Is it possible the 3rd installment of a film franchise could be better than the previous two? Statistically speaking this is almost impossible, yet The Purge: Election Year proves every theory wrong. This film was thrilling, insanely graphic, and horrifyingly real. We finally get to see a real adaptation of just how far people will go to “Purge and Purify” themselves. For those not wanting spoilers but want to know if it is worth the ticket price? My answer: ABSOLUTELY YES!
****SPOILERS BELOW…You have been warned!****
The stories I have always been curious of are the ones of the survivors of previous purge years. What happens to them? How are they psychologically affected? The Purge: Election Year answers these questions and more! Beginning with a gruesome setup by a sadistic killer wearing a mask while jamming out to George Clinton’s We Want the Funk is truly chilling. Blood splattered all over the walls, the mysterious purger insists that “Mommies choice” is the final decision of the night. 18 years later and we learn the survivor, Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell) is the daughter from this horrific attack, watching as her family was brutally butchered and is the sole survivor. Now running for President, the sole focus of her campaign: to rid of the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA) and to end the annual event that has plagued the United States for decades.
We are introduced to a group of secondary characters, many affected directly by the monetary greed of the NFFA. A scene displaying a set of spoiled teenage girls is incredibly telling of how the purge has altered not only society but the youth brought up with the annual event. While attempting to steal a candy bar from a local deli, the two teenagers display an insightful analogy to the millennials of today, often feeling entitled to what they don’t have and going to any length to obtain it. As the main event approaches a new rule is disclosed revealing no one is exempt from purge night, including ALL government officials. Suggested by her lead security, Leo Barnes (Frank Grill) Senator Roan is told to lock herself up in a Fort Knox-like type facility to remain safe for the 12 hours allotted for purging. Why would logic set in during such an intense time? Of course Senator Roan opts to tough it out with “the remaining 99% of the population”.
Just as one imagines, her tight security is infiltrated and all hell breaks lose as a team of white supremacists attack from all angles. If you remember the gun slinging bad ass (Leo) from The Purge: Anarchy one can easily predict that he has a few secret tricks up his sleeve. He’s ready for the attack and before one can blink an eye, has Roan running from the chaos. It’s an evening full of insane encounters you never think could occur (traceable bullets?) and in the end Senator Roan finds herself in a precarious situation. Should she do what she is fighting so hard against or take the high road? You’ll have to see for yourself what she chooses: it’s a doozie!
Watching the examples of purging around the capital is intense and eerily mesmerizing. The destruction to our national treasures, like the Lincoln Memorial, historic Georgetown, and the Capitol is horrifying. This time, Purge: Election Year doesn’t hold back. Every day “normal” citizens expel their madness by killing, looting, and harming complete strangers while sweet melodies fill our ears. Housewives gone mad and killing their husbands, simply because they couldn’t stand to look at them any longer. Parents killed by their children just because they won’t give them what they want. The scenario becomes so horrendous it attracts foreigners from all over the world, whom travel to the United States to purge “just like Americans do”.
This is film of triumph and tragedy, and as the credits roll you wonder how in the world could a society like this exist? The creators of The Purge: Election Year have a massive message to deliver and it will be interesting to see how movie goers discuss the analogies to today’s political situation. This 105 minute feature goes quick and has you on the edge of your seat (almost) in its entirety and is well deserving of the 4/5 skulls. What could they possibly do next?
Written by Michelle Daniels
Photos courtesy of Universal Pictures and Google Images