Howdy there, Scream Freaks! It’s sure been one hell of a fourth with misfiring fireworks and American flag cakes churning our insides green. But by the end, most everyone came out with their limbs, eyebrows, and humility intact, and we all ended the stuffy night throwing back beers around the TV while watching the annual Jaws marathon. You know, we love that silly shark, but much like Jaws 4, it gets old after awhile.

That’s why this year we opted to expand our horror palate with a marathon of the Purge movies, given the newest installment just hit theaters in time to make us rethink our votes this election season. Some of us hadn’t seen any of the Purge films before, and it wasn’t because we refused to, but we simply didn’t make it a priority. Thanks to encouragement from those who gave this series the thumbs up, however, we finally sat our tailbones down and peeled our eyes to see what all the fuss was about.

Jumpin’ jack’o lanterns! We expected these films to be decent at best, but they were actually pretty damn good. For the clueless, the story is a future America has a new government in place that solves society’s problems by allowing Americans 1 night out of the year to purge their pent up angst and hostility in whatever fashion they choose, even if it’s murder. The first movie shows this purge event through the eyes of a rich family forced to defend themselves against purgers after a man they unexpectedly shelter, and the second is more from the poor’s perspective which we thought was the best of the trilogy. Purge: Anarchy is a balls to the wall adrenaline rollercoaster that’s like The Running Man meets Escape From New York with a Punisher wannabe playing hero to a group of passives he helps protect against all levels of violent crazies. It was always on the go, you never knew who was going to die or what crazy shit to expect. Highly impressed, we were more than willing to check out the next sequel, Purge: Election Year, on the big screen.

In this 3rd installment, the purge has been around for at least 20 years, and Senator Roan has had enough. Closing in to win the presidency, Roan will have the power to abolish the national holiday once and for all, but not if the new founding fathers can stop her. Taking advantage of the latest purge night, they hire some big guns and sick a white power army after her, all of who get their asses whipped by Roan’s bodyguard, Barnes, the Punisher wannabe from the last movie. The ambush forces them in the open and leaves them running through the underbelly of the nation’s capital, fighting tooth and nail to survive the night with the help of a deli-man’s crew and an underground purge resistance.

This sequel is a smart progression for the Purge series. We’ve seen how both ends of the social class celebrate and combat the annual “Halloween for adults,” and now we get more insight into the people in power behind the night itself. The main characters like Roan and Barnes are kinda static, with more minor characters like the purge rebels carrying the major decisive points of the film. There’s lots of action like bullets blowing through people’s heads, on screen beheadings, and girls getting run over, but we did kind of wish the gore could have been pushed a little more. We figure this might have been downplayed for an R rating or even to mirror protagonists’ viewpoints with the filmmakers refusing to glorify the violence which is sort of the point of the films. But the filmmakers still could have done a better job creating a sense of uneasiness in this sequel, leaving us afraid any of the characters could die next. Halfway through the movie, we felt pretty secure the main characters were probably going to make it to the end alright and lost a lot of that edge of our seat intensity we relished in Anarchy.

Overall, Purge: Election Year is an engaging film, maintaing the spirit of the first 2 films while raising the stakes and expanding the Purge universe, and is anything but boring and repetitive. To see how we rate it and the other Purge films, visit our R-Rated Reviews page!

Other than that, be sure to catch up on Screaming Soup! Seasons 1-2 after watching the latest Season 3 episodes, check out this week’s Howl’n Hottie, read recent reviews for the newer horror films we’re watching in our R-Rated Reviews blog, and help us get the word out about the web’s #1 animated horror host show! Please use our social buttons in the upper right corner of the site and follow our tweets, subscribe to our Youtube channel, like our Facebook, watch and share all our vids, and keep that fan mail coming.

We’ll see ya later, Scream Freaks!


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