A review by C J Dee
Director: James DeMonaco
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Cersei La- Lena Headey, Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane, Edwin Hodge, Rhys Wakefield
Other notable appearances: The most twisted legislation ever
Running time: 85 minute
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
James Sandin (Hawke) sells security systems for homes in the year 2022. Business is lucrative due to the one night a year when all crime is legal. Rape, arson, theft… even murder. The idea presented for the purge is to relieve people of their desires to commit these heinous acts, ensuring the rest of the year is peaceful and crime free.
James and his family lock themselves in their home as the purge begins. When their daughter’s boyfriend emerges from hiding within the house and their son opens the security system for an injured homeless man, all hell breaks loose in suburbia.
The Purge is a film that I have seen in the horror section quite frequently and it was an idea that always seemed fascinating. I finally took the time to sit down and watch this weekend. Sad to say, I was disappointed by the end result.
One of the main issues I feel that needs to be addressed with the film is that I couldn’t even really call it horror. Is it horrific? It has its moments. Is it horror? Enhhh, kinda. Maybe. Sort of.
When I went to research the genre I ended up asking social media to ‘pick a genre, any genre’. Wikipedia lists The Purge as a ‘2013 American science fiction action thriller horror film’. The worst part is that it does in fact have elements of each of these things. If your film is going to be a jack-of-all-trades, you must do it well or it ends up a master of none. Sadly, The Purge falls into the latter.
There were no real scares throughout the movie. The premise of a home invasion is always terrifying, especially when you throw in the guarantee that the offenders can and will commit any crimes they desire without consequence. However, in this case I was more annoyed at how stupid the characters were and just how bad their decision making was. The only character that I didn’t actively dislike by the film’s end was the mother figure, played by Lena Headey, and the homeless man, played by Edwin Hodge.
I would recommend The Purge if the idea of the plot REALLY appeals to you, but with the warning that it does not live up to a fraction of its full potential and you will be left with a distinct feeling of indifference.
‘Decriminalised murder: an outlet for American rage.’