Sales posters for Matt Winn’s The Hoarder began circulating several months ago. Not much was known other than the poster art was fairly awesome, and it featured former teen drama star Mischa Barton. Since then, word on distribution in the United States has been minimal. But if you don’t mind doing a little browser trickery, you can actually rent the film right now on Amazon’s German site. Never underestimate the ingenuity of a horror nerd. Where there’s a will – there’s a way. That being said, is The Hoarder worth your time and aforementioned trickery?

We follow Mischa Barton; a recently engaged trophy wife of sorts that has been banished to live in her fiancé’s multi-million dollar loft. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to satisfy ol’ Mischa, and after a stiff drink or two, her and her “bad girl” friend decide to break into her husband-to-be’s storage unit to recover a journal. The contents of this journal, however,  are lightly alluded to but mostly shrouded in mystery. We are to assume the  fiancé has been unfaithful – and that this journal holds the key, I guess. Whatever. What’s important is that Mischa Barton is going into a storage unit facility, and that’s when things take a turn.

Admittedly, I’m from a small town in rural Tennessee. Our storage bin facilities typically:

  • Found above ground
  • Look like asshole
  • Smell like asshole
  • Do not look like futuristic Area 51 bunkers

But hey – maybe these types of places do exist, and I’m simply too unversed in today’s modern mechanics of storage facilities. Regardless, the storage facility in this movie is something straight out of a science fiction film. It’s a sterile, white, automated, 4 story (below ground) mecha of a building. And apparently, this is a cheap one. Either this is total bullshit, or I really need to get out more. I’d be willing to believe either.

After mistakingly releasing some sort of creature from an unsightly storage bin in the basement of the building – the owners (or hoarders) of these units are picked off one by one. There’s Micha, a dirty cop, a druggie, a miserable married couple, and a shy (but well mannered) young man. The plot synopsis tells us that each person has something to hide, but that’s not entirely true. Some of them are just shitty people. Nothing overly exciting about them, and their performances range from amateur to simply tolerable. If there’s any chance of you falling in love with The Hoarder, it won’t be due to the cast. They aren’t bad – but there certainly aren’t any standouts amongst this group.

The production values are strikingly good, though. Visuals are crisp, the colors are great (even in dimly lit scenes), and the ambient sound of the film is natural and unobtrusive. There isn’t much blood to speak of, but the few fx gags that were needed seemed to work well enough. Unfortunately, the musical composition could sometimes be a bit overbearing. It often tries too hard to create moments that simply aren’t there. Believe it or not, the rest is pretty good.

Well maybe “good” isn’t the right word. There’s nothing ” wrong”with the rest – it’s all just so… soulless. There’s no attachment to anyone, no apparent character motivations, no surpring reveal. It’s just… there… looking pretty. And you know what they say; Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone. If you have a dollar to blow at a local redbox when (and if) this one gets U.S. distribution – it wouldn’t be a total waste. Otherwise, I’d steer clear of this one – even if you’re the biggest horror hoarder around.