Okay, so admittedly, I am not the biggest fan of horror films. I don’t do jump-and-scare tactics. However, as I’ve grown up and become more exposed to horror films, I have come to appreciate the psychological elements of a good horror film. I still hate jumpy bits in films, but since I have no issue with gore I will say I’ve grown to enjoy some horror. The backstory of The Purge is an interesting psychological element. For those of you that might not be familiar with the first film, allow me to explain. In a future America, the year 2022, which is admittedly not that far in the future, the new Founding Fathers have set in place a practice called The Purge: a 12 hour period in which all crime is legal, including murder. This purge allows America to control crime and unemployment, and cleanse themselves of their hatred (which time-wise occurs right before the spring equinox, cool detail). The first film sets this plot into place, and the sequel The Purge: Anarchy takes it to a whole other level.
This is some messed up stuff guys. Some deeply messed up stuff. Now, they admit in the trailer that people purge for different reasons. One character is Sergeant, played by Frank Grillo, who is attempting to hunt down the man who killed his son. This plot detail is played out beautifully through the entire film because you expect that the man killed his son during the purge. However, he was actually a drunk driver who ran over and killed his son and got away with it due to evidence or such. We don’t find out that detail until just before the end of the film. Brilliantly done. You don’t often find horror films with that kind of dedication to story lines.
Another reason people partake in the purge is fun. However, fun in this case is equated with status and wealth. Is is the poor who suffer in the purge. Wealthy people can afford great security systems and if they want to partake in the purge can buy people to kill in the privacy of their own homes. Meanwhile, poor people have to hide in their houses and apartments and hope for the best. This plot device mirrors what we are currently dealing with in society in terms of economic inequality. The frightening aspect of this movie is that I feel like our society is not a huge stretch away from this. All we need is more radical people in government who hate poor people and want a reason to exterminate them. Crap, now the 2016 election is scaring me even more.
What the trailer misses is the idea of anarchy which is in the title. We get a very “Occupy Wallstreet” and anti-establishment vibe coming throughout the film. It is a lesser plot detail that doesn’t get played out very well, but is under the surface tension. In conclusion, it is a decent film with an interesting plot, that is frankly quite terrifying. If I lived in America during the purge I would start either a crime scene clean up service or work on selling caskets. Because on March 22nd and 23rd, I’d be rolling in dough.
Need to catch it? It debuts SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31 at 8:00pm, the first in a double feature for your All Hallows Eve.