Back when they were kids, Iris (Megan Truong) persuaded her friends
Marlene (Martina D'Ovidio) and Derrick (Alex Gruenenfelder) as well as her
imaginary friend Caden (Pearce Joza) - this makes more sense than it
sounds, actually - to an abandoned asylum where once the demented nurse
Sister Agnes (Ami Sarfati) tortured the inmates to shoot a horror movie.
But the place is genuinely haunted, and while the kids make it out alive,
Iris loses her imaginary friend in the process - the other two were not as
Years later: Iris is all grown up now (and is played by Tiffany
Kieu), has had some commercial success in LA as a photographer and now
returns to her sleepy hometown to do a story on above abandoned asylum,
her colleague Jacob (Corey Fabyan) in tow. To her shock she has to learn
though that Derrick (now played by Tom Walsh) has turned into a complete
imbecile who has to be looked after by his sister (Kat Johnston), while
Marlene (now Kate Dauphin) has to be constantly tied up so she won't harm
herself - she has already gauged out her own eyes.
In the asylum, things
quickly get at least as spooky as the last time round, but Iris and Jacob
can make it out. But then Jacob disappears, and Derrick and Marlene start
to behave rather oddly, and Iris has to realize she has been caught in a
nightmare that has started with her childhood experience but is coming
full circle only now ...
The Purgation is one spooky
movie that really understands how to confuse its audience yet without
losing grip on the narrative, which really helps in creating a
nightmare-ish sort of feel. This is aided by a directorial effort that
well knows how to shock but also when to hold back for maximum effect,
great asylum locations, and an ensemble cast who really put their all into
it, which ultimately results in a pretty good genre effort!