Film Review – The Purge (2013)

The Purge

Title – The Purge (2013)

Director – James DeMonaco (Staten Island)

Cast – Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Rhys Wakefield

Plot – Set in the year 2022 when once a year America participates in the annual “purge” where all crime is legal for 12 hours. James Sandin’s (Hawke’s) family’s purge night becomes a fight for survival when a homeless man they are sheltering unwillingly in their home is hunted by a mask wearing pack of “purgers” lead by their sinister leader (Wakefield  ).

“Decriminalised Murder. An outlet for American Rage.”

Review by Eddie on 16/10/2013

Wow, just wow. I “wow” at how such a premise can be wasted on such a lame cliché ridden so called “horror” film. The Purge lit the internet and box office a storm upon initial release thanks the clever and original marketing campaign for a very interesting concept. What would happen if crime were legal once a year for a few hours? It’s a grand idea for a movie one ripe for ideas, so sad then that the filmmakers settled for such a bad one and for such a generic production.

The story centring almost entirely inside the house of the Sandin family begs the question of why the purge even is a part of the film? The movie in the end could just be any standard home invasion thriller/horror, just utterly wasting the whole idea of what a night in The Purge would be like. It’s made all the worse by small ideas and scenes offer up an insight into the possibilities of a well done Purge movie. The friendly neighbours turning, the angry boyfriend taking matters into his own hands there are countless opportunities here that play second fiddle to a lame and frankly unbelievable story.

Another major problem with The Purge is the horrible main set of characters, Hawke tries his best but it must be said doesn’t do much while the other bunch of headliners in Heady who is wasted and Wakefield who thinks smiling every 3 seconds is creepy (by the way it’s not) barely makes a dint in the film where he should own it with his menacing evil doer. In regards to the child actors Max Burkholder and Adelaide Kane the less said the better.

The Purge is simply a bad, seen a million times before home invasion movie. What makes it particularly annoying and also like a slap in the face is how it squanders its idea. On the success financially of the movie a sequel has been green lit; can someone please do something with the idea? One can only hope because it wouldn’t take much to make this a truly scary and believable horror.

Half a remote control car out of 5

23 responses to “Film Review – The Purge (2013)

    • I was dumbfounded by the time the film ended, I almost thought it wasn’t the film I saw in the trailers.

      Jordan will be stoked to hear about this Basket Case love I am sure!

  1. Saw it and reviewed on my own blog. I agree the reason I had a hard time enjoying this movie was completely due to the useless characters, especially the homeless guy. I distinctly remember him not having a name and that he served exactly two purposes: Being a convenient racial stereotype and a deus ex machina whenever the movie ran out of ideas as to how to keep itself moving forward.

  2. god this movie was just so so bad. that said, I had myself a decent time laughing my head off at the script and at some of the major reveals. the premise (to me, at least) was actually somewhat interesting sounding but they completely blew it. maybe the second one will make more use of it, like u said.

      • That’s precisely what I feared: Because the movie had no real plot to speak of and because it did very well financially, I almost knew a sequel would be greenlit. Unless critics say that it really is that much better than the first movie, I’m going to be skipping it.

  3. They had a chance to make some kind of social statement but blew it with characters not worth caring for and villains nothing short of laughable. Like a gang of roving Ivy League murderers are going to fixate on one house all night when certainly they could’ve killed ten people in the same amount of time? Every character generic stereotypes. It’s a shame as the son is really a great actor(playing an autistic teen on the show ‘Parenthood’.)

    This could’ve been much, much better.

  4. Finally someone who agrees with me. The purge is a film that had HUGE potential to be great but feel hard. I want a film with the same idea but done as an anthology film, covering several different families over the night. That would be pretty awesome..

    • Hi Jeff I had to very similar thoughts, it would be so good to tell the story from attackers pov, police, every day citizens and perhaps out and out crazies. I can almost imagine it now.

  5. I thought the plot for that one was more than a little nonsensical, 1. people are still going to mug people all year round for money 2. Gangs and criminal organizations are still going to murder people all year round when it suits them and 3. crimes of passion are still going to occur any time. I think it’s implausible.

  6. I couldn’t agree more with your review. When I first saw the trailer I thought it seemed so interesting, but fell flat far too quick. And there was absolutely no resolution at the end regarding the purge. It’s like they didn’t even know where they wanted to go with the premise themselves.

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