The Purge: Anarchy

A very creative Poster. I approve.

Okay, so I wasn’t the biggest fan of 2013’s The Purge, it had the potential to be great and turned into just another home invasion horror flick. I think I recall stating how awesome the opening and closing credits were as well, claiming that the credits had more potential than the entire plotted script.

What is really interesting about this soon to be franchise, is that they have the opportunity to bring in new actors, writers, directors, and editors to give the audience what it really wants. It is almost the new-age Jason or Mike Myers franchise, the threat and location remains the same, but everything else can change film to film. And that’s why these types of movies can get so many sequels; they are loved for years to follow because of the threat. Because of Jason or Michael, because of the silly; oddball ways they find to kill the teenagers on screen.

When the original purge first came out, I refused to see it, telling myself in the weeks prior to the release I would not, could not see it. The idea behind America’s humanity devolving into murdering neanderthals frightened me on a different level than a typical horror film. It taps into your inner thoughts and subconscious; would the public really participate in such a “utopia” and take out all of their anger and aggression one night a year, without consequences? It’s a scary concept. At least it should have been. I decided to see the film anyways, and was completely disappointed to see Writer/Director James DeMonaco take that horrific concept and make it into something we’ve all seen a hundred times. 

So I went to the theaters hoping that “Hey, the commercials and trailers actually make it seem like they are going to take the better concept of all Hell breaking lose and showing us different stories happening during the purge.” And well, I wasn’t technically wrong, but again, they only concentrated on one city and what all happened within its’ limits. The Purge: Anarchy wasn’t great by any means, but it was better than it’s predecessor in getting closer to what is really frightening behind the purge. Hell, they even gave it a nice little twist about *semi-spoiler* the government *end semi-spoiler* that makes the message of the film much more scary. But alas, they eventually brought the different story lines together, and they didn’t do it badly, but they could have made the film so much more fun if they incorporated a different type of editing style. Imagine the three separate story lines coming together on the screen at once, but with three different shots of footage? Using screen splitting (as the legendary Quentin Tarantino has done in the past) would have made the ride that much more fun. And horror movies are all about being scared and having fun! Instead, they just use the old point and shoot technique for the film. The acting in the film was actually great (special shout out to new comer Zoë Soul, she was brilliant), and it is such a waste to see the movie lie lifelessly on the cutting room floor because of the lazy Director/writer James DeMonaco coming back for a second shot at the purge. 

The biggest disappointment of Anarchy is that it quite literally, is not anarchy; it is actually more boring than frightening and you sit there and think that the latest Indiana Jones action film had more anarchy than a damn film with the word in the title of it. The killers/kidnappers we see in the movie are more strategic than the aging Jones himself, and the word “anarchy” is defined as confusion and disorder. It also means a state of society without government or law, which technically, purge night has, but again, *spoilers* it kind of doesn’t. As in there is… fuck it, I’m just gonna say it, the government is out there shooting up the poor to control the population because America isn’t killing enough on purge night. Now as fucked up as that is, it technically is still planned and (excuse me for the lack of a better pun) executed. That is not chaos, if anything it is method and order, but I suppose if they named the movie The Purge: Order or Method it would have given away the one really disturbing aspect the film actually portrayed decently. *End spoilers.*

The film’s budget is estimated at $9,000,000 and has already made $29,816,675 in its opening weekend. Safe to say, they will continue pumping out Purge movies, and hopefully the next one will explore more than one home or one city, and follow numerous stories. If anything, maybe the idea behind the purge would do better as a mini series, that way they can explore all the havoc in a season, and binge watching would be best, so really, maybe Netflix should pick up the rights to it.

Also, there might be a small chance that they actually had linear thoughts when writing the previous movies; what if they began on a small scale (the home), went a bit bigger (the city) and already plan on moving statewide or country wide for the next installment? If that is the case, I would love to eventually see a political prequel that tells us how we got to the new “Founding Fathers’ way.”

I will continue to hold out hope on a better Purge movie, the one that we are all craving for, but until then maybe I would wait for DVD release while the movies are helmed by the unimaginative DeMonaco.