Posted Aug 29 2016

The Purge Election Year - This Movie Trump Rocks

Dir: James DeMonaco

Starring Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell, Mykelti Williams, Kyle Secor

We here at lastword like us a bit of Purge. The movies mind, not the actual event.  Of all the ridiculously successful money-making products churned out by the Blumhouse over recent years, The Purge series is both the smartest and, in its own not too unreasonable future vision way, the scariest, (Plus, they’re the best films Michael Bay has leant his name to in a long time.)

It’s rare to see a mainstream American horror movie present itself with a satirical edge as it examines the future world of the haves and have-nots. It’s rarer still to see a new franchise switch its game up between instalments as Purge 1 & 2 did, moving from home invasion terror to out in the streets anarchy.

This third time around is more a sequel to number 2 than a break with what went before. It does add the level of high-end political assassination to the mix, but it’s not the progressive break we’ve seen previously. Its satirical edge might be slightly blunted as a result, and it’s also fair to say that it at times lacks the sheer absurdity that would occasionally illicit righteous laughter amongst the abject horror in its predecessors.

But it is still one of the better horror movies of the year and a worthy – if lesser – follow up to its two bigger siblings. Grillo returns here, a little wiser, and a little more Grillo-d (which is a good thing), now looking after a Presidential candidate whose platform is to affect the end of the purge. Needless to say, on this particular night of the year, she is anything but popular.

What works about The Purge is the possibility of it not being so far-fetched. It’s good at understanding the balance of human nature, and its desires, versus the nurture of what we hold to under the banner of ‘civilisation.’ It is the perfect horror movie for the Trump generation. And who knows, after the man’s elected, he’s likely to come up with something similar and deny he ever watched these movies.

The imagery is still brilliantly nightmarish (although a little under-used here), it retains some of its edge, and its satire is as relevant – even if it is playing second fiddle to a more standard action movie this time round. But this is still a strong, small, but very effective piece of reality-skewering horror.

(Nice to see Homicide’s Kyle Secor back on screen as well.)


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