Time for the next double feature! Horror seems to be my recent phase as I pair two horror films together although The First Purge isn’t really a horror and Teeth is a fairly mild horror so nothing too wild.
Director (and writer): Mitchell Lichtenstein
Cast: Jess Weixler, John Hensley, Hale Appleman, Lenny von Dohlen, Vivienne Benesch, Ashley Springer, Laila Liliana Garro
Still a stranger to her own body, a high school student discovers she has a physical advantage when she becomes the object of male violence. – IMDB
When you think about a horror movie based around a girl with a vagina with teeth, it sounds like a ridiculous idea and probably a horror movie that isn’t meant to be taken seriously. I mean, the closest example is with Piranha 3DD where the girl had a baby piranha in her vagina that had the same concept..kind of. And that wasn’t exactly a good movie.
However, the premise here works and doesn’t in terms of a full-length movie. It works because what the girl has is a vagina with a defense mechanism which literally activates when boys or men are taking advantage of her or against her will. I would say its nifty to have although perhaps a tad extreme in terms of consequences for the boys/men in question. This film is classified as a horror comedy but the comedy at times is put in at some odd moments. Perhaps a little bit of sarcastic and dark humor. Some parts of it just felt like it was well-deserved or the reaction itself that was fairly entertaining.
The film doesn’t work so well because essentially the premise of this whole thing has one way to attack and its pretty much hidden so the mystery is the reveal of how and when it attacks where the events slowly reveal the whole concept. The attacks itself actually makes for some “funny” moments mostly because the reactions are rather over the top to say the least. However, there’s only so many bad guys she can meet in her life before she realizes the purpose of the whole thing. It doesn’t help that as viewers, its almost easy to spot the bad guys a mile away and those trying to use her and some of the plot points that feel a little far-fetched.
Teeth is a good premise. It works on my hand but doesn’t on some other ones. Its mostly that the way the danger happens in this one is wrapped up in a little bit of the unknown and partially our imagination of how it all looks however, the straight forward vagina with teeth does feel a little repetitive over the course of a full-length film although some of the kills did feel pretty entertaining to watch.
The First Purge (2018)
Director: Gerard McMurray
Cast: Y’lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Joivan Wade, Mugga, Patch Darragh, Marisa Tomei, Luna Lauren Velez
America’s third political party, the New Founding Fathers of America, comes to power and conducts an experiment: no laws for 12 hours on Staten Island. No one has to stay on the island, but $5,000 is given to anyone who does. – IMDB
The First Purge is the fourth film in the franchise. Suffice to say, its fine time to bring back the origins of the The First Purge which highlights a lot of the reasoning behind this as well as the original concept and test run which actually turned out to be something a little more of a government scheme. The setting and the execution is pretty decent. The Purge series at this point has broken out of the horror genre for the most part and leans towards action as it has a lot of weapons and fighting and such.
The story revolves around not only the different groups of civilians and their reactions to the introduction of this Purge concept to Staten Island but also the incentives for participation and to even stay on the island but also the government’s stance from the differences between the public stance, the need for its success and the “secret” agenda. Because this is set back to the origins, there is no doubt about the end game that The Purge experiment will be a success at the end and how it goes about isn’t exactly unpredictable considering the future of The Purge in the previous films. Not to mention, these characters and their respective arcs aren’t exactly anything too exciting.
However, while I’m sounding rather negative about the whole thing, the story does move pretty fast thanks to the action. Its executed pretty smoothly and rather quick-paced. While the different elements aren’t explored very deep, its enough to get a grasp of what’s going on on all fronts and perspectives but still be able to put together an entertaining film. Its nothing exceptionally deep but still a decent addition to the whole franchise. The cinematography on how the action and the hunt for The First Purge actually looks pretty good whether its the technology or using the colorful neon lit eye contacts which appear and how the masks came to be: it not only builds on how things originated but also has a good setup for some of the hunt to have the creepy vibes, especially when it builds up on the danger element bit by bit as more people seem to be buying into the concept and the streets get crazier with the different groups.
While The First Purge isn’t anything too unique or different, the origin story angle is a good one at this point of the franchise. Its not too deep in most of its premise however, it still manages to be pretty fun and entertaining to watch thanks to the decent progression of events.