Writer/director James DeMonaco made a proper name for himself in Hollywood last year with The Purge, his low-cost (but very profitable) horror/thriller set in a dystopian future America where every year all crime is legalized for a 12 hour period – a means to stem the frequency of violence and law-breaking that occurs on the remaining 364 days of every year. The film was headlined Ethan Hawke (Sinister) and Lena Headey (Game of Thrones), with a narrative written by DeMonaco that was fairly standalone, with respect to how it examines its central “What if?” premise.
Of course, when a film grosses $89 million worldwide against a $3 million budget, it’s a fair bet that a sequel won’t be far behind. Sure enough, The Purge: Anarchy will arrive on the scene this June, almost exactly one year after its predecessor was unleashed.
Not everyone in The Purge was still alive and kicking by the conclusion, which is part of the reason why Anarchy centers around a different set of characters - ones that don’t have the comfort of an expensive home security system like Hawke and Headey’s characters did (common sense, on the other hand…). Instead, they must survive the Purge night in a city that devolves into a full-on war zone with limited sources of shelter available.
As you can see from the trailer above, Zach Gilford (Devil’s Due) and Kiele Sanchez (The Glades) play a young couple, who end up having Worst. Car Trouble. Ever on Purge night. Below, you can peruse through the first screen shots and official poster released for The Purge: Anarchy (which was once again directed by DeMonaco).
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Reactions to The Purge certainly vary; people seem to either find the speculative premise and moral/ethical questions it raises to be intriguing, or they’re too distracted by the derivative horror tropes (characters behaving dumbly, familiar scare setups, etc.) to care about the philosophical aspects of the storytelling. The sequel will move the action to a much bigger and potentially more fun playground, but whether or not the film will also be any scarier and/or smarter than its predecessor – that’s another matter.
Rounding out the Purge: Anarchy cast are character actors Frank Grillo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and Michael Kenneth Williams (Boardwalk Empire), along with recognizable faces from recent TV series, such as Carmen Ejogo (Zero Hour) and Nicholas Gonzalez (Sleepy Hollow).
The Purge: Anarchy opens in theaters on June 20th, 2014.