The Purge offered a "Plan C" or a second-wind of sorts. The concept had ambition that hadn't been seen from the genre in a very long time.
Unfortunately, it failed at meeting its high potential. It didn't offer very much of anything except a whole lot of disappointment. However, the premise enabled the film to make well-over its small budget and assure a sequel. The trailers for this one looked more promising. They headed out to the streets with the crimes, and it looked to be ready to finally deliver everything that we expected from the beginning.
The Purge: Anarchy is a 2014 American action horror-thriller film directed and written by James DeMonaco. It acts as a sequel to the 2013 film The Purge and stars Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford, Kiele Sanchez, and Michael K. Williams.
The film follows a variety of characters and how they react within the Purge. A couple has their car break down after a gang messes with their vehicle and two sisters find themselves being targeted and brought out to the open. Meanwhile, a Sergeant Leo Barnes is haunted by a death in his family and plans to use the night to extract revenge. Sooner or later, the characters become intertwined and it becomes about surviving the night.
The Purge: Anarchy almost immediately offers an improvement over the first film. There's definitely a lot more creativity and flushing out having gone into the concept itself. There is a lot of thought-provoking ideas and depth adding to the premise. One of the notable elements in the idea of characters standing up against the purge which makes it feel like there is a lot of ground remaining to be covered by the concept.
The actors are well-portrayed and allotted the means for legitimate character-development. Elements are certainly familiar, but they act as a platform for the real fun that the movie provides. Characters hiding in every corner and some of them even carrying presence with them. I love the idea of being able to expect these characters in potential sequels.
There are some problems, however. For starters, there are one or two jump-scares that I could have done without. Personally, I think that these kinds of scares are lazy in-general. It is even worse when you consider that this movie doesn't come off as something that is scary as much as it is entertaining and chaotic. It didn't help matters that the theater I went to decided the crank the volume up to eleven.
Also, there were a couple cliches to be seen in the film, particularly at the end. Thankfully, I think they weren't excessive with the outlandishness.
In conclusion, The Purge: Anarchy doesn't offer much more in character developments than an average horror film. They are put together with enough coherence that it is able to keep the rest of the film from collapsing in on itself.
However, that is still a substantial improvement over the first. More than that though, the movie succeeds at doing something that has been void from the horror-genre in a long time. It succeeds at being a film that is legitimately mindless escapism and entertaining to watch.
It brings me back to the slasher films of the eighties and nineties that I absolutely loved when I was younger. Also though, it has an alarmingly intriguing premise with a bottomless amount of potential.
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Rating: Above Average