It may be about as subtle as a ‘patriotic’ axe to the face, but action-splatter sequel The Purge: Election Year is looking to turn the series’ satirical amps up to 11.
Showcasing people wearing masks of former Presidents, the founding fathers and the stature of liberty massacring the poor in a bid to “keep America great”. the latest trailer suggests an incredibly timely thriller that chimes perfectly with the borderline farcical rise of Donald Trump.
For the uninitiated, The Purge series is set in a near-future US where wealthy citizens are encouraged to take part in an annual ‘Purge’; with all crime including murder legal for one night each year, the poor and the unfortunate are preyed upon in the name of lowering offending rates the rest of the time.
Election Year ups the stakes even further after 2014’s surprisingly decent Purge: Anarchy, with a liberal, reform-seeking senator being hunted by the right-wing elite – and forced to team up with an underground resistance.
Check out the trailer now. Those propaganda clips are Starship Troopers esque.
Horror has a grand tradition of satirising and mocking society across time and place, from the original Dawn Of The Dead’s skewering of consumerism, to Scream’s sublime send-up of ’90s popular culture and slasher movies themselves.
And while no-one would suggest The Purge franchise is particularly intelligent or (ha!) subtle in its parody, it should at least be admired for the way it takes gleeful aim at society’s tendency to blame the most vulnerable and defenceless for its problems, and persecute them accordingly.
Certainly, seeing self-proclaimed patriots stalking the homeless, the unemployed and minority groups in the name of “keeping America great” does seem somewhat fitting in the age of Trump.
Regardless, The Purge is one of those rare series that actually seems like it’s getting better with each instalment. Or more ambitious, at least.
The Purge: Election Year will hit UK cinemas in July