Writer/director James DeMonaco‘s The Purge movies have never been shy about melding politics and horror. The series’ creepy, Twilight Zone-esque elevator pitch – a near-future America legalizes all crime for one night every year – has been a vehicle to examine how corrupt systems favor the wealthy and powerful while literally leaving the poor and the helpless out on the streets. You can argue about the results (I think they’ve been pretty good), but it’s always nice to see a grisly horror series bring a little bit of actual meat to the slaughter.
The trailer for The Purge: Election Year has arrived and it looks like the next natural step forward for this series. But most importantly, Frank Grillo is back, which is the real reason to celebrate.
As the title implies, the third film moves deeper into the political realm, following Charlene Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell), a presidential nominee who has built her entire campaign on eliminating the Purge. Naturally, those in power see her as a threat and plot to have her assassinated during the Purge, which, in this universe, is literally the perfect crime. However, they didn’t count on the presence of Grillo’s Sergeant, who became Charlene’s bodyguard after surviving the events of 2014’s The Purge: Anarchy. Mayhem in and around the Washington D.C. area ensues.
And since this is a Purge movie, you can bet your severed fingers and toes that there will be outlandish costumes, creepy masks, and literal armies of bloodthirsty maniacs out to get to their murder on. Thanks to the setting, the killers this time around have taken on a more “patriotic” flavor, twisting American imagery and even borrowing a thing or two from the French (guillotines, anyone?). Even with the wider scope, The Purge: Election Year does look like just another Purge movie and you should know by now whether or not that will appeal to you in any way, shape, or form. I like these movies well enough – the blend of nasty horror and dystopian science fiction satire pushes the right buttons for me. However, the real treat is seeing Grillo back in action. His mysterious, vengeful soldier was the highlight of the previous film, lending gravitas and old school badassery to a film otherwise filled with remorseless killers and shrieking victims. Grillo is a fine actor and there are few performers I’d rather watch speak softly and carry a big weapon through an evening of bloody anarchy. The Purge: Election Year is set to open, rather appropriately, on July 1, 2014. Expanding the universe introduced in the hit franchise that electrified the culture and earned $200 million at the worldwide box office, Universal Pictures’ The Purge: Election Year reveals the next terrifying chapter that occurs over 12 hours of annual lawlessness sanctioned by the New Founders of America to keep this country great. It’s been two years since Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo) stopped himself from a regrettable act of revenge on Purge Night. Now serving as head of security for Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell), his mission is to protect her in a run for president and survive the annual ritual that targets the poor and innocent. But when a betrayal forces them onto the streets of D.C. on the one night when no help is available, they must stay alive until dawn…or both be sacrificed for their sins against the state.