Instead of a trilogy, The Purge is now officially a franchise. Surpassing the trilogy milestone, Blumhouse Productions has decided to give us an origin to the dangerous and violent phenomenon we have become a part of since 2013 when the first film was released. This franchise continues to grow with each installment feeling more closer and closer to the real thing and stepping out of the horror fantastical world it has created. Advertised and promoted as an anti-Trump film from the poster of his orange/red hat “making America great again” to a lot of the themes in the films, using the purge as a device to control the population and also thin the numbers to the low income and ethnic population in the U.S. Now comes the question, do we like that these movies are speaking more towards social and economic commentary or would we like to keep it as a fictional tale showcasing a world that is nowhere near our future for entertainment value?
In 2004, a tradition was born. A franchise of 7 movies were released back to back, once each year around the last weekend of October for Halloween. That franchise is the Saw franchise. The group of films also gave birth to a horror icon and one of the most diabolical killers on the silver screen. His name is John Kramer a.k.a. Jigsaw Killer. Director, writer, and producer James Wan along with an assorted group of writers and directors kept this franchise going pass anyone’s expectation and gave us one of the biggest twist in a horror film or any genre for that matter to be executed, one of the longest running franchises to tie into each other, all the while providing us with social issues and giving us some creative deaths like you have never seen.
It is now 2017, 7 years after the latest installment, Jigsaw, the long-anticipated sequel, has graced us with its presents. I love this series and I always told people, “If they keep making them, I will keep watching them.” The sequel comes back with a story to tell that attempts to tie in to the previous installments, still keeping them all connected and the illusion that Jigsaw is always thinking ahead. Unfortunately, this entry wasn’t the best way to bring back the franchise after such a long-extended break. While the movie was still fun and exciting to watch, it seemed to have borrowed from an old playbook that has already been used; making this film a watered-down version of what it could have been. Jigsaw fans will still get some enjoyment out of it but will be disappointed if this is a preview of more of these films in the future.