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The Purge: Election Year (2016)

The third installment in The Purge horror series, The Purge: Election Year is full of violence, gore and terrifying realism. I had only seen the first film when I sat down to watch this last night, so was unsure what I'd think. I did like the original, but the ending frustrated me and I don't usually love sequels but was willing to give this a go. Plus, it had Ethan Hawke in...and I'm not a huge fan of his.

For those who haven't seen The Purge (2013), the premise is that for 12 hours all crime is legal in America. From murder to robbery, everything is allowed in order to retain 'peace' for the rest of the year. The Purge: Election Year follows two presidential candidates; one who wants the purge to continue and one who wants the horrific US tradition to stop. Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell), wants the holiday to come to an end after witnessing the death of her family in the annual purge, 18 years prior. Protected by her head of security (Leo Barnes, played by Frank Grillo), her opponent attempts to murder her on purge night. With the help of Barnes and local shop owner Joe Dixon (and his friends), the group help innocent people throughout the night and attempt to kill all of the anarchists. Joining with a prominent militant leader who also wants to bring an end to the annual purge, there are plenty of moments that keep you on the edge of your seat.

As we sat watching it, I couldn't help but think this type of thing could actually happen. Plus, the crazy-cult-psycho opposing presidential candidate reminded me of someone. I think that is what is most terrifying about this film; yes, there are some scenes which make you tense and the gore is scary but overall it's the feeling that this violence isn't far from what the world is witnessing. It is not a brilliant film, but the characters are relatable and the concept isn't far-fetched, unlike other horror films. 

I would recommend this film as I like the concept, the masks people wear throughout are terrifying and it gives you the sense that none of the characters can truly trust each other. On purge night, no-one is safe. Wives are killing their husbands, children killing their parents and people find the most creative ways to cause each other pain.

Now I just need to watch The Purge: Anarchy (2014)!

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— AW