DIRECTOR: James DeMonaco
WRITER: James DeMonaco
Joseph Julian Soria
Christopher James Baker
Raymond J. Barry
Following a few years on from the previous events of Anarchy. Sargeant Leo Barnes has now been tasked with protecting the latest senator who is currently targeted by the board executives of 'The Purge' due to her campaign for President of the United States Of America and her strong stance against purging. If she can get into power, her mission is to abolish it once and for all. Anyone who is invested wants her dead. They will need to survive the night for her to take the win and bring the purge to an end once and for all.
When it comes to the third movie in any horror franchise. It's rare that you'll ever find that a third entry manages to outdo the original or the sequel if it turns out to be any good. It's also a rarity when a sequel manages to pass the expectations of an original. With Election Year, it appears that director James DeMonaco has done the unthinkable and crafted a third film in a horror franchise that manages to be better than the first film and even comes close to my favourite of the series, the sequel.
The third movie in The Purge franchise gets very political, and at the perfect time, it seems. You can see that Election Year was written at a time which was mirroring the current US political climate. It's just a shame that the outcome of Election Year was a lot better than the outcome of who is now currently ruining the US of A at this very moment. The injection of politics into the story is a fantastic evolution of the already excellent core story of this horror franchise.
The story of Election Year also continues to take the action to the streets. This movie like Anarchy continues to expand the 'Purge' universe that this series has created and does very well in doing so. The film continues to also find plenty of clever ways to add new evil, masked villains into the story without it ever getting boring. The car full of murderous teenage school girls who want candy and are looking to purge is one of the biggest standouts in the third film.
An element that I loved in Election Year that was only touched upon in the third film was the addition of other countries coming into the US to purge. I thought it was an amusing little subplot that while not overly in-depth, it was still a fun touch. It also has the potential to allow other film markets and countries from around the world to start their own purge series and expand the universe if it continues to be as popular as this series has been. I'd love to see what Japan and Australia could come up with concerning a purge film.
I think where Election Year improved on what the first and second movies failed to do was the ending of the movie. This movie brings to end the original trilogy which was written and directed by James DeMonaco. I think the conclusion of Election Year is the most solid of the series. The end is a positive one, but the lead up to it is excellent. I love that the film ended and closed this story off once and for all. It felt like the story was tied up very well without a lot of questions needing to be asked of the audience.
The action is just as ramped up as it was in Anarchy. Election Year may even be more action-packed and visually impressive. What I think was lacking this time around was the tension and suspense. The film felt simply like an action horror movie but rarely had any remarkable or notable jump scares or real edge of your seat moments like I think The Purge and The Purge Anarchy did. It's a little light on the horror front and could have used some more tension.
The violence in Election Year is ramped up to new heights. As these purge films go along, the violence and gore get an upgrade with every new movie. I wonder what the death toll will be when it comes to The Purge 4. For all those gore whores out there that desire blood and violence, you won't be disappointed with the carnage that's on display in Election Year. While it's not extreme, it still has a lot of blood being spilt.
Lastly, the acting is pretty solid in the film. Frank Grillo is excellent as always. Hating one of his performances is hard. The man is a charismatic actor and a solid leading man. Elizabeth Mitchell is the standout in this film. She plays the senator and gives the film a sense of heart. I think her role as the senator is also the most sincere of the cast. Kyle Secor as our primary villain and opposing senator is also great in his small villainous role.
DEATH TOLL: 54 (Estimated)
BLOOD AND GORE:
- A bloody family is held, hostage.
- An arrow to the head.
- Someone is beheaded by a guillotine.
- Blood covered monuments.
- Corpses are seen strapped to the bonnet of a car.
- Militia are blown up in an explosion.
- People are shot dead.
- Someone is stabbed in the throat.
- A bullet to the ear.
- Three women are run over by a truck.
- People are shot in the face and head.
- Dead bodies are seen all over the streets.
- Someone is stabbed in the chest and neck.
- Trees covered in hanging bodies.
- Someone has their face sliced open with a knife.
- Corpse showed being burnt on the street.
- Someone is shot in the face with a shotgun.
- Someone removes a tracer from a bullet wound.
The Purge: Election Year comes in at a close second just behind The Purge: Anarchy. I found that the film was more enjoyable than the first movie. Election Year is the most political and violent of the franchise. I really enjoyed how topical the plot felt, and the cast was solid across the board. The movie also manages to close the trilogy off in a positive way that felt like it tied up any loose ends. A fitting end for a rather creative trilogy. Let's bring on the next trilogy of purging.