Clark Collis
May 19, 2015 AT 12:00 PM EDT

What better time than 2016 for upcoming horror-thriller threequel The Purge: Election Year to arrive in theaters. The new film, following 2013’s The Purge and 2014’s The Purge: Anarchy, focuses on the latest Purge night — the annual 12-hour period of sanctioned lawlessness — amid a race between two presidential candidates on opposite ends of the political spectrum.

Purge: Election Year takes place a couple of years after Purge: Anarchy,” says filmmaker James DeMonaco, who has written and directed all three movies. “We find our country’s very divided on the concept of the Purge. 50 percent of the people are for the Purge, 50 percent ;are against it.”

As DeMonaco explains, the two candidates follow that split: “One is the NFAA (New Founding Fathers of America) candidate, obviously he’ll keep the Purge going; and then you have this new, independent wild card candidate, that’s Elizabeth Mitchell, who’s rising in the polls, who’s very anti-Purge.”

Mitchell’s character survived a Purge massacre that killed her entire family 15 years earlier. “These two candidates are battling it out, and it all comes to a head on Purge night, which our governing party is using to do some spring cleaning and get rid of people who are against the Purge,” DeMonaco teases. “So, we move into the world of political conspiracy thriller — you know, All the President’s Men or Three Days of the Condor world. I always wanted to do that in the third one.”

The political aspects are played to the hilt in the film’s latest trailer, which intersperses scenes of action and terror from the film with faux-campaign ads. 

“I Purge… to keep my country great,” says a man at the end of the trailer in one of those talking-head slots.

The Purge: Election Year costars franchise returnee Frank Grillo and is released, July 1. You can see the film’s new poster above and new trailer, below.

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