Newest Reviews
Raya and the Last Dragon
Letter from Paris
Behind the Mask
Matrix, The
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Newest Articles
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series 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 1842 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
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf


Last Updated: