Newest Reviews
Nest, The
Martin Eden
Halloween Kills
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Forever Purge, The
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Deadly Games
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
No Time to Die
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Power of the Dog, The
Voyage of Time: An IMAX Documentary
Newest Articles
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
  Purge: Anarchy, The Do As Thou Wilt
Year: 2014
Director: James DeMonaco
Stars: Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford, Kiele Sanchez, Zoë Soul, Justina Machado, John Beasley, Jack Conley, Noel Gugliemi, Castulo Guerra, Michael K. Williams, Edwin Hodge, Keith Stanfield, Roberta Valdemarra, Nico Nikoterra, Judith McConnell, Dale Dye
Genre: Horror, Action, Thriller, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: March 21st is the night of the Purge in the United States, an annual holiday since 2018 where for twelve hours the population are allowed to commit any crime they wish as long as it does not interfere with Government. For this reason, so the authorities would have them believe, American society has reached a point of stability knowing that they can vent their frustrations as far as they will go on one evening of the year, building up all their resentments and entitlement to get revenge or simply wallow in the chance to act as they please with hurting others high on the agenda, even murdering them without worrying about the consequences. But there will be consequences for the innocents caught up in the anarchy...

Since the first Purge film was a sleeper hit, doing well thanks to its premise capturing the imaginations of the popular audience, a second was ordered and arrived more or less a year later, suggesting creator and director James DeMonaco either worked at a remarkable rate or that he had cunningly planned a whole series of these well in advance. That initial instalment was more of a home invasion horror, yet that killer notion behind it, informed by the vogue for science fiction breaking of society's rules of decency inspired by the Japanese cult movie Battle Royale and leading to such blockbusters as The Hunger Games franchise, was a success because the target moviegoers could not help but place themselves in the characters' position.

It was a similar mechanism to the popularity of post-apocalypse fiction as seen by the plethora of zombie movies, not least because they also presented a legitimate excuse to shoot people in the head; in the undead case, it was down to them wishing to kill and eat you, in this case, it was more or less the same only without the eating part. For some this was dangerous thinking, putting the thoughts in the minds of the impressionable for whom violence was not only a means to an end but a solution, though you could argue the more prone to lawbreaking fantasies didn't need a movie to prompt them into making those a reality. As long as you acknowledged the fictional aspect, there was little contentious about the Purge series.

That said, it was not around two hours of citizens slaughtering each other for kicks, there was a brain in the film's head even if it was in danger of being splattered across the street by an anarchist. That was because it was not simply random gangs roaming the streets exploiting the permission to murder that night, there was a strong political element you might not have expected from a Michael Bay production (presumably he didn't have much of a hand in the script) as the events represented the way the privileged make the most of the underprivileged set against one another, sort of a divide and conquer plan which in the context of the plot gives way to a Most Dangerous Game-style development as we see it is the rich who have the most to gain.

Sure, a woman can shoot her sister for adultery, or a neighbour can rape and murder the woman next door for their own deranged satisfaction, but this is oddly not as bad as the powers that be counting on them doing so to keep the hoi polloi under control 364 other days of the year. The plot threw together five characters - heavily armed grieving father (Frank Grillo), a waitress (Carmen Ejogo) and her teenage daughter (singer Zoë Soul) stranded outside, and a married couple (Zach Gilford and Kiele Sanchez, an actual married couple) being hunted by a masked mob - and in a fine ensemble did more with the melting pot of a nation theme than the Oscar-winning Crash could ever hope to do, DeMonaco ensuring it moved along at a fair clip as well. It was easy to do this down as yet another repetitive horror franchise for moviegoers who didn't care too much about its themes and implications, but those themes were there, and it was a lot more intelligent than you might expect among the customary mayhem. If the resolution was pat, the rest was absorbing. Music by Nathan Whitehead.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2206 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt


Last Updated: