Ambitious and assertive social escort Elli is hired to visit the home of the enigmatic and powerful Collector, a wealthy eccentric who, by using money and technology, has managed to keep her aged body youthful and attractive. At first, Elli assumes that the Collector has hired her for her escort services but as the Collector mysteriously hints towards something deeper, Elli realises something more sinister is afoot. Eventually, the Collector reveals that she wasn't intending to rent her beauty for a night but to buy it for a lifetime. The Collector tempts Elli with promises of making all her dreams come true, if she would only sell her face. Shocked and confused, at first Elli runs but she soon realises that she can’t avoid the problem forever. She’s trapped within the Collector’s sprawling mansion and the wilful Collector is determined to get what she wants by whatever means possible. Elli is faced with a choice: either give up her face and therefore her identity, or realise that her true beauty and worth lays more than just skin-deep and do the one thing that would allow her to escape the Collector’s grasp – scarring herself.
The Collector’s biblical source is the Temptation of Jesus found in Matthew 4: 1–11, Luke 4:1-13 and Mark 1:12-13. In these verses, the devil approaches Jesus in the desert and tempts Him three times. The final temptation to Jesus, is that in return for all the kingdoms of the world the devil wanted Jesus to worship him. Just as the devil takes Jesus to a high place and shows off all the power Jesus could have, the Collector lures Elli to her stronghold and shows off her collection as well as her power, tempting Elli with promises of every worldly thing. As Jesus is God Himself in His identity as God the Son, to worship the devil would have been a rejection of His own divine identity and birth-right. Likewise the menacing Collector demands Elli’s face and beauty, which she insists is all Elli is worth. To give up her face would be simultaneously giving up her identity and belief in her self-worth. As with Jesus, Elli has to withstand the temptation and, as Jesus relies on the biblical truth of worshipping only God, rely instead on her own security in her own worth.