I’m here for two reasons. A review and a shameless plug. Let’s do the plug first (get that bit out the way, eh?)
Now, for my bite-sized reviews.
The Purge (2013)
I’m not a horror sorta guy, really. I am partial to something psychological or a dark thriller or a crap b-movie, but you won’t be catching me in the cinema watching Paranormal Activity 42: Wow! These Are Some Very Paranormal Activities! any time soon.
That being said there was something that drew me about The Purge. It definitely wasn’t “From The Producer of Paranormal Activity and Sinister” bit at the top which all modern horror movies seem to have, it was the idea of crime being legal for one night. Now, it was a good idea, good enough to lure this dingus in anyway, but it was a bit too far fetched, I can forgive that though, it is a film after all.
Ethan Hawke is like a magnet to horror movies. He seems to be in all of them. He’s in this one and he’s… just… there. He gets some guns out and doesn’t use them when SPOILERS they get home invaded, bad-boy stylee. This was one of the many logical issues in the film, along with the schtick and the obvious horror movie trope here and there, like the classic “Don’t you go down there, honey!”
This biggest “You idiot.” moment came when the kid (I bloody hate kids), the creepy, pale kid who isn’t a stereotype, opened his family’s lovely defenses (barricades, shutters, the works) to let a homeless man, or bum (for our very existent American crowd), in because he asked him to. Say you were the child of a very rich man, like Ethan Hawke, for example, who had put a great load of defenses on your lovely home to protect you and your, let’s face it, slut of a sister from mentalists with machetes, so many machetes. It’s weird how so many rich people had bloody machetes. Now, would you open up, making you vulnerable to these machete-wielding mentalists, for a homeless man you DO NOT KNOW who might have a machete on him? No, didn’t think so.
Turns out this guy didn’t have machete, but was instead being hunted by mental machete men and women with masks, very scary masks. Masks that would be perfect for the odd over used jump scare here and there. Plus, these guys and gals wanted him particularly, bad news for our fugitive-harbouring Hawke family. Anyway, they turn up, want him back, they have to find the rogue homeless man or they’ll do some killing and stuff, cat and mouse BLAH BLAH BLAH.
Our leading man with mental, marauding machete and mysteriously menacing mask was some guy whose name I can’t remember, because I didn’t know in the first place. Lemme check. Rhys Wakefield, that’s his name. He was very good. Bloody terrifying but cheeky and polite with it. He was sadly underused though, so we could see more of Ethan bloody Hawke. Yay.
It was alright though. Tense and refreshing. A little bit of cheeky sci-fi here and there, a drizzling of horror, but mainly an alright thriller that I am glad I watched, but wouldn’t again.
The Purge: Anarchy (2014)
Now, the reason I watched The Purge: Anarchy is because I watched The Purge and the other one was on so I thought “Why not?”, little did I know I’d have a mediocre surprise waiting for me, much like the first one.
Nothing really grabbed me about this one. Same idea, different people.
So, this time we’re somewhere different and we follow the “intertwining” stories of three groups of people during The Purge. Since Tarantino did Pulp Fiction, any film where people meet up is automatically an intertwining tale. So we have these waitresses and her daughter who are left stranded after their horny, fat, Mexican, drunk neighbour came in with two loaded things, if you know what I mean, *wink wink*. Then he dies and these army blokes feed them to a butcher with a Gatling gun. I was thinking throughout how that butcher knew how to Purge, now time for development so I felt nothing for these women. But someone did. Yes, the freakin’ assassin who was out to kill this drunk driver who killed his son. So this assassin kicks a bit o’ the ass and invites the two into his car at the promise of safety. Oh yes! Because why wouldn’t you trust an emotionally unstable Punisher-style marine on the night where he could literally kill you in the face? Sounds like a top notch idea. But he then got a shock, the type where you point guns, when he finds another stranded couple in his car, these were being hunted by guys with face paint and skateboards. Oh yeah, and GODDAMN MACHETES.
So obviously you got the gist, yeah?
The rest of the movie is just people killing people for the bloody sake of it and its pretty bloody stupid and funny. Just random killing. It’s really funny.
However, the ending takes the blood-drenched cake that tastes of mediocre acting and gunpowder. SPOILERS AHEAD. So after the stupid random killing, our friendly neighbourhood assassin finally does what he wanted to do and goes, all unstable, to his target’s house. He goes ape on this guy, punching his wife in her stupid face and the like, and threatens to kill him, gun to throat. Then it cuts, awfully strange for such an in-your-face-shoot-your-testicles type of film. And a scream, our drunk driver presumably. He leaves, seemingly happy then he gets shot. By who? You may ask. That butcher from earlier, who we hadn’t seen since the start of the film, that’s who. At this point, I just laughed my very real tits off. Then, guess what? He gets shot by the drunk driver, who we all thought was dead. Nope. Our assassin’s still alive, barely. Our mother and daughter are still there helping him out and the drunk driver, still allowed to drive apparently, drives him to the hospital, film over. I was crying, it was so much funnier than it sounds.
Overall, The Purge: Anarchy was the Aliens to The Purge’s Alien, except not as good. A lot more action orientated and completely ridiculous, suffering from some try-hard horror moments (jump scares, that sort of thing), but just dumb and fun.
Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations