James DeMonaco

The Purge Anarchy

Writer/director James DeMonaco seized the attention of film fans last summer with the darkly alluring premise of The Purge, earning an unpredicted $34 million domestically on its opening weekend. Logically, a sequel was born, bearing the challenge inherent to every successful film’s sequel: topping the first one. For DeMonaco, this wouldn’t be too difficult. The Purge followed only one, well-off family, locked up in their home, leaving the rest of the grisly purging world unexplored. The Purge: Anarchy takes us there – to downtown Los Angeles over the 12-hour course of an Annual Purge night. The film opens with three sets of characters whose stories intersect quickly. There’s fiscally struggling mother Eva (Carmen Ejogo) and daughter Cali (Zoë Soul); separating couple Shane (Zach Gilford) and Liz (Kiele Sanchez); and lastly, soul-cleansing, vengeful Leo (Frank Grillo). These five characters find themselves on the streets for radically different reasons, but they promptly form a desperate alliance. Leo falls naturally into the leader role, and though the rest of the group unanimously considers him morally ambiguous, they don’t have much of a choice. Plus – he’s got guns. A lot of guns. They make their way from skirmish to skirmish, flattening their bodies against buildings and scampering through alleyways, and are witness to the merciless purgers, the unfortunate victims and a group of purge-opposing rebels inspired by their enigmatic leader Carmelo (Michael K. Williams).

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AntiChrist

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The Purge: Anarchy

America. Land of the free, home of the brave, good country for crime. At least, that’s the angle that this summer’s hotly anticipated horror sequel, The Purge: Anarchy, is going for in its latest trailer. The next film from creator James DeMonaco takes us still further down the crime-ridden rabbit hole he first presented to us with last year’s The Purge, a cinematic universe that imagines that all crime (even murder, as some kind of super-happy announcer-lady declares in a tone of voice that’s definitely more chipper than it should be) is legal for a single, terrifying twelve-hour period every year. Time to move to Canada. Bye, guys! The Purge itself appears to be a wholly American creation, one launched to help citizens let off steam in the most demented of manners. It’s presented to its citizens as a good thing (along with its apparently unwritten rule to never, ever help anyone else out ever ever ever, because nothing says “USA” like not given a crap about your neighbor), but it’s pretty obviously a totally insane and evil thing, and it sure makes fake future America seem like the kind of place that’s not even worth the scant visit. Still, you know what’s really American? A hero — one like Frank Grillo, whose starring role in the film should pretty cleanly seal up his bid for cinema’s next “tough guy with a heart of gold” slot. Check out the latest trailer for The Purge: Anarchy, and be happy this premise isn’t true (well, yet):

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stanfield

There was some kind of strange alchemy going on when they put together the trailer for The Purge that convinced mainstream audiences that this was absolutely the next movie thriller they needed to go out to the theater to see. Whether it was just the weird masks that the bad guys wore, or the fact that the home invasion angle played on a deep-seated fear that afflicts most people, there was something in there that had every person I talked to for a month leading up to the film’s release asking me if I’d heard anything about it yet. And then the fairly thrifty production went on to earn somewhere around $89 million worldwide after its release. The sad part of that success story is that the movie just didn’t end up being any good though. It spent way too much time explaining a premise that didn’t hold up under scrutiny, it tried to get too heady when it should have been a survival romp, and in general it was just a big bummer for all of the people who went into it feeling excited. Of course, seeing as the film was so profitable, the less than ideal reactions it got aren’t stopping it from getting a sequel, and though original writer and director James DeMonaco is all set to return for The Purge 2, there has been some indication from the casting process that the sequel could end up being a lot more engaging than the original.

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review purge

When is a good old-fashioned home invasion movie not a good old-fashioned home invasion movie? When it sets itself in the near future and forgets to be all that good. Welcome to The Purge. It’s 2022, and the United States has finally solved its growing problem with violence and crime by making it legal. More precisely, it’s legal for a twelve hour period one night per year. Citizens are encouraged to stay safe in their secure homes, unless of course they care to vent their animalistic rage and partake in the annual event. The Sandin family feels safe behind their state of the art security shutters, but when their dumbass son has a crisis of conscience and lets an injured man in, all hell breaks loose.

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