In 2013, a horror movie by the name of The Purge came out to very mixed reviews. Poorly executed and divulging to plain boring, director James DeMonaco undeniably sabotaged what could have been an excellent movie. After all, the premise was so simple; for twelve hours, on one night of the year, all crime is legal including murder. Making our cities more like Hunger Games arenas, the depth of the social themes was lost in a sea of bloody violence and wasted the acting talents of Lena Headey and Ethan Hawke. Now Demonaco is back at a second attempt to convey his vision.
Demonaco clearly attempts to show how different people of class, race and gender respond and take action in the Purge. Some people fight for money or power whilst others fight to solve their own personal vendettas. With two of the groups, there is a distinct attempt in making us empathise with out characters which doesn’t work as the latter couple or not nearly as compelling as Cali and Eva. Especially because here, Cali is the film’s saving grave. Whilst Leo is overused as the stereotypical white male, gruff with a secret heart of gold and impeccable stubble, it’s Cali’s character who peals and, at times, picks away his layers and it’s her who turns him into a remotely compelling character. With all this going on Liz and Shane’s, the couple from before, become dull in comparison
Demonaco fills The Purge: Anarchy with suspense and a good enough plot to keep you interested, he tries his best to present a realistic approach to the purge which ultimately makes for a far more unsettling and gripping experience. The Purge has returned with the franchise's trademark eerie masked participants and jump out your seat moment. And whilst The Purge: Anarchy is no Battle Royale, but it certainly makes for a thrilling watch.