The Purge (2013) – Film Review

The Purge - A dystopian horror film

Written and directed by James DeMonaco, The Purge depicts a near future (2022) America where the new founding fathers have implemented a new system in place – an Annual Purge. According to the new social and government-sanctioned system, the Annual Purge is the day when everyone is free to commit any crime during a 12-hour lockdown (7 pm to 7 am).

In the film, The Purge is the method that many upper-class American citizens believe to be the act of abreaction, but in reality, the Annual Purge is just a radical and insane way for population control. Poor and homeless people fall prey to this annual event when law and order take back seat with all emergency services, including fire, police, and hospitals remain shut down.

Of course, there are few rules like no government servant holding higher ranks should get any harm in this Purge, and there should not be any use of weapons such as bombs, grenades, and missiles. Violation of these two will be regarded as a punishable offense. This is the so-called best arrangement for controlling crime, violence, and poverty… Strange, indeed!

Watch the Movie Trailer for ‘The Purge’

The story focuses on a single-family and the night they spend on this Annual Purge. James Sandin, a home security system salesman, lives with his wife Mary, daughter Zoey and son Charlie. An early chat with their neighbor suggests that their success and wealth leave others envious and jealous.

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Upon announcement of the purge, as they lock their home with an advanced security system wishing to experience a peaceful night, at least with the expectation that no unwarranted things will happen to them, Charlie through CCTV cameras spots a wounded man fleeing from a mob and asking for help. He lets the man in; anticipating they all will be safe inside the house.

Knowing the reality, the frantic mob surrounded Sandin’s house and demanded to return the man or face terrible consequences. The Purge is indeed different from average horror or thriller films but being a futuristic horror thriller with an interesting plot, I don’t think the makers have explored the scenario to the highest level.

The Purge (2013) – Film Review
“The Purge” – A dystopian horror film written/directed by James DeMonaco, and starring Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey.

Things that I guess go wrong for this film are editing and unnecessary dragging of a few scenes that could have given space to the explanation with some kind of social commentary on class conflict, social collapse, moral complication, or even the philosophical or moral dilemma and collective psychology to use violence.

The Purge shows how most of us would end up behaving differently under given circumstances and at the same time underlines another side of human nature that begs for the greater cause of non-violence and humanity.

Starring: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Adelaide Kane, Max Burkholder
Written and directed by James DeMonaco
Music by Nathan Whitehead
Cinematography Jacques Jouffret
Released Date/Year: June 07, 2013

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Where to watch The Purge (2013)
This post is written, edited and published by the Cinecelluloid staff.

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