In an age where horror films tend to be hit or miss, last year's The Purge was definitely a hit for me. An interesting, yet simple concept, The Purge was a nice addition to the summer horror movie season, joining such films as Insidious: Chapter 2, You're Next, and The Conjuring. Now, just like in the movie, we get a new purge for a new year in The Purge: Anarchy.
Set one year after the events of the first film, The Purge: Anarchy takes the almost-dystopian feel of the first film and brings it back on a much larger scale. We move from one isolated cul-de-sac and one family trying to survive the night, to the entire city of Los Angeles and several groups a people.
The scope of this film is huge. It delves into the politics of the annual purge, how it affects the lower class, why it's "necessary" for society in the eyes of the government, and why it's not in the eyes of certain people. I enjoyed this larger scope, and look forward to learning more backstory to how the country came to be this way in future films, if they choose to go that route.
James DeMonaco returned to write and direct this sequel to his sophomore film, The Purge, and has managed to bring the same dark, dystopian tone to this very different movie. The story was definitely interesting, although there was quite a bit going on, which made things somewhat confusing at times, but it came together in the end.
Taking the lead role this time around is Frank Grillo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) as Leo Barnes, a man on a mission of revenge. He fit perfectly into this world, but throughout the majority of the film, I couldn't help but compare him to the Marvel Comics vigilante Frank Castle aka The Punisher.
He's joined by mostly unknown actors including Zach Gilford (Devil's Due), Carmen Ejogo (Alex Cross), Kiele Sanchez (The Glades), and Zoë Soul (Prisoners). Overall, the acting was pretty good, not Oscar worthy, but for a movie like this, that's not expected.
If you're a horror movie junkie like me, and especially if you're a fan of the first film, The Purge: Anarchy is definitely one to see. And make sure to keep an eye out for a nice little reference to the original film. So, if you're planning on seeing this film this weekend, awesome, and if you're still on fence, get off your ass and see this movie!
Josh's Rating: 7.5/10