Director: James DeMonaco. Cast: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey. 85 min. Rated R. USA/France. Horror/Thriller.
Year 2022. "Crime is at an all-time low, because one night a year, all crime is legal." So the premise is perfect for a philosophical movie about human psychology, to become a memorable cult horror film. But then ... the screenplay becomes distracted to a situation right out of Peckinpah's Straw Dogs, where a lone man, who actually believes in the Annual Purge, defends his home and family against the purgers. This well-directed and beautifully-shot story had so many sociopolitical aspects to explore (because the extravagant themes don't seem too extravagant), but feels content to a simple gory thriller. Wasted creativity.