The Purge, Election Year, Trump, Blumhouse, Frank Grillo

Round-Up Review: The Purge: Election Year, Lights Out, Finding Dory

The Purge: Election Year

When I reviewed The Purge and The Purge: Anarchy, I took time to mention how, despite being a great premise for a film, the idea itself is absolutely ludicrous. Yet here we are on the verge of a Trump presidency, and if there’s one man I could genuinely envision introducing such a thing, it’s Donald Trump. Election Year feels more relevant than any Blumhouse thriller ought to in that sense, but beyond its political commentary, it’s also just a really enjoyable movie. Completely owned, once again, by Frank Grillo.

There are a few feeble turns to keep the plot rolling on (the plot which is pretty much identical to Anarchy), but for the most part it’s a thrilling and tense ride which builds to another ludicrous and crazy finale. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s my favourite of the three because the infuriatingly stupid protagonists plaguing the first two movies are nowhere to be seen (the son from The Purge and the husband from Anarchy), but the lack of them certainly helps.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Lights Out

Lights Out, horror, James Wan, movie

The most terrifying thing about this monster? The impact it must have on the electric bill.

Except that it’s actually pretty creepy. Horror movies have been preying on people’s fear of the dark as far back as F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu. Even those of us who claim not to be scared by this cliche have at some point felt that creeping vulnerability in the dead of night; that feeling of complete isolation when looking into a void of blackness, when the unburdened mind is free to play tricks on itself.

Lights Out works because it uses that simple, primal fear to deliver scares refreshingly. Without its clever light/dark tricks, there isn’t all that much to separate it from most middle class horror movies out there. Sure, the characters are genuine and we care about them, but they (and the story) could do with a whole lot more fleshing out. At 80 minutes, it’s sacrificed narrative depth for a short blast of fun and thrills.

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Finding Dory

It’s not quite as good as Finding Nemo, but it’s cute, fun and ridiculously sweet.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

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