Review of "The Purge: Election Year (DVD)"

published 04/01/2017 | gothic_moon
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Good
Pro Easy enough to watch, relatively engaging
Cons Grating use of the title, lacked oomph/scare factor, nothing too new, underwhelming
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"Even Presidential Candidates Aren't Safe From Purge Night"

Even the candidates aren't immune to the night of death and destruction.

Even the candidates aren't immune to the night of death and destruction.

Maybe you’ve seen The Purge, then The Purge Anarchy, and you think…”what else could they do?” Well, not a lot other than rehash the same ground. However, I think that was to be expected. Same set up, same routine, but also the same sense of adventure and atmosphere, mostly.

… Premise …

The concept : One night a year America is allowed a guilt-free “purge”, where any and all violence and murder is sanctioned and legal. Without fear of prosecution, and with peer influence, it’s become a popular fiasco. The country can be rid of some of the dead wood and keep the population down, while saving heaps of time and money on police and emergency responders.

This follow-on sees the return of Leo Barnes, who chose not to exact revenge on the man that killed his son two years previously. He’s now working as the head of security for Charlene Roan, a popular Presidential candidate that’s obviously under threat with the upcoming Purge night. As the hours count down, however, Barnes and Roan somehow manage to unfortunately end up on the streets, away from the safety and protection that she ideally needs. There are a few kind souls out there patrolling the streets of D.C to rescue those in need and a small anti-purge rebel group is not enough. Individuals, groups and gangs are on the hunt, and murder, violence and chaos ensues. Will the presidential frontrunner survive the night and live to see the morning?

The film does take full advantage of the state of affairs in America and indeed in the world, so it uses political unrest and public fear as its foundation for building the scare factor.

The premise was standard and nothing too shocking or surprising. It was as I had anticipated, so I can’t say I was really disappointing in this respect.
The overused term, “purge”, really grated on me. I don’t like the word to begin with so the repetition only served to make the film seem to cheesy. I think on the whole that was part of the problem. The events, the whole “purge” element really, didn’t feel believable.

The cast includes Elizabeth Mitchell (Senator Charlie Roan), Frank Grillo (Leo Barnes), J.J. Soria (Marcos), Terry Serpico (Earl), Edwin Hodge (Dante Bishop), and Mykelti Williamson (Joe Dixon). Not familiar names and faces, and no real stand out performances of note either. A bit of a mixed bag, I’d say the cast levels out as some were more convincing in their roles than others, but no one stuck in my mind as being truly awful to the point where it ruined the film, which is a good start.

I’m surprised at the 15 rating, though it perhaps did tone down elements that could have been made more aggressive and violent. I’m not sure this was a good thing as it did lack some oomph, and there was no real scare factor or shock factor as a result.

Scenes, settings and effects were fairly well done, and the soundtrack helped to keep up the pace and engagement with what was going on, adding a little energy and edge to the proceedings. There was some degree of atmosphere, a sense of tension as we wait and watch for the next horror to occur and as we see the key characters attempt to survive the night. It was let down by the lack of believability and it having nothing to really shock us.

The upside is that Election Year is a little easier to tell apart from the others because, while it follows the same format, you can distinguish it by the fact it's, well, to do with an election and a running candidate. Otherwise, Purge films and characters can blend and become rather samey, hard to distinguish.

I would say this was easy enough to watch and provided some enjoyment in terms of waiting to see what would happen next. It's certainly not the worst horror/thriller I've seen in a while, though it's by far up there in any top 10 or top 50 list.

This scores a 6.0 on IMDB, while receiving mixed reviews from viewers. I would say it wasn’t the worst film I’ve ever seen by far, and it kept me interested enough to watch it until the bitter end. However, it didn’t really offer anything new or overly memorable, it was a little grating at times, and didn’t too feel convincing.

DVD released 2016, running time 109 minutes, rated Certificate 15.
DVD selling for £9.99 (Amazon).

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Comments on this review

  • LiveMusicLoverLyn published 19/02/2017
    Interesting
  • Silveryew published 26/01/2017
    VH^^
  • Jackaloopestyle published 15/01/2017
    vh :)
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Product Information : The Purge: Election Year (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

DVD Region: DVD

Actor(s): Frank Grillo, Betty Gabriel, Edwin Hodge, Elizabeth Mitchell, Kyle Secor

Classification: 15 years and over

Director(s): James DeMonaco

Production Year: 2016

EAN: 5053083081881

Video Category: Feature Film

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Listed on Ciao since: 02/01/2017