Cinematic Releases: The Purge Anarchy

For the third time this year, a sequel has outdone its predecessor.

"Yes. I'm finally the lead character!
This is SO awesome!"
First we got The Raid 2. Then we got Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. And now, The Purge: Anarchy embellishes the concept of the original with a tighter script, less attention to needless gore, and much more attentiveness to expanding on the dystopian myth of last year's mediocre attempt at creating a branded franchise. The Purge: Anarchy is its own entity that should be considered a separate piece of work as it has nothing in common with the original other than name and its continued message of societal violence. 

"Hi. I'm God. Has anyone
seen my son?"
The Purge: Anarchy is a smart and sleek thriller that tackles modern themes about the growing disconnect between the wealthy and the poor while unabashedly delivering one hell of a ride. This sequel wisely executes tones from The Most Dangerous Game, The Warriors, Escape From New York, and Hostel in to a more intelligent continuation of the series. The Purge 2 (literally) steps outside the claustrophobic qualities of last year's entry while finally giving Frank Grillo the top billing he so deserves. 

Everything about Anarchy is thoughtfully planned out while it offers a truly horrific peek at the violent leanings of mankind and how simply we could fall off the slippery slope into sheer madness. 

Unlike the first Purge, director James DeMonaco, trades constant brutality and bloodletting for a character based study about man's incessant need for vengeance and how the wealthy elite look down upon the "have nots". It still features enough killing to satisfy any horror hound's desire for on screen death, but it doesn't feel as vile or dirty this time around. There's a point DeMonaco is trying to get across and he does so by keeping the story fresh, by upping the tension loaded ante, and by using lesser known actors that offer a true sense of horror.  

"Did you honestly say you want to stop
for a cheesburger? It's Purge night.
Are you crazy, bitch?!!!"
If I had to pick between the two movies, Anarchy would win every time. This is exactly how sequels should be done. Instead of lingering on a repetitious retread, the script feels more evolved, the characters are more rounded, the score is dynamically correct, and the message is abundantly clear. DeMonaco took his obvious errors with the first and fixed them, gave them a fresh coat of paint, and delivered a shiny new package that's leaps and bounds better than his first attempt at this new found horror franchise. 

If you like horror and believe in second chances, check out The Purge: Anarchy. This is one sequel that will change your perspective on how safe you feel in your home, on the street, or anywhere for that matter. Now get out there and kill something!

-Chris George