“I really love the concept of this world. In the not too distant future, the government has decided that the best way to practically eradicate crime is to make it legal for one night a year. While the original Purge film was a decent home invasion horror, I’d felt that it didn’t really use the concept to its fullest potential. Because the whole thing was so enclosed in one location, this nation wide culture was very under utlized. Maybe it added a little to the suspense because there were no truly safe places to go, but still, I hoped for more.
That’s where The Purge: Anarchy comes in. Instead of focusing on a well off family in a secluded and secure neighborhood, we’ve got a handful of people thrown into the big city with no real protection. It really is all out anarchy on the streets, and help is unavailable for 12 hours.
The one thing I still disagree with is what the purge accomplishes. In my mind, you have one night a year to break bad and get things accomplished. Steal that money you need to provide for your family. Kill that person who’s preventing your next promotion. Whatever nefarious deeds would enhance your life, you get things done this one night at your own risk. Like with the first film, this one looks at purging as more of a soul cleanse. Do something bad, get it out of your system, and be a fulfilled person the rest of the year. Especially the way that the wealthy are portrayed purging, it just feels silly. Then you’ve got those crazies who run around talking about how its their right to purge. No, sorry, you mean privilege.
With Frank Grillo’s Sergeant, we did at least get a bit more of a logical goal. He’s on a very specific mission that can only be accomplished tonight. The mystery is in what that mission is. He picks up a couple purge refugees along the way, and they team up to try and survive the night together. Sergeant is a pretty bad ass character, elevating the film a bit more on the action side, and giving us a gritty tortured soul to root for. I was also impressed that the bulk of his companions were female. And while technically they did all need to be rescued, they weren’t complete damsels in distress. They were all tough and determined individuals who fought for their lives rather than cower in fear.
Watching, I remember getting kinda freaked out. Not that it was a horror film in the sense that there were deliberate scares and surprises. It’s the circumstances. These people really are out on their own, with no safe places to go. People are chasing them down with some pretty sophisticated weaponry, and no one is coming to help them. That’s a rather scary situation. Or what if you do stay home. What if your barricades and gates aren’t enough. What do you do then? I had only barely recovered from that feeling over the next couple days when I found out that this film is going to be the basis for one of the mazes at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights, which I was planning to attend. And the fear came rushing back.
The Purge: Anarchy – \m/ \m/ \m/ \n