The Purge. This was a film that I really didn’t know much about before going to the cinema to watch it. It just looked like your standard “scary movie,” and since I love watching scary films on the big screen I went along to check it out.
Directed by James DeMonaco and also written by DeMonaco – the premise of the film is quite abrupt, simple and requires great suspension of disbelief …kinda. The idea is that it is the year 2022 and one night annually, people all across America are allowed to rid themselves of their angst and violent tendencies – while also ridding their world of people who they believe make no difference to society (the homeless, those on welfare etc) this night is called ‘The Purge.’
Ethan Hawke’s character, along with the rest of the cast that play his family, take on the archetype of the traditional suburbanites that we have come to see on our screens in many horror movies (e.g. Dark Skies, Paranormal Activity). Hawke (known for great roles in Training Day, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead etc) is the career oriented, money making father who sells expensive and high-tech security systems. His wife is the usually appeasing and neutral character and their son is a slightly weird, slightly isolated young boy who is into hanging out in his secret hiding place and playing with his spooky toy.
The best thing about this film was the concept and likewise some strengths within the understated script which lent their hand to making this quite an evocative and interesting film – based on social analysis. A lot of people may go away confused or excited about this refreshing thriller but beyond all the locked doors, darkly lit rooms and fight for survival – there is something that the Director wants us to really consider and leave with.
It makes you consider whether we live in a world where you would decide that the worth of somebody else’s life is less than yours and therefore it would be no loss for them to die in order to save yourself – because you deem your life of a higher value and importance. Does a homeless man deserve to die over the guy that probably walks past him in his expensive suit going to his 6 salary job and suburban house?
This is the question the film poses throughout – it is the undercurrent that propels the action and the script. What would YOU do?