Movie Review: The Purge ****


The Purge” is a story about the future of America–where it is legal to commit crimes on one day each year without fear of arrest or prosecution. On this day, wrongs are righted, the indigent are eliminated, and pent-up anger is released. This successful annual event has led to unprecedented prosperity and support of the United States government. There are no more sick or homeless people, crime and unemployment are at an all time low, and everyone fears retaliation–so they are always on their best behavior. Virtually all social programs have been eliminated and only prosperous people remain, making America the richest country in the world.

On Purge Night, there are 2 choices: hide or seek. Some people have made plans on who to execute on Purge Night. They sharpen their knives, load their guns, and go out on a rampage to release their stored-up negative energy. Some people have gone to great lengths to protect themselves from intruders on Purge Night. They buy exotic security systems, stockpile weapons, and wait for the night to be end.

One family has made some mistakes and doesn’t realize that they are a target for purging until stuff starts to happen. Their home becomes a target by unknown assailants. They fight for their lives and struggle with the morality of this government sanctioned program and the people who participate.

This is an extremely violent and troubling movie that addresses many social issues. It is not for kids, the squeamish, or righteous individuals. The story is very well-told, the suspense is edge-of-your-seat extreme, and the ending was good. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on September 1, 2013 at 9:10 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Nice review Mike. Alright for a couple of jumps here and there, but nothing all that special.

  2. From the producers of Paranormal Activity (as is all horror films these days) The Purge tells the story of a near future were crime is at an all time low and unemployment stands at under 1% of the US population, to compensate for one night a year all crime (including murder) is legal for 12 hours allowing society some kind of release.

    The film revolves around the Sandin family who are confronted by a group of college students hunting a man on the night of the Purge who the family had allowed into their home after lockdown. The Purgers (lead by Rhys Wakefield) drastically try to break into the family’s home causing James (Ethan Hawke) and Mary (Lena Headey) to protect their children from the invaders in order to survive the night.

    The main problem with the film is the premise itself, whilst interesting is filled with flaws and holes that just make the whole idea ridiculous. Such as what happens to the serial killers and career criminals of this world? Do they just control their urges to kill or steal for the other 364 days until the next Purge, as well what if someone has a heart attack on the night of The Purge? Is it just a case of bad luck you chose the wrong night to need medical care?

    Despite the flaws of the premise, the film repeatedly ignores the possibilities of the premise, instead of exploring the ideas behind the Purge or the events that occur on the night of the Purge from different perspectives and situations. Instead the film settles for a typical home invasion story that although done well, is nothing we haven’t seen done in many other films. The Purge in the end seems to only be the premise of this film to stop the age old question of “Why don’t they just call the police?” in home invasion films.

    To the films credit it is quite subtle, there’s a running theme that the Purge is just an excuse for the upper classes to exterminate the poor, driven by all the attackers wearing prep school blazers and the person they are chasing wearing dog tags around his neck. The film also contains some strong performances, especially from Ethan Hawke (Training Day, Lord of War) and Lena Headey (Dredd, Game of Thrones) who carry the film throughout. The film also has a twist near the end which allows the audience to get inside the heads of the people during this night.

    That cant be said for the leader of the Purger’s played by Rhys Wakefield (Sanctum, Home and Away)whose performance is slightly cringe worthy, hes trying to be psychotic yet in control of the proceedings but it just comes across as a amateur dramatics’ version of The Joker. He just never seems like a really threat and just a creepy next door neighbour.

    The film also contains some bizarre and just plain weird set pieces, such as the families’ son who builds a spy camera on a chard baby doll on the top of a rhino tank from Warhammer 40,000. The thing looks like a demented contraption from Sid’s bedroom in Toy Story.

    Overall, The Purge is an OK home invasion film, there are moments of suspense and a couple of jump scares are effective. The wasted potential of the premise is the films main downfall which could have lead to a more effective and possible original film then what we got in the end.

    More about the movie you can also find it here

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