Horror sequel takes it to the streets with a killer body count
Last summer’s surprise horror hit The Purge starred Ethan Hawke as the head of a family bringing down the barricades of their luxury home because for one night each year all crime is legal. It didn’t end well…
This time out, there’s panic on the streets of Los Angeles as Frank Grillo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) leads four unfortunate souls stuck on the mean streets at midnight. They’re desperate to get home but he’s on a mission to purge. He might have a righteous reason but it sets him apart and will keep you guessing until the final frame. With the clock ticking on their survival a young couple, a mother and her daughter are soon caught in the crossfire but luckily for them Grillo’s ex-military dude has a good heart and is a bit handy when it comes to shedding the lead.
To purge or not to purge? It does make you ponder how you would cope if carnage came to your neighbourhood. We get up close and personal with a country re-imagined by the New Founding Fathers of America but losing its soul in a twisted quest for peace through an annual feast of anarchy involving bone-splintering heavy artillery.
Echoing his work on the Assault on Precinct 13 reboot and channeling the dystopian vibe of John Carpenter’s Escape from New York, director James DeMonaco conjures a menacing sense of foreboding as merciless skateboard gangs run riot, machine gun fire rips through flesh, cars burns and bible-bashing lone snipers pick off their prey. Meanwhile as the body count rises Michael K Williams (The Wire) leads a rebel movement opposed to what it sees as the “redistribution of wealth upwards through killing” but still armed to the teeth to try and stop it.
DeMonaco says he’s “hoping to reflect something in American society about how we look at violence” but while the horror classics this film apes were on the edge, they never paraded fear as torture porn. The Purge: Anarchy stops short of doing an Eli Roth (The Hostel) but it will leave a nasty taste in your mouth, making you wince and jump out of your seat.