Once again another movie that I had extreme expectations for is here and once again I’m finding that Hollywood is not living up to those expectations. The trailer for “The Purge” was and still is one of the most captivating trailers I have ever seen in my life and its premise is one that I found to be top notch. But with mediocre execution and unnecessary plot points, “The Purge” flops in many places and becomes just another average thriller with an incredibly original idea.
“The Purge” focuses on a near future America where everyday life has become a peaceful and productive function. There is barely any unemployment, the economy is striving and crime is at an all-time low…save for one exception. The Purge is an event held once a year which allows people to “cleanse themselves” and release the hatred they have built inside them for one night and one night alone. During this night, crime is legal, anything goes, even murder. Our story focuses on the Sandins, a wealthy family that does not partake in The Purge but does support it full heartedly. After a helpless stranger is let into their well-guarded house by one of the two children, they find themselves in the middle of a cat-and-mouse chase when a group of intimidating masked people threaten to kill them all.
Dystopian societies in fiction have always interested me greatly and this premise set up a very frightening reality that isn’t too far-out to be shrugged off. Although it does not pan out in a “realistic” way like I wanted it to, there is still some fun to be had and I will say that the film was very unnerving. Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey were the films two main protagonists and they pulled off their performances very well, but some of the writing held them back from their true potential. And yes, the children in this film will annoy you to the extreme and you will sigh at the many clichéd occurrences where the family decides it’s best to split up, but when it’s all said and done, the film still entertains for what it is and you’ll want to bring a couple friends just to crack at its many imperfections.