REVIEW: The First Purge [2018]

“Pray Not Purge” There’s a brief loss of picture halfway through The First Purge‘s end credits that reveals a full-blown commercial for the upcoming ten-part television “event” based on its own franchise. It’s a bad look, especially for those already wondering if James DeMonaco cashed-in after writing and directing the first three installments of his surprisingly potent and prescient series before handing the reins to Gerard McMurray. He deftly balanced sci-fi horror thrills against the propulsive force of sound political commentary throughout his self-made trilogy and capped everything off with…

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REVIEW: Green Room [2016]

“The energy doesn’t last” It’s official: Jeremy Saulnier‘s Blue Ruin was no fluke. That pulse-pounding thriller wowed audiences a couple years ago with good reason and his follow-up Green Room only advances that success further. It’s as though he looked upon the climax of his 2014 gem and wondered what it’d be like to mold that powder keg of suspense into a full-length feature. His latest puts his players in their predicament very early and watches as the victims try to escape and predators enter. The numbers are about even…

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REVIEW: First Night [2014]

“You should just call the cops” Writer/director Philippe Bourret‘s short film First Night takes a very scary look at society’s implicit trust in our police force roaming the streets with loaded weapons and a slice of carte blanche if only they chose to wield it. Just look at the stereotypical recruit: a former jock with aggression issues who signs up for an outlet either straight from school or back from deployment overseas. This is a blanket generalization, but one necessary to explain how some cops may be motivated by more…

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REVIEW: The Purge: Anarchy [2014]

“We’ve lost our souls to attain this peace” I enjoyed last year’s suspense horror The Purge a lot—despite high expectations for the premise actually going where it needed to prove more than another generic home invasion flick. Writer/director James DeMonaco gave us the graphic brutality its conceit promised through its claustrophobically bottled skirmish between malicious debutantes and an (not so) innocent family trying to survive while also lending the social commentary at its back a voice. I use the parentheses because it just so happened that the Sandin’s patriarch was…

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REVIEW: The Purge [2013]

“Release the Beast” Welcome to the new United States of America, complete with booming economy, non-existent crime rates, and the 28th Amendment to the Constitution that ensures its longevity. After decades of extreme violence and poverty overtaking our streets, safety became a pipe dream and freedom a false construct no longer meaningful in the face of a self-destructing populace led by a majority of criminal maniacs reinventing the status quo. Well, if you can’t beat them the only option left is to join in the carnage by letting your own…

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Posterized Propaganda June 2013: The Apocalypse is Nigh With ‘Man of Steel,’ ‘World War Z,’ ‘This is the End’ & More

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. Summer continues chugging along with the America and/or Earth threatened by destruction at every turn. Whether comic book adaptations, zombie wars, terrorist assaults or a giant pit opening up to…

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