Last year Ethan Hawke starred in three very different films. On one end was the critically praised third chapter of Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy in Before Midnight. On the completely opposite end, he starred in the critically lambasted action flick Getaway which was scored as the lowest rated film of his career based off of the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes. Stuck in the middle of the 2013 Hawke spectrum was the high-concept horror flick The Purge.
The film scored middling reviews at best, but made a financial killing on a relatively small budget. The film was released under the banner of Blumhouse Productions. CEO and head honcho of the production company Jason Blum is synonymous with low-budget horror flicks that make a substantial financial return. The Paranormal Activity franchise, Insidious and Sinister are just a few recent examples. The Purge was another one of those films. It cost a mere 3 million to make and made back 89 million worldwide. Naturally, a sequel was in the pipeline not long after release and is to be released later this year.
Predominantly being billed is Frank Grillo who has slowly been working his way up in small, but memorable supporting roles in some rather gritty pictures from the last few years (Pride & Glory, Warrior, The Grey and End of Watch). He’s a character actor with a memorable face, but a name that most audiences don’t seem to recognize. Hopefully his role in Anarchy will give him the big break that he deserves, so as to push him out of underrated obscurity. Other notable actors appearing in the film are Michael K. Williams (Omar from The Wire), Kiele Sanchez (Nikki from Lost) and Zach Gilford (Devil’s Due).
The addition of the title Anarchy is an encouraging one. The first film had an interesting concept that was unfortunately underutilized in service of a mostly rote and clichéd home-invasion thriller. Based off this second trailer, the sequel embraces its premise in a far more extreme and balls-to-the-wall way that enthusiasts of the horror genre will really dig. Where the first film focused on the hellish night from the perspective of a well-to-do family in the dimly-lit confines of their own home, Anarchy looks and sounds like it’ll focus far more on the chaos of those committing the acts of violence, as opposed to those reacting to them.
Look for The Purge: Anarchy to hit theatres on July 18, 2014.