer is revealed to be… some random slob who works at the storage unit facility. Imagine discovering Louis C.K. was the Zodiac, and I think you’ll understand what this ending is like. His motivation? As far as I can tell he just wanted to keep people a pets. The Collector, and its lesser sequel, The Collection involve this same concept, but with far superior execution.
As for the cinematography, it’s passable but it’s nothing noteworthy. A few times I could tell that Winn attempted to pull off some interesting camera techniques, but it just wasn’t enough to save this sinking ship. A few times the cinematography confused me. I couldn’t always tell where things were in relation to each other. These moments were few and far between, and they really didn’t make the film any worse. I just have to make the observation that as a director/editor, I would’ve looked at the sequence and realized that things didn’t always flow well. Then maybe I would make some alterations, before releasing it for mass consumption.
Perhaps I’m being too harsh on The Hoarder. Like I said it isn’t the worst film, not even close. However, I’d rather have awful then dull. I equate dull with forgettable, and forgettable is unforgivable. To me, forgettable means the movie failed to take chances, instead choosing to put out the same old, repetitive drivel. Do yourself a favor, and skip this one. You’re not missing anything.