1 – Clever, inventive dystopia – a brilliant idea, lackluster execution. 6/10 / 2 – Artful political thriller. 7.5/10 / 3 – Satirizes Americana – with politics._6.2/10.
In a future America burdened by rampant crime and overcrowded prisons, the government sanctions an annual 12-hour “Purge”, a period during which all criminal activity, including murder, is legal. With three different films focusing on different people’s experiences of the night, who will survive the night and who will stay pure?
*Possible spoilers ahead*
The Purge (1) – 6/10
Most Memorable Moment: The masks and costumes when the rich kids demand the homeless man be returned
Pros: Brilliant and innovative idea focusing on a dire vision of a future America, strong horror imagery of Purgers with well-designed masks, costumes, etc. (albeit for short on-screen time), good acting by Ethan Hawke and Rhys Wakefield, rich vs. poor angle interesting psychologically, good plot twist at the end with neighbors and homeless man
Cons: Not really a Horror movie as promised by the premise but mildly boring home invasion thriller, extremely slow opening after an otherwise good beginning, very scary and brilliant idea frustratingly underused if even at all as there is really no horror or things to be scared of in the movie, characters flat and one-dimensional with subpar acting except by Ethan Hawke and Rhys Wakefield, central plot of the film where the son lets in the homeless man and they’re trying to find him extremely stupid, Purgers insultingly ineffective at getting anything done in the end invasion as they’re all taken out even while having the most advanced weapons, movie filled with horror movie and thriller clichés without really any horror or thrills, frenzied violence and lack of any suspense in an original way, overall just leaves you with a sour feeling of being cheated and disappointed that it didn’t deliver on its premise
Overall Rating: 6/10
The Purge: Anarchy (2) – 7.5/10
Most Memorable Moment: Guy waving with the Mask that says “God” on it. Horrifying.
Pros: Way more horrorful imagery and Purge-centered events (fixing the biggest complaints from the last one), more situations you can invest in like the couple who’s wires are cut and stranded outside on Purge night, even scarier masks and costumes, crazier Purge antics and innovative ideas, great decision to have the film centered outside in the madness instead of inside away from it, Frank Grillo as Barnes is badass and incredible acting as well as character development in the end, artful tone and political thriller motif that reimagines it on a new level while still maintaining the best part of the idea: the macabre and antics/situations, incredible artful credits sequence
Cons: Few too many characters, still not horror form – artful political thriller which is good just not what we asked for/suspected originally, wish the ending was a little better – like the character development but Grillo’s son deserved a little more justice
Overall Rating: 7.5/10
The Purge: Election Year (3) – 6.2/10
Most Memorable Moment: Purge imagery with a guillotine and Purge written on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial
Pros: Absolutely chilling opening scene, fantastic decision to focus on the political angle and a politician trying to end the Purge to end the trilogy, hilarious jokes added in a nice addition, awesome and thrilling plot centered upon the New Founding Fathers trying to take out the newcomer politician through the Purge, absolutely wild American-themed horror imagery like guillotines and altered presidential costumes, the most Horror-like Purge movie so far finally getting close to its promise and living up to its premise, Frank Grillo still a badass
Cons: girl who tried to steal from the convenience store and Purge the people who stopped her maybe the most annoying character in movie history and extremely stupid, “I want my candy bar” just.. wtf, political angle will definitely be infuriating to Republicans haha, the “martyr” point makes no sense, having pastors kill and shootouts in a church a little on the nose
Overall Rating: 6.2/10