Thursday, January 24, 2019

THE PURGING HOUR (2016) | Review by Louis Fowler

Found footage films – forever mingling a totally valid plot point with fourth wall-breaking budgetary concerns, natch – have replaced zombie flicks as the low-budget go-to and, while I personally am already tired of them, I couldn't be happier for hungry filmmakers on a less-than-shoestring to create their cinematic dreams.

That being said, at first glance I expected THE PURGING HOUR (2016) to be a rip-off of, well, THE PURGE (2013), instead of, well, I'm really not quite sure, but it is a found footage film, so that's something. The amount of non-existent overhead here really leads me to not only believe the film was shot in the late afternoon the one Sunday everyone had off from their jobs, but everything from dialog to the effects were made up as they went along for 80 minutes.

That's not really a bad thing here, though.

While talking heads go on and on about a vague crime, we're treated to footage of an extremely decent Latino family driving in a car on a barren road or setting up the grill in their new home. While these scenes do tend to go on for a while, in today's anti-Mexican culture where usually Caucasian writers fill us in as undocumented immigrants, gang-members or, even worse, hotel maids, I appreciated what THE PURGING HOUR (aka HOME VIDEO) was trying to do and would've loved a whole movie of it, no final ten minutes of horror needed.

And really, it's all in about the final ten minutes when the unspeakable horror takes place, an unseen force slashing throats and stabbing hearts and all kinds of heavy grue. Who's doing it and why? A few theories are expressed, including a take on la Llorona that, for the most part, peters out. Just keep guessing, I suppose.

While THE PURGING HOUR is definitely a good-enough effort by director Emmanuel Giorgio Sandoval and his crew, still, I'm kind of thinking that maybe horror isn't his strong suit the way possibly a family comedy or even drama might be. Either way, hopefully he'll continue to keep Latinos not only in the front of the camera, but especially behind it as well. – Louis Fowler

Louis Fowler is a longtime contributor to ER and The Hungover Gourmet as well as The Lost Ogle, Bookgasm and The Impulsive Buy

THE PURGING HOUR is available from Amazon.

No comments: