The dictionary lists several definitions for purgation, the spiritual cleansing of a soul in purgatory,the action of clearing oneself of accusation or suspicion by taking an oath or undergoing an ordeal and lastly, evacuation of the bowels brought about by taking laxatives. All three of which are relevant to the film The Purgation, two to the plot, one to it’s quality.
Starting with one of the most over used and abused plots devices, a group of kids go poking around in a spooky old building, (they’re making a horror movie no less) when something bad happens. Now years later she’s returning home o shoot footage for a tv show in that very same building. Will the past come back to haunt her? Will she try to get to the bottom of what happened, with very unpleasant results? Well it would be a pretty short, though probably better, film if it didn’t.
Writer/director Elaine Chu deserves the blame for this train wreck, she can’t even keep her script consistent. Caden (Pearce Joza) is the imaginary friend of Iris, (Megan Truongin the childhood scenes, Tiffany Kieu in the rest). In some scenes he’s invisible to everyone but her, in others he can interact with the rest of the cast. But lapses like that are just part of the problem, the whole film is just badly done. The scenes with the kids go on forever before anything creepy happens, and even then nothing is explained or makes sense. The same holds true for the main story, things just happen and the plot barely holds it all together. We’re also never sure if things are really happening or a result of Iris’s mental issues, (we see her popping psych meds and hallucinating at various points). Even after the story plays out we still have no clue if it was real, imagined or, as the title suggests happening in some kind of spirit realm.
One thing that could have saved, or at least helped the film, is the villain, Sister Agnes (Ami Sarfati) who had the potential to be extremely creepy and nasty. Instead she’s bland and in the final moments when she should come off as more animal than human she just looks silly.
I really hate to totally slag a film, but honestly I can’t imagine how this film managed to get released. Lots of bad films get released but usually they have something going for them, recognizable names in the cast, good effects or at least a hot actress getting naked. This has nobody you’ve ever heard of, the effects are few and mostly awful, in particular a disemboweling that looks like they used plastic bags for intestines and no skin at all. The film really doesn’t have anything to offer.