Violence in the streets. Civic unrest. Intractable ideological divisions. Is this the latest installment of The Purge or a documentary about the 2016 election?

It’s hard to tell at times. Give credit to the creators of The Purge franchise, particularly writer-director James DeMonaco, for finding a timely subject for what the trailer describes as the “commencement of the annual Purge.” With these low-budgeted horror movies raking in money hand over fist, The Purge is going to be an annual tradition for a long time to come (which is probably a spoiler for the end of this movie, but oh well). The best you can hope for is that the filmmakers find enough variations on their formula of government sanctioned mayhem (including [pause for dramatic effect] murder).

The third Purge is all about democracy, and the powers of terror and tyranny trying to destroy one of the few voices speaking out against the whole purging business. Here’s the official plot synopsis for The Purge: Election Year:

It’s been two years since Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo) stopped himself from a regrettable act of revenge on Purge Night. Now serving as head of security for Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell), his mission is to protect her in a run for president and survive the annual ritual that targets the poor and innocent. But when a betrayal forces them onto the streets of D.C. on the one night when no help is available, they must stay alive until dawn…or both be sacrificed for their sins against the state.

It’s a bad time to speak your mind and fight for freedom and equality. Also The Purge: Election Year opens in theaters on July 1.

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