The Purge Reviews
The satisfying thrill of the unexpected turn of events. The movie The Purge, directed by James DeMonaco, came out in 2013. Major actors include Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Adelaide Kane, Max Burkholder, and Edwin Hodge. This is a great suspenseful movie with a ton of scary moments and action scenes.
The Purge is about a man named James and his family during the annual Purge, a 12-hour period in which crime is now legal. James created a security system for his community that could withstand and protect people from those purging. Due to a few unwise decisions, James and his family must make one of the most important decision of their lives... should they save someone and have their lives be put in jeopardy or should they not save his life and go against what they truly believe in. Whatever choice they make they still must stick together and fight to keep their lives during this crucial time.
Throughout the movie I was so clueless about what was going to happen next because the whole night I was wrong at guessing what was going to happen. There was so much suspense and so many unexpected outcomes. My first impression of the movie was it wasn't going to be all that scary, but after finishing the movie, I highly disagree with my first impression. I was very wrong; this movie is scary, with all the creepy and pop-out parts. The masks of the people that participate in the purge are the creepiest part. The mask looked like a younger version of Hilary Clinton, who is smiling ear to ear. I thought it was so creepy and those masks still pop up in my mind.
The characters did an excellent job playing their parts, not one of the character's facial expression said they were feeling something different. Their acting was outstanding and looked like it was happening to them in that moment. For example, when James was stabbed, he didn't make it look like he was acting; the way he grimaced in pain after being stabbed is what sold the whole scene. The characters portrayed in the movie were multi-dimensional, with some aspects that I would not have expected, like I did not think this ritzy family would be able to defend themselves and stick to their ground, but I was proven wrong when they held off the intruders as they tried killing the family. Throughout the movie, I felt for the family, and was on their side. With all the events going on/everything the family was going through, I felt as if I was with them and was trying to help them make a right choice. The filming of the movie was superb; the way they would move the camera around made it seem like I was with all of them whenever it happened. For example, they would record the scenes as if it was the point of view of someone in the house, and for suspenseful scenes, they zoomed out, so you could see the enemies approaching hidden family members. Those were \ ideal approaches for the scenes.
They must stay loyal to one another but at the same time still loyal to what they believe in and what they are for. It compels because we face these problems in the real world and must fight through it. I recommend this film to anyone who enjoys having the feeling of anticipation building up, loves suspense, and enjoys having been wrong on what you think is happening next. This movie is full of suspense with nail biting action scenes and keeps you on your toes whenever you are trying to guess what happens next. There are many parts where you don't see things coming at all. All around this movie is 4.5/5 stars, and I think everyone should watch it because it is an all-around great thriller of a movie.
The Purge was consistently entertaining, a new all be it flawed concept. The concept that crime is legal for 12 hours is a interesting one, makes for a film that could go anywhere. Although The Purge happens to follow a small family, in the richer part of town. The family's night is ruined when there young son pity's a desperate man outside, and lets there defences down so he can join the family in safety. Which as you can imagine can't end well. The film quickly turns into a creepy stand off between the family and the predators searching for the man.
The purge tells a interesting and fun story, which really gets you thinking about morality, right and wrong. What would you do. As fun as the build up was, the predictable ending did knock it's rating down a bit.
The Purge is well-cast and boasts some good thrills, but it ultimately fails to make good use of its unique premise, squandering it with unlikable characters and obvious plot contrivances.
GREG: (Greg Smith, Founder of Agile Writers of Richmond, VA) It s a movie that binges along the fringes. Let s recap.
SCOTT: The story is set in the year 2022, and we are introduced to an upper-middle class family preparing for the annual 12-hour purge -- an annual ritual in which anyone can commit any crime with impunity from 7pm to 7am. The new founders of America have discovered that crime and unemployment have been almost non-existent ever since the purge was instituted, as the ritual apparently allows people a vehicle for getting their anger and violent urges out of their system. The family includes the dad, James Sandin (Ethan Hawke), the mom, Mary (Lena Headey), a teenage daughter, Zoey (Adelaide Kane) and young son, Charlie (Max Burkholder).
GREG: The family s house isn t on lockdown for long when young Charlie hears a man calling for help. He opens the house and lets the man in to safety. Dad James is unhappy and unhappier still when a crowd of yuppie-purgers come to the door wearing masks and demanding their prey be released to them. They cut the power and send for equipment to break down the house s security doors. Now the stage is set with the family members hunting the man in their own home with the clock ticking before the purgers break in and take matters into their own hands.
SCOTT: Greg, I have several bones to pick with The Purge. First, the moviemakers get the science of emotional catharsis all wrong. The premise here is that committing acts of violence has a cathartic effect. Research in psychology indicates exactly the opposite. Violence only begets more violence. Anger leads to more anger, aggression breeds more aggression. This is the second time in the last few weeks that the movies have gotten a psychological phenomenon all wrong. Two weeks ago we reviewed After Earth, which portrayed human emotion incorrectly. I gave that movie a pass for missing the boat, but if bad science is becoming a pattern in the movies then maybe I need to get tougher in my evaluations. The Purge is telling us something very wrong about what inhibits human aggression. To me, that s a pretty glaring error and maybe even a dangerous one to be presenting to movie audiences.
GREG: Scott, I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. It harkens back to the early days of The Twilight Zone where social commentary is made by putting current events into a future setting. And I think you may have missed the point of the film. The catharsis is merely an excuse for violence. In fact, the actual purge is the wonton execution of the have-nots at the hands of the haves. There were other indications that this was more than a chance at debauchery (like Mardis Gras, for example). We heard radio reports of people planning to kill their lousy bosses. The Purge gives citizens good reason not to offend people around them. James, the dad in the story, sells home security systems. He s sold one to nearly all of his neighbors. In this affluent neighborhood the haves are safe inside their locked fortresses. While out in the real world people have to hope for the best. Meanwhile, the yuppie-purgers (led by a very scary Rhys Wakefield) feel it is their God-given American right to hunt down and kill those who are a burden on society. I was reminded of Stanley Kubricks A Clockwork Orange where the affluent young men of society went on a rampage just for kicks.
SCOTT: I don t think I missed the point at all. The Purge is far more than the government promoting a war against the have-nots. Clips of violence in all sorts of settings during the Purge suggest that violence is occurring in convenience stores, parking garages, and workplace settings. It s not simply class warfare. It s people of all types killing people of all types. The movie even shows the upper class killing each other. I will admit that the concept of the Purge does set up a scary story. The second major issue I had is with the stupidity of the dad giving the home security code to his 11-year-old son, who of course mis-uses it and sets in motion the disaster that befalls the family. That s not a minor problem. It s about a hundred times worse than giving your son the key to the gun cabinet or the password to your bank account. I also had a problem with the daughter not realizing immediately that someone in her bedroom, whose appearance is a total surprise, is there to do harm to someone. Are we supposed to believe that she can t make the connection between this surprise guest and the fact that it s Purge Night? Only if her IQ is in single digits.
GREG: Scott, I chalk that up to the fact that the writers of The Purge needed to show immediately that Purge Night is real and dangerous. And that James is willing to kill and do more than hide behind his security system. But I can t argue the concept of the young boy, Charles, knowing the security code. Unlike you, I was happy to let this slide as it was necessary for the vagrant to enter the home and create the problem that the cage works both ways: it can keep evil out and it can lock evil in. This was a very smart movie - far more than just a typical hack and slash thriller. It posed a lot of questions about the world we live in today. Should only the rich be safe in their homes? Are the laws of our society weighted in favor of those who have? And how far would you go to keep your family safe?
SCOTT: I agree with you that the movie makes us think about the reasons why people refrain from killing others -- do they show restraint because killing is wrong? Or because they d go to prison? I also very much liked the very powerful and very creepy villain in this story. He had exactly the right lines and right delivery to haunt us with a deep sense of fear and foreboding. We knew he was pretty much capable of performing the most heinous evil act. And with a smile on his face, too. Beyond those two things, I didn t care much for the film. It didn t help that the ending was extremely predictable. I wish I could see more of the positives that you saw, Greg. But I didn t.
GREG: That s alright, Scott. I enjoyed the opportunity to look into the souls of these characters without a lot of blood and gore. I also appreciated the Hero s Journey in this film. James suffers a crisis of conscience and must make a choice between the safety of his family and doing the right thing. I felt the tension and suspense in the film. For a thought-provoking look at our culture flash-forwarded to the near-future, I give The Purge 4 Reels out of 5. And for a mildly successful heroic message, I give it 3 out of 5 Heroes. Movie: Hero:
SCOTT: For me, The Purge was based on a faulty premise and featured a scary situation that was set in motion by two unbelievable acts of stupidity on the part of the hero, James, and the teen daughter, Zoey. It also featured a very predictable ending that left me unsatisfied. Very generously, I award this film 2 Reels out of 5. Greg, the hero story was better than the movie. I agree that James is on a great journey in this film and that he discovers things about himself, and about life, that transforms him and his family in ways that he could never anticipate. I also give it 3 out of 5 Heroes. Movie: Hero: