When I first saw previews for The Purge, I was intrigued. The concept was basically original, making crime legal for one day to allow people to get all of their anger and rage out in order to keep peace the other 364 days of the year. Besides, this was during the return of Ethan Hawke in all his glory and Lena Headey was killing it in Game of Thrones, leading us to believe that The Purge would be something spectacular.
Unfortunately, it was not. There was such a missed opportunity to make the film into something fun, like You’re Next, that it ended up being a huge disappointment to me.
When The Purge: Anarchy previews started to air, I was not horribly impressed. Rarely is a sequel better than an original. In this instance, however, it was.
Now, don’t get too excited. I said the film was better, not great.
The Purge: Anarchy was basically Resident Evil 2, replacing the zombies with government appointed men with guns. It took me all night to make that comparison. I spent the whole movie trying to figure out what it reminded me of only for it to hit me hours later.
There is the obviously military man decked out with weapons who saves the woman and young girl from certain death, followed by the young couple whose car has broken down right in the middle of the purge. They are forced to find their way around the city, without being seen by the many groups targeting them, so that they can get to the safety of a friend’s house.
At one point, things got awfully Hostel-like with the wealthy paying to put the lower class into a hunting ground to kill them with weapons provided to them.
Where The Purge took place in the home of a wealthy family who took in a lower class man being hunted, The Purge: Anarchy is about the wealthy hunting the poor in order to decrease the percentage of lower class Americans and to “clean up” the country.
I wasn’t a huge fan of that premise but at least it carried more of a storyline than the first film did. There was more action, likeable characters and, most importantly, didn’t have the kid with the unibrow that absolutely no one believed could have been the offspring of Hawke and Headey.
In the end, The Purge: Anarchy was superior to its predecessor but, again, that isn’t saying much. Is it worth seeing? Yes. Is it worth the money you would have to pay to see it in the theater? Not exactly. My recommendation: Wait until Netflix.
All images credit: Universal Pictures
Ann Hale is the horror editor for Pop-Break.com and a senior contributing writer, reviewing horror movies and television shows. She is also the American Correspondent for Lovehorror.co.uk. Ann attended East Carolina University, majoring in English Literature. She is a collector of Halloween (the film) memorabilia and is a self-admitted opinionated horror nerd. You can follow her, her collection and her cat, Edward Kittyhands on Twitter and Instagram @Scarletjupiter