By Hannah Craven
Available on Digital Download on the 12th December.
Blu-Ray and DVD released on the 26th December.
Directed and Written by: James Demonaco
Starring: Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell, Mykelti Williamson.
Run Time: 1 hour 49 minutes
With the scary idea that crime can be legal in America for twelve hours on the annual Purge Night. James DeMonaco made a successful film franchise which shocked the public. With the new instalment, it was no coincidence that the film was set during an Election Year with the American presidential elections happening this year. Senator Charlie Roan is very much like Hillary Clinton. DeMonaco used the idea of the presidential election and the purge to scare the audience by planting the idea that this could happen in the future. The previous two films have been very successful and memorable. The latest Purge film is memorable but not successful. It feels like this film franchise is running out of ideas. This purge is more about politics than actual violence.
The film centres on Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell) who is campaigning to stop the annual purge. As the night of the Purge arrives, Charlie must stay safe, but when she gets betrayed and is forced onto the streets of Washington; she must survive or get sacrificed by the mercenaries and the state.
It starts successfully as the audiences are kept on the edge of their seats with suspense, as we see a flashback of Senator Charlie’s family being killed on the purge night. But as the film moves on it feels slow and it makes the audience feel like they have seen this all before in the previous two films.
Elizabeth Mitchell, most known for playing Mrs Claus in the Tim Allen Santa Claus films, played her part very well. She was the most successful part of this film. The audience could sympathise with her character. The only issue I had was that her character was being used as a traditional “Princess” who was being protected and saved by the male character Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo), who was in the previous film The Purge: Anarchy. I would have liked to have seen her in more control, instead of playing the stereotypical female who needs to be saved. Frank Grillo was also very successful with his part as the lead. He proved himself to be brilliant as he did in Anarchy.
Election year felt very like the previous instalment Anarchy, as it was set out the street. Election Year feels very much longer than the 110 minutes which it is. The masked lunatics are scary at times and makes the film succeed in the Horror genre. By them being masked, it dehumanises them and makes them even more terrifying as you don’t know who they are underneath the masks. The masked villains make the film feel like Halloween for adults which is quoted in the film. But there is no strong villain in this film; by the end of the election year the audience will still not be sure who was the main villain.
Overall, DeMonaco was back with his shocking, violent images in the duration of the film. These included women tied up to the bonnet of the car and heads being chopped off. These are the images which make the Purge successful and disturbing. It felt very like George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s a shame, Election year didn’t have minimal dialogue and more visual action to make it success like Mad Max. I did enjoy the shocking element of the film but overall I felt it was slow and I personally feel that The Purge should have ended with the last film. DeMonaco has used all his ideas for this franchise.
The DVD/Bluray includes some bonus features which fans of The Purge franchise will love:
· Deleted Scenes
· Inside the Purge
· Character spotlight: Leo.