America's third political party, the New Founding Fathers of America, comes to power and conducts an experiment: no laws for 12 hours on Staten Island. No one has to stay on the island, but $5,000 is given to anyone who does.
Bodies are turning up around the city, each having met a uniquely gruesome demise. As the investigation proceeds, evidence points to one suspect: John Kramer, the man known as Jigsaw, who has been dead for over 10 years.
Callum Keith Rennie
A priest with a haunted past and a novice on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate the death of a young nun in Romania and confront a malevolent force in the form of a demonic nun.
This horror/action-adventure film from director Gerard McMurray serves as a prequel that recounts events that led up to the first Purge event. To push the crime rate below one percent for the rest of the year, the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA) test a sociological theory that vents aggression for one night in one isolated community.
The infamous low budget political horror franchise finally gets a prequel, and really was the wisest instalment to make. Our eternal question of "how did the Purge start?" is answered in an all too familiar formula that is overstuffed with subtextual layers. The NFFA have won the vote and are now conducting a sociological experiment that allows communities to vent aggression, in a bid to cull the population of America. DeMonaco withdrew from the directing chair and focused on writing a screenplay that would further explain the political and economical agendas of the Purge. Marginalised communities raging against oppression, an experiment that enables lower class civilians to reduce their own population by murdering themselves whilst the oppressors gain monetary benefits and make America "a nation reborn". The Purge has always been a hot topic, particularly in today's political climate, and the concept remains prevalent in this fourth chapter. The gritty violence and dystopian abstraction does make for some general entertainment, particularly one action scene on a stairwell, and will raise questions involving morality. DeMonaco involves you in this night of carnage, he allows you to cast your own opinion. Consequently, this resulted in his script to be overindulged in various subtextual components that no longer remain implicit. Discussions regarding overpopulation, oppression, crime and politics felt unnecessarily basic, as if he was holding our hand through these "difficult" topics. Unable to balance specific elements, he then also tries to tackle the psychological analysis behind the experiment, using an underused and unrecognisable Tomei as the creator of the experiment, yet fails to garner any real interest. It's all too basic and all too familiar. Nothing new is implemented to differentiate this entry from the rest. More uninteresting and underdeveloped characters from a similar community that the other films depict must survive the night where everyone instantly showcases lunacy. Yawn! A prequel brimming with rudimentary jump scares and a lack of conceptual progression.
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