The Purge (2013) – Review

The comments and the opinions vary when it comes to criticising The Purge, a horror movie that created a lot of fuss but clearly didn’t live up to the audience’s expectations. However, I decided not to unleash my cynicism and be gentle with my review. And why? Well, because you learn to appreciate some movies more when you’ve seen inexplicably horrible ones.

James DeMonaco ‘s The Purge transfers the audience to the year 2022, when the American government launched a new scheme in an effort to reduce the crimes rates, limit hatred and make the country a better, more peaceful place to live. The concept behind this idea lies in the Purge, an annual 12-hour period, when everything is legal. Murders, attacks anything a human mind can think of is permitted.

The explanation is simple. With the purge, people find the means to release their anger, hatred and brutal instincts. When the 12-hour period is over, everyone wipes off the blood from their axes, and goes back to being good loving neighbours, parents and citizens.

Ethan Hawke plays a key role in The Purge. His character, James Sandin, sells security systems which is something of vital importance during the purge. This bloody – yet deliberating – scheme made him very rich, something that his neighbours can’t stand. However, during the purge his son Charlie offers refuge to a stranger who is being chased in the streets. The attackers who had set the target on him, threaten the family to kill them all unless their give them back their prey.

But brave James and his kind-hearted wife Mary (Lena Headey) decide not to give in to the creepy masked attackers’ threats. On the contrary, they decide to fight, which ultimately leads to a bloody massacre.

The idea behind The Purge is a very promising one. A good director and a good writer could do marvels with this concept. American citizens are brain-washed to love and worship the purge and quoting James’s words “this night saved our country”.

The precious family time of sitting on the couch watching TV  turned into watching violent purge events with the children and instead of a good night wish, you get a safe night one. 

The thought of having an entire night to act as brutal and violent as you wish is quite disturbing. Also, the feeling of helplessness that runs through your core when your home is invaded by creepy masked killers who are craving for blood is clearly intense and something that could potentially have great moments of horror and gore to offer.

In the case of The Purge, which is not a gem of pure and original horror, I would have to admit that my interest was kept alive throughout and even though I didn’t bustle with excitement I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the adrenaline scenes of the gun-wielding killers crashing the Sandin’s mansion.

It was cheesy,however, to watch the leader of the attackers pretending to be scary forcing a sinister grin and a menacing stare. But I wouldn’t condemn this film and I wouldn’t dare to say it’s all rubbish.

If you think The Purge was awful, try watching The Attic, or Against the Dark, or even The Task. Then the word “awful” will get a whole different meaning.

For a house invasion horror movie The Purge is not great, but it’s quite decent. I can’t blame it for being terrible, but I do blame it for not taking the idea to a level of excellence.

2 Responses to “The Purge (2013) – Review”
  1. thycriticman says:

    An brilliant idea. Original, fun, and jam packed with potential. What ruined my enjoyment of Purge? Piss poor execution. With that said, I agree that it was not complete rubbish. And I’ll come clean by saying my distaste mainly lies in it not being as good as it should have been.

    Was far from the worst film you can watch at the theaters, Netflix or B Grade DVD’s. I am excited for part 2, because it is taking place outside in the open world. Maybe that one will exceed expectations, or at least be decent quality.


  2. maria kriva says:

    I completely agree!The idea of the Purge was great and hopefully the second part can take advantage of it in a better way than the first one! It is a shame it was not as good as it could have been.


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