Let me just make this clear that I am not a fan of scary movies. They just aren't my cup of tea. Some people love them to death (...) and feel obligated to see them at all costs. I tend to be in the category that avoid them at all costs. Not because i'm afraid of them (well...), but I just don't like them. The Purge didn't seem like THAT scary of a movie and the concept seemed interesting so I decided to give it a chance. For those of you reading that like horror films, this may be one of the only reviews I do in this genre.
The movie is basically about a family who is held hostage and attacked after harboring a hunted man during the annual 12 hour period known as the Purge. The Purge was created by the "New Founding Fathers of America" to allow the citizens of the United States to release their inner rage and their "inner savage beasts" in a period where all emergency services are suspended. The father in the family, James Sandin (Ethan Hawking) is a salesman/businessman in charge of selling security systems to people that make homes essentially "Purge-proof". He has recently made a lot of money for his family which has allowed them to add a large addition onto their already lavish home. His wife Mary Sandin (Lena Headey) appears to be an average wife and mother to her two children: Zoey, a rebellious teenager with a boyfriend of whom her parents do not approve of and Max, a younger teenager who has a big heart and disapproves of the ideologies behind the Purge.
UM? No..No..Meestaa superman noo home..
The entire idea of the "Purge" itself is so beyond ignorant that I don't even want to address it. Yeah, because creating an annual holiday where all crime is legal is the best thing for the economy and the well-being of the nation. I can go on and on about why the mere notion of such an event would be foolish and idiotic but that would detract from the review.
While I found the idea of the annual Purge to be stupid (I'm trying so hard not to get into it..), the plot for the film was sturdy but I found the 'scares' to be somewhat predictable and various actions performed by the characters to be predictable. For example: (A FEW SPOILERS)
One is expecting the blond-haired neighbor to be jealous and partake in the purge against the family in someway. (She totally gets what she deserves though...omg)
One is expecting the daughter's boyfriend to try and kill the father. (Which is totally stupid because why would the daughter EVER stay with him after he killed her father? Logic? Reason? No? Alright..)
One is expecting the family not to give up the man that hid in their home after they finally catch him. (Which is good because I honestly wouldn't have given him up either because he would never be in my house. I would have moved to another country the minute the purge began.. what a stupid concept.. ughh)
I feel like scenes such as this happen a little too frequently in movies.. It's always underneath the bed too.. Didn't she watch Taken?
I found some of the scares to be genuinely good but there was WAY too much of an emphasize on the masks being worn by the assailants. It was good when they broke into the house but when the assailants were outside swinging on the swings and jumping around together.. it was just weak.
The film definitely wasn't perfect, but it did deliver as a decent film considering its surprisingly small $3 million budget. The concept behind the film, although immensely impossible, was interesting to see and provided the basis for an interesting thriller film. I enjoyed Ethan Hawking's performance for the most part throughout the movie. I would definitely have reacted differently if my child disarmed my security system during a national 12 hour crime spree than he did, but to each their own. While the film falls short as a horror flick, it rises as a thriller where the notion of protecting your family comes first despite whatever (or whomever) comes knocking on your front door.