Ella (Mischa Barton, he O.C. sneaks off one night to snoop through her fianc 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 more than old furniture and memorabilia being locked away here. A relentless psychopath has started his own ollection,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, theyl never see the light of another day. Also starring Robert Knepper (rison Break,Valene Kane (he Fall, Charlotte Salt (he Tudors and Andrew Buckley (he Extras
In the film, THE HOARDER, Ella, is a young woman, who is engaged to the fairly wealthy, Brad. Everything so far is going well, yet Ella has her suspicions, and nerves when it comes to getting married, Her main concern? A storage unit that he keeps on the outside of town. He says that he merely uses the unit to house all of the couple's "useless" things, however, Ella's sights are set on a diary which she believes that, if Brad is indeed cheating, will reveal his secrets. So with this in mind, Ella, along with her friend Molly, head to the seedy part of town, where the "EEZ ZEE" storage is located. It isn't long before the two of them have Brad's key card, and are headed down to the building's 4th floor. It is a floor, that is much different from the rest of the building. It's dark, and grungy, showing signs of having not been used in years. None the less, the ladies make their way to a unit located in the back of the floor. However, when the door is opened, they get more than they bargained for, when something Evil is uncovered. Something emerges from the shadows to grab Molly. In a panic, Ella makes her way to an upper floor, where she locates other customers, including, homicide Detective, Vincent. Together, Ella, and these individuals must band together in hopes of surviving. But as victims fall one by one, it becomes apparent that, what Ella and Molly had ran into on the 4th floor is only the product of of something far more sinister occurring deep within the building's lower corridors.
As a film, the Matt Winn Directed film, THE HOARDER is a type which we have all seen before, as the brunt of the story deals with a group of individuals who are trapped in a building with no way out. And to make things worse, they are seemingly being stalked and killed by someone, or some-thing, which is lurking in the shadows. The film is centered around the character of Ella, whose main reason for going to the storage building in the first place is to retrieve a diary. The diary is the first thing that, we the viewer know about, and it is also the element of THE HOARDER, that is biggest plot hole. At the start of the film, it is explained that the diary in question, belongs to Ella's fiancBrad, Ella goes on to tell her friend Molly, that she has been reading it, and as a result, Brad seems to have moved the diary to his storage unit for safe keeping. Fearing that Brad has something to hide, and that evidence of this could be found in the diary, it makes sense for Ella to have the desire to want to go snoop around at the storage unit. This is all good and fine - if only it would have stuck with this. However, mid-film, possession of said diary is soon switched when it is said that the dairy belongs to Ella, NOT Brad. Really, this makes no sense at all, seeing as her sole reason for going to the storage in the first place was to find evidence of a possible affair. If the diary belongs to Ella, then why would she be in such a hurry to retrieve it, if she is the one responsible for writing what's inside? It makes no sense, because again, at the start of the film, Ella is nervous about her impending nuptials. This seems as though it was a big mix up somewhere. Maybe the film had undergone rewrites, and elements of the film were just simply forgotten? Who knows? But when it comes to this, it just does not add up.
But, with that said, if you are able to look past this plot hole. THE HOARDER is a pretty ok time. In comparison, the film's plot progression. and characters are reminiscent of films such as CUBE and SAW, as the characters here are locked in a building, and must band together in hopes of getting out alive. The film utilizes its setting to nice effect, as the storage unit, essentially becomes a labyrinth of horror. In some ways, the film's setting here reminded me of Tobe Hooper's remake of TOOLBOX MURDERS - a big building, with something evil occurring underneath it. The film's title THE HOARDER actually has a double meaning. Sure, the boyfriend, Brad could be seen as "The Hoarder", that's fair to say, but what it really refers to, is what is later revealed in the film. This is a **Spoiler**, however, later in the film, it is revealed that deep within the bowels of the storage building, someone is actually hoarding victims. Kept in "pods" of sorts, the film's villain staples his victims mouths shut. It is never really explained, as to why they are doing this, but in a way, this makes this particular element all the more creepy.
As for the film's characters, neither of them are truly fleshed out in detail, including the film's lead character, "Ella", portrayed by Mischa Barton. Although Ella is the character with most development, obviously. With the majority of the characters, we just know enough to move the film along. But, fortunately, because of this, we have a few different personalities to work with. There's the soon to be married, the soon to be divorced, the hippie - drug induced type, and then there is the brash homicide Detective. These character types, again reminded me of the TOOLBOX MURDERS remake, where everyone in the apartment building, in that film were pretty different. As for the acting itself, for the most part, it is average. Barton is intended to be the standout here, but she is just ok. As far has the protagonists go, I felt that the character of "Vincent", the Detective (played by Robert Knepper), was the most interesting. But unfortunately, he may or may not have made it. As for the rest of the protagonist characters, they are basically the most typical of their type. That brings me to another character, "EEZ ZEE" storage's receptionist, "Stephen", played by Andrew Buckley. Not giving too much away, here, I felt that Buckley was great as the kooky Stephen. He reminded me a little of Frank Whaley's character from VACANCY.
Ok, so despite some obviously glaring plot holes, THE HOARDER is a fairly enjoyable effort. It is one of those films that is less about story, and more about setup and execution. It isn't great by any means, but have could have been much worse.
IMPRESSION OF THE FILM
Despite fumbling up its plot early on, THE HOARDER ended up being a decent action thriller. If you are looking for plot depth, you won't find it here. But if you are are looking for some mindless suspense in its simplest form, then THE HOARDER surely fits the bill. It isn't great. But it isn't bad either.
This film will be released on DVD on April 5, 2016