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the purge election year

Posted on July 4, 2016

Do Progressive Politics Make Good Horror? The Purge: Election Year

Dawn Keetley

2016   |James DeMonaco    |   105 minutes   |   USA

Grade: C+

The Purge: Election Year is the third film in James DeMonaco’s franchise and continues on the trajectory set in motion by its two predecessors: it represents a broader political scope with proportionally less dread. Indeed, if the Purge franchise has had only a marginal grasp on the horror genre, Election Year may represent its letting go (though it is still labeled “horror” in IMDb—albeit secondarily to “action”).

In Election Year, the seeds of the resistance to Purge Night that were growing in The Purge: Anarchy (2014) have come to some sort of blossoming in the form of Senator Charlene (Charlie) Roan, played by Elizabeth Mitchell (also currently starring in Freeform’s new summer horror series, Dead of Summer). Charlie witnessed the slaughter of her entire family on Purge Night eighteen years earlier (indeed, her mother had to choose which of her family members would survive). Charlie is not only, unsurprisingly, deeply opposed to the Purge, but also to violence in any form. She intends to defeat the NFFA (The New Founding Fathers of America) and their Purge platform at the voting booth. Ballots not bullets. Read more

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