The Purge: Anarchy
Score: 5 out of 10
The low budget horror/thriller The Purge got bad reviews when it was released last year, but that didn’t stop it from raking in a ton of dough at the box office. You know what that means, sequel! Barely a year later, we’ve got The Purge: Anarchy, a follow up that, in the finest horror movie tradition, is bigger, bloodier, and more extravagant than its predecessor.
The concept behind these movies is simple: In the not too distant future, the American government makes all crime, including rape and murder, legal for one night a year. This allows the poor, huddled masses to kill each other off while the rich assholes sit back in the relative safety and comfort of their gated communities. This is an interesting idea, even if it’s been done before, and it’s ripe with obvious social and political themes that would be a little too smart for the average horror movie. While the first film took place almost entirely inside one house, Anarchy, thanks to its much bigger budget, takes the action outside. It focuses on three groups of innocent people trapped on the street during the annual Purge night, and they eventually cross paths and are forced to work together in order to survive.
Interesting concept aside, The Purge: Anarchy falls into terribly boring horror movie tropes. Almost all of the characters are annoying and stupid, just like the knife-fodder in the average slasher film, and the writers resort to tired clichés that you’ve see in a thousand times before. Characters die just after their “I love you” moment. Cars break down at the worst possible times (this actually happens twice). The bad guy gets up again after you think he’s dead. Plain white masks. Does any of this sound familiar? There are some genuinely creepy and cool scenes, but for the most part, we deserve better than this.
The Purge: Anarchy is not a terrible film. It’s actually pretty watchable as a forgettable horror movie, it’s just annoying because it could have been so much better. At least it’s a big improvement over the first movie. Hopefully, The Purge 3, probably due out next year, will finally get it right.
-Review written by Blake Siefken, follow me on Twitter!