the purge: anarchy
director: james demonaco
cinematographer: jacques jouffret
composer: nathan whitehead
we’re back at it with the purge franchise – this time with the second film in the series! anarchy takes to the streets of the annual purge night, finally giving us the look into this dystopian world that the first installment denied us.
i’m going to keep this review brief because i’m writing it a hot second after the fact and have already forgotten what happened. guess that says a lot about this installment! there’s a lot that could have been done here but unfortunately… was not. the protagonists (with the exception of leo) are boring and annoying, the script is subpar as usual, and nothing happens that actually keeps me invested in the story. i like that we’re introduced to aspects of the purge that we weren’t privy to before, but that’s not saying much considering we were locked in a white upperclass suburban home for the entirety of the first film.
anyways. it’s still a purge movie, and i’m really loving this franchise, so i can’t be too hard on it. better luck for the next two installments!
the purge: election year
director: james demonaco
cinematographer: jacques jouffret
composer: nathan whitehead
we’re on a roll with the purge movies, ladies!! election year takes a political turn, both within the film itself and in the implications it has for modern-day america. there is so much going on in this installment that i love – the district gets wild on purge night, huh! the purgers are crazier, the antagonists more heinous, and the murder tourists wearing the founding fathers masks? keep them ten billion feet away from me thanks!!
the acting in this installment is the best by far, but then you hear the dialogue and you’re like ah, yes – this is definitely still a b-movie. regardless, i loved the direction this plot took. so many interesting aspects of the purge are introduced that give weight to the universe these films take place in, allowing us to more fully immerse ourselves in the terror of this world’s reality.
the cinematography does a lot to bring this world to life, and jouffret went OFF on this film. so many shots are beautifully rendered – what immediately comes to mind is the scene where the car is all strung up in christmas lights and the girls are dancing around in the street. was i terrified? yes! was it one of the prettiest things i’ve ever seen? yes!! another scene toward the end caught my attention in particular. when the group is in the church surrounded by the religious iconography, there’s this shot that i love and had to pause the film for: leo’s wearing this white shirt that is drenched in blood, and behind him stands a statue of the christ, who is wearing red and white robes. i’m always ALWAYS a sucker for parallelism and this was a knock-out punch for me, especially given the savior figure metaphor it implies. i would say this shot is a little heavy-handed, but it’s subtle enough that i doubt many people even noticed it in the first place. i see what you’re doing, jouffret! and i thank you kindly!!
the killing of a sacred deer
director: yorgos lanthimos
cinematographer: thimios bakatakis
when you look up the word chilling in the dictionary, this film is the only thing written next to it. and that’s my review!
just kidding! but only slightly. i’d heard great things about this one and knew i had to see it, especially because my honey bun barry keoghan plays a predominant role. add in colin farrell and nicole kidman? a reunion from the beguiled perhaps? in all seriousness, this was a cast destined for great things – and they pulled out all the stops.
this film HAUNTS me. it’s been days since i saw it and i’m still thinking about it constantly – it’s like my brain is trying desperately to process everything it saw over the course of those two hours. and it saw a lot of things.
let’s start with the acting. barry’s performance chilled me to the BONE, absolutely 100% literally speaking. we stan the most talented actor in the world, holy moly. it’s his performance that brings martin to life in so many terrifying ways, and has cemented martin as one of my new favorite film characters of all time. this boy is severely troubled and completely out of touch with reality, by all means someone to pity… but his control over the family, and his insatiable thirst for justice paint him as a god figure within the realm of the plot line. if you type his name into google, the vast majority of the results are how did martin do it? it’s funny that people are so curious, because it’s clear that there’s simply no answer, and that it’s not the point. in reality, martin is the shadow that brings the doctor’s moral quandary into the light.
equally haunting in this film are the script, score, editing, and cinematography. the dialogue is so sterile and so stilted that you can’t help but laugh – really, really nervously. i almost lost my MIND when the doctor is drinking cocktails and casually mentions, “my daughter started menstruating last week.” ME: PLEASE NEVER SAY THAT AGAIN THANK YOU. the whole film is kubrickian in nature, but i saw it most clearly in the cinematography: symmetrical shots, silence + space, and the antiseptic air the entire film seems to have. every image is brilliant, every word delivered with perfect monotone, every character an island in this silent mess of roaring waters. yorgos lanthimos is truly a force to be reckoned with – i don’t think i’ll stop thinking about this film for a long time.
director: park chanwook
cinematographer: chung chunghoon
composer: cho youngwuk
i think i must be the only person in the world who didn’t like this film, i’m gonna come right out and say it… aaa and i had such high hopes for it going in! especially after seeing the rave reviews my friends have given it on letterboxd. alas, alas.
i’ll keep this brief, just as i did with anarchy. in fact, i’ll make a list of the good and the bad and then leave it at that!
- lgbt representation!! it was so refreshing to see, especially in a period drama setting
- the costuming? gorgeous!
- i loved the fact that this was both a japanese and a korean language film, my brain kept running around in circles trying to translate both
- the actors = super talented !!
- kim minhee is so so so pretty i’m gonna cry
- lesbian sex scenes directed by a man….. i’m not a huge fan of that. would loved to have seen a woman direct this film
- comedic aspects felt super stilted and out of place
- the plot twist that everyone raves about was predictable, at least for me
- probably the worst pacing i’ve ever seen in a film of this caliber
- honestly if i start to zone out, esp. on multiple occasions, the film has likely lost all interest for me
anyway, i can kinda see what everyone loves about this film but it just didn’t do it for me. it’s still definitely one worth seeing – whomst else loves supporting lesbians in literally everything they do!!
the first purge
director: gerard mcmurray
cinematographer: anastas n. michos
composer: kevin lax
finally!! the film i started the franchise for: the first purge! i’m not gonna lie to you… i was confused by the direction this one took. if you remember election year, you know that the way it ends implies a fourth installment that takes place immediately afterward… not one that goes back in time. i don’t understand the order they make these films in, i really don’t. but that’s just me!
anyway. so the first purge was… kind of disappointing. i love the predominantly black cast and the commentary about racism + classism at work here, it’s literally the best part. and black folks taking out the kkk? that’s what i like to see !!! but unfortunately this film is super flimsy and doesn’t hold up to scrutiny very well when you examine what motivates half of the characters.
also… yikes. if you look at the crew i have listed above, none of them are the same as the first three films – and it shows. i’m not saying the purge movies have the best cinematography or scoring in the world, but this installment took a huge L on both. i knew right from the start that jouffret wasn’t dp, and it became increasingly apparent that whitehead hadn’t written the score, either. i feel like so much could have been done with those luminous colored contacts that the purgers wore, but!!! alas. i think i just have super high expectations after how good election year was.
this isn’t my least favorite in the series (nothing will ever be worse than the first installment) but it definitely isn’t impressive by any means, either. oh, well. i love these movies and have grown so fond of them – hearing the purge siren still gives me chills, every time.
that’s all for this week, friends! have you seen the first purge yet? if so, what did you think? what would be your plan of action for purge night? i hope you guys had a lovely week, and that you have a great one ahead of you. and as always – happy film watching!! ❤
dana ✩°｡⋆⸜(ू˙꒳˙ )