85 Min | Horror – Sci-Fi – Thriller | May 2013
IMDB Rating: 5.5
Director: James DeMonaco
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder
The Purge Review: Humans have a natural instinct as predators to kill, but society forces us to repress these feelings by living in a ‘civilized’ way, according to new Ethan Hawke led film The Purge, a very interesting concept of a film, which explores a future society in which all crime is allowed for one night a year. It’s 2022 (not actually that far away), and unemployment in America is 1%, crime is at an all-time low, and generally, everybody seems happy, especially James Sandin (Hawke), a rich citizen who makes his fortune selling security systems for houses to use during the annual Purge. Basically the reason why unemployment and crime is so low is because, for one night a year, a Purge occurs, where all crime (murder, raper robbery, the whole lot) is made legal, and no police or emergency services are allowed to interfere, Mad. But also intriguing.
James and his family happily avoid the Purge by using a security system outside their large house while the rest of society kills each other, but all that changes when their youngest son Charlie decides to let a stranger into the house. This starts off as a really captivating film, the concept of legal crime kept me hooked, but soon enough, it descends into a stereotypical action film where Ethan Hawke fights off gangs from his house with a variety of handguns, and all originality gets lost in a haze of bullets (literally). The short running time (85mins) and variety of twists every five minutes makes sure that it doesn’t get too boring, so overall a decent watch, but nothing that provokes any thinking afterwards.
The Purge 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.