By the year 2022 the US government, led by our New Founding Fathers, has managed to crawl its way out of a triple dip recession and record crime rates. Unemployment stands at 1%, and crime is at an all time low. With one exception. Once a year, on a date designated as The Purge, for twelve hours all crime is legal. Rape, murder, theft, the entire US has a free pass to do whatever they wish and suffer no repercussions for it. In a single day thousands are murdered and millions of dollars worth of property destroyed in order to give everyday American's an outlet to vent their rage, anger, and frustrations in the hope that they will "cleanse their souls" and not be tempted to commit crimes for the rest of the year.
First of all let's put aside the fact that the premise at face value makes absolutely no sense. I'll let that slide, though I do feel it needs to be said. The premise is what it is, and as implausible as it is, I still thought it interesting enough to warrant a look. But even overlooking this, the movie has some serious flaws that I felt wasted what could have been a very intelligent film. First of all, this film is produced by the same people who brought us great horror movies like the Paranormal Activity movies, Insidious and Sinister, and while I loved those movies this film should have been different. The premise screams suspense thriller, as instead of dealing with supernatural beings like in their previous films, the main baddies in this one are a bunch of teenagers in masks and an old homeless man. To put it simply, there is nothing even remotely scary about this movie, so the fact that they filmed it like a horror movie with the typical horror movie tropes, jump scares, loud music, etc only served as a distraction both for the director and the audience from what should have been the main focus. These sort of things worked for Sinister and Insidious because of their supernatural elements, because the villains were invisible, evil forces that couldn't be talked to or reasoned with. This film doesn't have that. Instead we have some homeless guy wandering around an inexplicably enormous house for an hour while the idiot family that lives there stumbles around in the dark. Am I honestly supposed to be scared by this? The Purge is a thriller in a horror movies clothing, and ultimately in my opinion fails horribly at being either.
But what about The Purge itself? Do we get to see the streets turn into battle grounds? Is there subtle yet engaging social commentary to go along with such an interesting premise? Sadly, no. I don't know what these producers deal is with filming well off families in big houses, but this story should have really been told from the POV of someone who is poor and, thus, unable to afford protection from the roaming bands of psychotic rich kids trying to kill them. This is what should have been the focus of the film, not some boring rich family with first world problems, but the poor and downtrodden who are the real victims of this sick tradition. Imagine a film where a poor, single mother/father flees with their children from bands of killers who are not only allowed to kill at will, but encouraged to do so as well. That would have been a great movie. Instead we get boring suburban dad with boring suburban wife, and boring suburban kids. Nothing gets my heart strings strumming like privileged rich people trying to throw some poor homeless guy to the wolves. Yeah, I feel real sorry for those guys.
The Purge is a film that had a great idea but no idea how to see it through. Its boring, badly directed, and commits the cardinal sin of being a horror movie that isn't even remotely scary. If you really want to see it, wait until its on netflix and stream it. Otherwise, my suggestion is to pass. Its really not worth the effort.
In a not-so-distant future, where one night in one year comes a time when all crime is allowed, that such a move had been sanctioned by the U.S. government. Such a concept is so intriguing that I wanted to know just what could’ve happened that had provoked such a step in society and just what would one do when one lives in such a time and place. The trailers for the “The Purge” had suggested a horror thriller where a family has been caught in such a maelstrom of chaos and disorder. … more
Though The Purge has a very interesting (though unrealistic) concept, in the end its little more than an interesting idea surrounded by a bad movie. The characters are boring, the direction horrible, and what little social commentary we get is so heavy handed you'll feel like a child being preached to. What ultimately dooms this movie, in my opinion, is that they filmed it as if it were a horror movie, though there is nothing even remotely scary about it. My advice, save this one as a rental and … more
I am a member of the US Air Force and presently serve overseas at RAF Mildenhall about three hours north of London. I grew up in Pappilion Nebraska and Crestview Florida, but since joining the Air Force … more
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