Peninsular Place

Movie Reviews

July 12, 2013

The Purge

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Written by: Treasure Groh
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Film: The Purge

Director: James DeMonaco

Tower rating: 1 out of 5

There are few things I dislike more than paying to sit in a crowded theater and listen to teenagers gossip, laugh and carry on throughout the entire film (man, I’m getting old). But during “The Purge,” I found myself doing exactly that. Despite your curiosities surrounding the seemingly interesting concept, please heed my warning. This movie is bad.

The Sandins are a well-to-do family living in 2022 utopic America, made so by a 12-hour crime-ridden free-for-all held once a year to purge its citizens of their internal hatreds and savage tendencies that they would otherwise have to squelch inside their carnal hearts. The Sandins patriarch, James (Ethan Hawke), is the top salesman in the multi-million dollar home security company that benefits off the Purge. Needless to say, the fam is staying in for the murderous affair, sealing off their home using steel shields and metal bars and planning a “relaxing” evening. But all of that goes out the window when their son Charlie (Max Burkholder) disarms security and allows a man (Edwin Hodge) to escape a group of crazies who are out for blood. Does this stranger want to hurt them? What will the crazies do to get him back? Who are the real killers? How does the family handle this unfortunate set of circumstances?

Well, they don’t do a very good job of it. Mother Mary (Lena Headey) just wanders around the pitch-black home with two loaded guns and never looks behind her. And teen daughter Zooey (Adelaide Kane) is basically never around. Charlie, the catalyst for this whole beast, shows how virtuous he is by sacrificing the safety of his family in order to save a stranger. But, really, how many people thought, “This kid is dumb”? I know I did. James was decent, truly trying to save his family, but fumbles time and again. As for the group of laughable characters who are demanding that the stranger be surrendered to them, well, it’s basically a blend of the creeps from “The Strangers” and the prep kids from “Funny Games.

In truth, I really wanted to love “The Purge.” The concept, albeit contrived and playing a little too heavy on the idea of the “Haves” vs. the “Have-Nots,” seemed relatively intriguing. But, for me, it ended up falling flat.

About the Author

Treasure Groh

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