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2013, Horror - Slasher, Purge

The Purge (2013)

Purge

Duration 1h 25m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story Said to have been an episode from Star Trek in 1967, which inspired the writer/director.
Director James DeMonaco
Writers/Script James DeMonaco
Starring Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane, Edwin Hodge, Rhys Wakefield

Elevator Pitch: In America in 2022 under the political rule of the Founding Fathers of America there is an era of peace and prosperity, because there is one night of the year from 7pm to 7am when anything goes, murder, mayhem, rape and robbery.  The rich Sandin family retreat to their fortified house in a gated community, but when their son rescues an injured stranger who is being pursued by an armed gang of yuppies, they realise that they may not survive the night, despite their protection.

Content: In the Sandin house their daughter, in school uniform, gets it on a bit with her boy friend who, as soon as the Purge starts, shoots it out with the father and is killed. The stranger hides in the house. The yuppie killers are mostly seen on the house’s security cameras, but it would not be much of a spoiler to say that they do break in, and a lot of creeping about in the dark takes place. There is no nudity, and apart form the daughter and her boy friend rubbing up against each other a bit, no sex, but some drinking, and a lot of  shooting and tension.

A View: The scenes with the two supposedly teenage lovers were a bit weird, probably because they are adults, however once the film gets going it rolls along okay, although the fact that it is all in the dark is a bit wearing. The critics and, according to the Rotten Tomatoes site, most of the public, disliked it although the figures belie that. There are problems with the premise. I kept wondering how the groups of people attacking individuals could trust each other and considering the fact that the rich family were supposed to be prepared, it was pretty easy for the villains to break in. But if you can tolerate a bit of mindless violence maybe a watch for nothing.

Additional Info: I have kept having to reread the figures. It cost $2.7 million according to the director and grossed $34 million (according to IMDb) on its opening weekend. And eventually grossed $89 million worldwide. As you might expect there have been several sequels.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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