James Demonaco

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The Purge: Anarchy Review


After last year's break-out hit thriller, writer-director James DeMonaco is back with the flip-side of the story, which jettisons the irony and and thematic subtlety in favour of in-your-face brutality. This time the account of a night of lawful violence is told from the opposite perspective, poor people who are targeted by sadistic rich people who are trying to cleanse their souls with a bit of grisly murder.

It's set one year later, in 2023 Los Angeles as the annual 12-hour Purge is about to begin. The idea is to cleanse society of its violent urges, but this has turned into an all-out war between heavily armed militias hired by the wealthy to capture poor people for their own homicidal entertainment. As an underground activist (Michael K. Williams) calls for a grassroots uprising, the waitress Eva (Carmen Ejogo) is just trying to get through the night alive with her teen daughter Cali (Zoe Soul). When they're attacked, an unnamed stranger (Frank Grillo) comes to their rescue, and they're soon joined by a couple (Zach Gilford and Keile Sanchez) whose car picked the wrong time and place to break down. Together, these five attempt to escape pursuit by two vicious gangs: lowlife mercenaries looking for fresh blood to sell to wealthy clients and a high-tech army bent on all-out massacre.

It's deeply contrived that these two gangs are deliberately, tenaciously and seemingly supernaturally pursuing these five people, but DeMonaco never flinches, so the audience just has to go with it. Much of the movie consists of massive nighttime street battles, but there are some more deranged interludes that hold the attention much better. At one point, they take refuge in the downtown home of one of Eva's colleagues (Justina Machado), a drunken party that is clearly spiralling out of control even before they arrived. A little later, they are dragged right into a variation on The Hunger Games. And while four of our heroes are running for their lives, Grillo's character has something more violent in mind: he's seeking revenge against the drunk driver who killed his son.

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'The Purge: Anarchy' Is Better Than The Original - Which Isn't Saying Much

Frank Grillo James DeMonaco

James DeMonaco's horror flick The Purge was a modest sleeper hit for Universal Pictures in 2013, making over $80 million at the box-office on a budget of just $3 million. It wasn't groundbreaking, but if nothing else it offered a relatively original premise: for a twelve hour period in the near future, all crime in the United States is made legal.

The Purge Anarchy

Set one year after the original, The Purge: Anarchy focuses on couple Shane and Liz who drive to a relative's house in Los Angeles to wait out the Purge. However when their car RUNS OUT OF GAS, they are forced to flee from masked attackers. 

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'The Purge: Anarchy' Trailer Released: More Scary Killers, A Shakier Premise [Trailer]

Frank Grillo Ethan Hawke Lena Headey James DeMonaco

Just over a year after the release of The Purge, James DeMonaco will drop the next instalment of the chilling sci-fi thriller, The Purge: Anarchy. The original bombed with critics but fared surprisingly well at the box office, making $90 million on a $3 million budget and meaning an even more terrifying sequel was given the go-ahead straight away.

The idea behind The Purge is pretty simple yet chillingly believable: once a year on "Purge Night," everything becomes legal in America, including robbery, rape and murder, for 12 hours. The back-story is that the government needed a way to control the population whilst keeping crime down and for 364.5 days a year, US citizens enjoy a utopia of zero crime and high employment.

Whilst the first movie saw Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey harbour a murderous syndicate during the purge, meaning a chilling band of killers is brought to their front door. In Anarchy, a couple are risking their safety by driving home late on the night of the purge but they think they'll just about make it.

Continue reading: 'The Purge: Anarchy' Trailer Released: More Scary Killers, A Shakier Premise [Trailer]

The Purge: Anarchy - Teaser Trailer

Following the disastrous events in 2013's 'The Purge' which saw a home security salesman murdered in his so-called fortress of a family home, that time of year has come round again and, for another couple, things are going to get even grislier. The pair are cutting it fine as they drive home in the evening ahead of the 12 hour annual Purge, a period in which all crimes become legal (including theft, rape and murder) and emergency services are momentarily stopped. They are confident they can get home in time to lock themselves away once again. until their car unexpectedly breaks down. The sirens blare signalling the beginning of the Purge and the couple find themselves running for lives as some masked Purgers on motorcycles chase them down. Across the rest of the city, total anarchy ensues as the country gets caught up in a patriotic, bloodthirsty fever.

'The Purge: Anarchy' is the grim sequel to 2013 horror 'The Purge' which sees the return of director and screenwriter James DeMonaco ('Little New York'). It's a dystopian thriller about the lengths governments may go to solve national issues (such as population control) and it is set to be released this summer on June 20th 2014.

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The Purge Slays Contenders In Opening Weekend, Despite Critics' Disdain

Ethan Hawke James DeMonaco

Starring Ethan Hawke, The Purge is set in the not-so-distant future of a 2022 America and narrates a future where crime and unemployment statistics are at an all-time low after all criminal mayhem is permitted by government ruling for a 12 hour annual period: murder, robbery and neighbour-bashing are all perfectly condoned in the cathartic night of 'Purge.'

Initial ratings showed that, despite an intriguing premise, critics weren't impressed and the film was slaughtered, garnering a squishy current 41% rating on Rotten Tomatoes' tomatometer.

"Predictable!" scorned The Guardian; "heavy-handed and crude!", disparaged the NY Times. However against all odds, the mini-budget James DeMonaco thriller - working with a teeny budget of just $3million - has raked in the dough in its profitable first weekend after being release on 7th June, scooping $36.4million (£23.5m).

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The Purge: The First Reviews Of New Chilling Horror Movie

Ethan Hawke Lena Headey Max Burkholder James DeMonaco

If you haven't already been tantalised by the creepy trailer that has been circulating - no, this is not a new fad diet - The Purge is the name of newly released horrific thriller from Staten Island (2009) director James DeMonaco thriller, starring Ethan Hawke (Sinister, Gattaca) and Lena Headey (300, Game Of Thrones).

We're in 2022 USA and the not-so-far future is rather different from the one we currently inhabit: unemployment and crime rates have hit an impossible all-time low. Great news, right? Well think again. These rates are kept low by the yearly government-authorized 'Purge': 12 hours of criminal free-for-all where all crimes, including murder, are permitted and all emergency services are suspended. The plot centres on the affluent Sandin family who live in a charming suburban neighbourhood.

Just like they do every year, the family batten down the hatches on the eve of The Purge and wait out the night as slaughter and destruction rages through the nation. However, a bloodied man begging to be saved appears outside the house and is granted entry by sympathetic young son Charlie (Max Burkholder) despite the ruling of his parents. The man is pursued to the house by a pack of masked and murderous strangers who give the family an ultimatum: hand over their 'purge-target' or they'll break in and kill everyone.

Watch The Purge trailer:

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The Purge Review


A home-invasion thriller with a twist, this fiercely clever film is both thought-provoking and terrifying, mixing a Twilight Zone sense of morality with skilfully developed menace and genuinely horrific violence. It also boasts a cast that is terrific at keeping us guessing, shading their characters in such a way that, even if we know who's supposed to be the good and bad guys, we keep wondering if we've got it right.

The story takes place in 2022 America, which has solved its economic woes with Purge Night, a free-for-all in which people have 12 hours to commit any crime, including murder, to cleanse the streets and vent their frustration. The goal is to eliminate poverty and unemployment by killing off all the homeless and jobless people. And it's worked a charm, especially for security system salesman James (Hawke), who locks down inside his palatial home with wife Mary (Headey), rebellious teen daughter Zoey (Adelaide Kane) and shy gadget-whiz son Charlie (Burkholder). But two interlopers get into the house: Zoey's shady older boyfriend Henry (Oller) and a terrified stranger (Hodge) running from an angry mob of tenacious masked anarchists.

As the night progresses, James and Mary's world is ripped apart piece by piece, descending into a state of primal protectiveness that's eerily believable. If it's either kill or be killed, what would you do? Hawke and Headey are terrific as parents pushed to the brink, and sometimes over it, while Kane and Burkholder find surprising moments of their own. And as the smiling gang leader, Wakefield is seriously unsettling. So even if some of the plot's twists and turns are a bit predictable, the actors and filmmaker DeMonaco do a great job at delving beneath the surface to keep us squirming in our seats at both the nasty possibilities and some rather awful grisliness.

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The Purge Trailer

During a time when the American Dream is available to everyone in a euphoric world where unemployment is at 1% and crime rates are the lowest they've ever been in the US, families everywhere are arming their homes to protect themselves against the impending mayhem. Why? Because the countdown has begun to the one night of the year when their peace ends, when every crime is legal from burglary to murder. It's called The Purge; an official 12-hour annual period that allows a release for the  population and keeps people out of prison as all emergency services are suspended. When one family board up their home and pray that they will be safe once more, things take a nasty turn when the son opens the doors to a frightened stranger and invites him to take refuge. The house is soon approached by a group of weapon wielding killers who offer them a chance of safety if they give up the stranger to them. The family soon find themselves challenging their own moral code as their true selves are revealed during their night of terror.

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Skinwalkers Review

Apparently, it's pretty hard to update the classic movie monsters. When filmmakers aren't turning every well known cinematic creep into a fey Eurotrash version of their former scary selves, they're reinventing the mythology into a mindless "gee whiz" joke. So it only seems fair that after zombies got hyper-activated and vampires gained the glum Goth seal of approval, werewolves would be next on the pointless reinvention list. And thanks to the New Age Native American tweak entitled Skinwalkers, these formerly ferocious beasts got the incredibly short end of the post-modern scream stick.

There's an ongoing war between two lupine factions. On the one side are those who feel that the ancient ability to shapeshift is a curse, and want desperately for an ambiguous prophecy to be fulfilled. Then there are the blood-addicted, supernatural junkies who love killing so much that they want to keep the foretold omen from occurring. And what is this fabled forecast? Seems a young boy, born of human mother and wolfman seed, will turn 13 and... well, that part's not all that clear. Apparently, once the kid hits puberty, he will put the depressed beasts out of their misery while buzz killing the other lycanthropes happy hunting. So naturally, one side protects the brat (named Timmy), while the other is looking to carve up his adolescent guts.

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Assault On Precinct 13 (2005) Review

The trouble with big-budget remakes is that more often than not, the films being updated for modern audiences necessitate little improvement. Rather than resurrecting and reconfiguring interesting failures, studio executives and second-rate directors instead subscribe to a lame-brained formula in which highly regarded classics and quirky genre films made by esteemed filmmakers are stripped of their unique character and thematic underpinnings, given a coat of cinematographic flash, populated with pretty actors, and simplistically streamlined so that only the basic plot structure is retained. Respect for tradition be damned, these bastardized versions trample on their precursors' venerable legacies as they pitifully attempt to parlay their predecessor's name-brand cache into box-office glory.

Such is the sorry story of Assault on Precinct 13, a reimagining of John Carpenter's 1976 genre gem (which, in turn, was modeled after Howard Hawks' Rio Bravo) about cops and criminals trapped in an old police station who are forced to work together to fend off a horde of murderous invaders. Directed by Jean-François Richet, the new film holds to that fundamental premise, though it tweaks virtually every important aspect of Carpenter's thriller for maximum vapidity. Now set in snow-bound Detroit on New Year's Eve (rather than in arid California), Richet's Assault switches the skin color of its leads - the police sergeant (Ethan Hawke's Jake Roenick) is now white, while the head criminal (Laurence Fishburne's mythic Marion Bishop) is black - and abandons Carpenter's astute portrait of uneasy, ready-to-explode racial tensions. In this version, the cops are Caucasian (including Brian Dennehy's Irish racist, who tellingly refers to the inmates as "those people"), the bad guys are African-American and Hispanic, and any friction generated from such divisions is swept under the rug in favor of ratcheting up the ho-hum action.

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Jack Review

Robin Williams gets to play at being a kid again -- and this time it's not a metaphor: He's a 10-year-old child who has aged at four times the normal rate. Watch for J. Lo as Jack's teacher, then try not to fall asleep. Not exactly Francis Ford Coppola's (who directed this film simply because he could do so in his neighborhood) crowning achievement.

The Negotiator Review

Too long by half, this would-be tense thriller is bogged down by dull exposition and a plot that's supposed to be intricate... but turns out to be pretty obvious in the end. What's all the hubbub about? Spacey and Jackson are fine, but their perfromances are hardly inspired -- as we're reminded all too frequently that these aren't mind games being played by two hostage negotiators, this is an acting workshop. A decent rental, but otherwise DOA.
James Demonaco

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