The Purge

Film, Thrillers
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The Purge

America, 2022. Violent crime and unemployment have been eradicated since the introduction of the annual Purge Night: a 12-hour spree of cathartic anarchy and violence during which the well-armed rich emerge from the their gated communities to vent their frustrated anger on the underclass. When the Sandin family give a black homeless veteran refuge, the masked rich kids chasing him threaten to breach their home’s state-of-the-art security and wreak murderous havoc.

Writer-director James DeMonaco's satirical, futuristic home invasion movie lacks the plot logic and political context needed to lend substance to its central conceit. It’s hard not root for Ethan Hawke’s complacent home security salesman, his wife (Lena Headey) and their teenage kids. But the film's would-be subversive ideas about the kneejerk appeal of social violence get lost in the mix.

By: Nigel Floyd


Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday May 31 2013
Duration: 85 mins

Cast and crew

Average User Rating

3 / 5

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The Purge, starring Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey, has a very good premise. In a not-so-far-away future, on one night a year there are no laws. Society can do whatever it wants without repercussions. The rich hide in their houses, with state of the art security, whilst the poor have to fight for their lives to survive "the purge".

The film, however, doesn't fully utilise this premise and focuses instead of one family who's son helps a stranger leading to them being targeted by a group of malevolent attackers. 

The film fails to really deal with the wider issues of why the purge exists, how it effects society as a whole, and how people go back to their lives afterwards. I wonder if the sequels will probe these areas. If so the franchise could knit together better and could make this film stand out more.