Who ever said that killing people isn’t good for you?
Imagine a world where crime is severely low, unemployment is 1% and one night a year for 12 hours, people can kill as much as they want and no one bats an eye.
This is what the world of The Purge is about. In order for society to function normally, people take out all their aggression at once by killing each other and thereby cleansing themselves in this bloodthirsty event. The Purge is a film that has a great concept under its belt, but falls under the level of expectations for both horror and plot.
The year is 2022 and many years ago, the government was taken over by a group of multinational corporations who came up with a new idea of how to keep America under control: The Purge. One night a year, the purge allows all criminal activity, including murder, to be legal for 12 hours. There are a few rules though for the purge: higher government officials cannot be harmed, class 4 weapons cannot be used, and any services from 911 or airlines are disbanded during the time of the purge.
James Sandin (Ethan Hawke), a salesman who beefs up security for people’s homes during every purge, has become wealthy from his job and is not worried about the upcoming purge later that night. James and his wife Mary (Lena Headey) are both having a difficult time connecting with their older daughter Zoey (Adelaide Kane) and their younger son Charlie (Max Burkholder) because of their ideals about the purge. Later that night, the Sandin family locks down their house just as the purge is about to begin, and James assures everyone that they have nothing to worry about.
A short time later, Charlie notices a stranger (Edwin Hodge) being shot outside the house and offers him shelter from the people gunning him down. The stranger is able to hide from the Sandins and a short time later, a group of murdering vigilantes show up at the Sandin’s door demanding the man inside their house. The vigilantes give the Sandins one hour to find the stranger in their house and bring him out alive, or else everyone in the house will die.
The concept for this story sounded really promising, however there are some problems that make the film disappointing. Considering that The Purge was produced by the same people who made Parnanormal Activity and Sinister it would make sense that it would be filled with scares and screams from the audience. There were none. Going to get a good scare? The Purge is not a for you.
When was the last time you ever laughed in a horror movie? Well guess what? You’re going to laugh when you watch The Purge.
No, not because it’s bad, quite the contrary in fact, but because the film is actually pretty good at providing some funny moments — something unexpect from The Purge and it works. The humor only shows up in “situational moments” within the film, and doesn’t happen all the time.
The Purge is confusing because of the huge plot holes. There are several instances of sitting in the theater dumbfounded because of how silly and ridiculous some scenes were. For example, there is a scene where the daughter reconnects with the family after being lost in the house for some time. Then after a few seconds of being safe, she runs out again for no reason.
Why would you do that? There is a stranger in the house who will kill you! Not to mention there are a group of psychopath neanderthals outside ready to blow down the door at any moment!
The Purge is an example of a movie that could have had a lot more going for it. In terms of concept and acting, the movie delivers, but ultimately falls flat where the key moments count. The Purge has a problem trying to figure out if it is a thriller with some action scenes or just a horror film with some comedy.
IMDB Score: 5.8
My Score: 5.5
(originally posted on Gotchamovies.com)