Released with little fanfare, the original Purge debuted in pole position at the US box office and went on to take almost $90m worldwide. Not too bad for a modestly budgeted horror yarn that – at least on the surface – had little more than Lena Headey, Ethan Hawke and a killer hook.
The Purge: Anarchy dispenses with Hawke and Headey but retains the hook – a future America that keeps its citizenry in check by allowing them to be lawless for one night a year. Where the first pic limited its mayhem to one upscale suburb, its follow-up takes it out onto the streets, envisioning a macabre free-for-all in which defenceless innocents are slaughtered by marauding gangs.
Hey, if that doesn’t spell entertainment, we don’t know what does. The problem, however, is that writer/director James DeMonaco appears to have developed some delusions of grandeur since the first film hit paydirt. What made Purge #1 so chilling was the idea that the friendly neighbour you mi...