Netflix provides a great platform for rediscovering older and maybe forgotten movies, whether they be horror films, comedies, or anything else for that matter. With the Halloween season well and truly upon us now, there are plenty of scary pictures in the Top 10 for the streamer, including 2014’s The Purge: Anarchy, which is currently sitting as the sixth most-watched movie on the global charts. Why, then, might this sequel be doing so well?
Perhaps the most obvious answer is the simplest: horror and thriller titles get a lot more love in October, and The Purge is a popular brand that rewards those looking for a quick and easy fix. The James DeMonaco-directed Anarchy is a follow-up to the franchise-spawning 2013 hit, which sees an annual event legalize crimes to maintain social balance in a totalitarian future America (albeit one that’s looking more plausible with each passing year).
While the original Purge restricted itself to a locked down home, Anarchy significantly expands its scope to the streets of Los Angeles, and brings in a resistance group and a larger cast of characters. As with its predecessor, DeMonaco’s film provides commentary on wealthy elites effectively using the purge as a state-sanctioned attack on the lower classes, who have to fight for survival against a range of different predators.
The Purge: Anarchy was a box office success, and is often viewed as an improvement over the first outing of the series, making it worth a rewatch. Of course, The Purge universe has since been extended to include a third entry (The Purge: Election Year), a prequel (The First Purge) and a television show. A fifth instalment, The Forever Purge, is hopefully expected to arrive in 2021, after being pushed back due to COVID-19.
In terms of the wider Netflix charts, Ben Wheatley’s Rebecca remake is leading the most-watched content as of today, with animation Over the Moon in second place. Looking at the list, then, The Purge: Anarchy is a bit of an outlier, but may be getting more attention due to the contemporary political climate, with the property regularly being referenced during the protests and the election coverage. With this in mind, the franchise may actually be more of a prediction of where we’re heading than a fantasy.