Friday, May 3, 2013

I was able to catch The Purge courtesy of the NYU Program Board on Tuesday.  I have been wanting to watch the film ever since seeing the trailer due to the interesting premise of the movie.  In their future world, unemployment is at 1% and crime at an all time low.  Society's aggressive behavior has been muted due to creation of The Purge.  The Purge is an once a year event for 12 hours where anything goes without retribution.  You can commit murder, robbery, rape, etc without facing prosecution.  The only restrictions are no use of heavy weaponry, and no crime can be committed against law enforcement of a certain rank.

The entire movie focuses on one family which is led by James Sandin played by Ethan Hawke.  His character sells home security for those who want to bunker down while the Purge is happening.  In his family is his wife Mary, daughter Zoey and son Charlie.  As they arm the security and prepare to wait out the night, their life is forever changed.  As Charlie allows a homeless man played by actor Edwin Hodge sanctuary from a gang of preppy teens hunting him.  Spoilers in the next paragraph.


The leader of the preppy gang is played brilliantly by Rhys Wakefield.  His charismatic yet creepy smile can't help but remind me of Health Ledger's Joker.  He and his gang tracks the homeless man to James's barricaded home and warns him to hand him over or they will break in and attack and kill his family as well.  Unfortunately they can't.  The homeless has hidden in their massive home amid a firefight between James and his daughter's older boyfriend that results in the death of the latter.  You see, because Zoey's boyfriend is much older, his father was against him seeing his daughter.  He had snuck in just prior to the lockdown in the hopes of talking it man to man with Zoey's father about their relationship.  His idea of talking though involves gunning down Ethan's character.  Did he think the Purge would really let him have a relationship with Zoey after the murder of his father?!  It's certain things like that, that really stops the film from being great.  Another would be the director not being sure if he's trying to make a horror film or an action flick.  As a horror film, the scares just aren't there other than the sudden loud noises and appearances that you are actually expecting.  Still the biggest flaw I've heard of the film and I have to agree is that it is just too short.  The Purge makes for an interesting universe, and it would've been great to see for one thing the day after effects of the family's unforgettable night.  Despite this I would still recommend the film.

I give the film 3.5 stars out of 5.0.  The movie is not out until June 7th.  For those interested, I was able to score a new Purge T-Shirt size Large to give away.  To enter the giveaway, just be a follower to the side of the blog and leave a comment below of your favorite horror film of all time.  Giveaway open to US residence only.  I'll pick a winner on May 30th via

  • Ethan Hawke as James Sandin
  • Lena Headey as Mary Sandin
  • Adelaide Kane as Zoey Sandin
  • Max Burkholder as Charlie Sandin
  • Edwin Hodge as Stranger
  • Rhys Wakefield as Polite stranger
  • Tony Oller as Henry

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