Movie Title: The Purge
Date Released: June 7th, 2013
Date Seen: June 7th, 2013
Seen with: Marcela
Part 1 – Spoiler Free Quickie Review
As a horror movie lover, and a weird futuristic kind of world lover, this movie was right up my alley, and love at first trailer viewing. If you’ve seen the trailer, you know what you are getting. A very interesting premise where in the year 2022, crime is at an all time low, unemployment is at 1%, and each year crime is legal for 12 hours. We follow one family as their usual night of safety goes awry when their son lets in an unknown man who was being chased, into their house. A group of people descend upon the house demanding to be given this man – or else they will enter the home and wreck havoc upon the family.
The acting, for a horror movie, is actually exceedingly great. You know Ethan Hawke is going to be good, he always is awesome. He does look his age in this movie, but it works. The real standout, I thought, was Rhys Wakefield as the “polite stranger”. He’s the one you see in the trailer explaining that they just want that man and want to kill him. He was just so creepy and yet weirdly hot at the same time. Granted, he’s a hot guy, but usually when they are playing a murderer, you don’t really want to jump their bones anymore. But nope, he was awesome. He had that kind of Hannibal Lector feel about him. What I mean by that is that nice polite, respectful tone, with a real strong sense of morals / what is right, despite how demented those morals may be to the rest of us. I really like that about that character. There is one character you will hate with a passion. A strong, burning passion of 1000 suns. The son, Charlie, played by Max Burkholder. If you’ve seen the trailer, you probably already hate his guts because he’s an idiot. Trust me, he is even more idiotic as you watch it. I kept hoping he’d die. Spoiler Alert: he doesn’t. Dang it.
The movie is slightly predictable, but it’s so fast, and full of little “twists” (I say twists because a few are super predictable), that you don’t really care. It builds the tension quickly by watching how seemingly normal everything is on the day of the Purge, but you know it is coming that night. The family essentially does their same routine, but with the news and radio mentioning the Purge at all times – they talk about the social ramifications of the Purge, why it helps society (primal instinct or a “spiritual” release?). If you pay attention, you’ll know the biggest twist pretty quick. But, I didn’t care. It was still good.
The movie took a social commentary stance with the way it went about who the real “bad” guys were. I liked the social commentary as it dealt with class issues and hinted at race issues but didn’t address them full on. All the people coming to the house are rich, white, and “well-educated” as they describe themselves. The guy being chased by them, who is let into the house by the son, is a black homeless man. They feel that they are cleansing the world from his sins – of being poor and homeless. This was a place where I thought the movie could have taken a better turn, and come out as an AMAZING movie. Instead of choosing to pick the social commentary – the writer could have chosen to NOT tell us anything about the black guy. Then, like the discussions at the beginning of the movie on TV and radio, it would have been a nice little thought about whether or not you should kill this man, send him outside/etc. As in – does it matter what he did? Do you even need to know to attempt to save him? What quantifies if your life is worth more than his? But alas, the movie did not take this route. They did though keep all of the assailants masked, except for the “polite stranger” obviously. I loved this because it kept them faceless and anonymous – as in does it matter what they looked like? They could have been anyone – any one of you people watching this movie.
Part 2 – In Depth Spoiler Ridden Review
Like I said up above, the son, Charlie, is the most annoying person in this movie. He does SO many idiotic things in this movie. I think part of the problem is his age. The actor was like 14-15 when they filmed it, but granted he does have a young face so he looks to be about, 12? That’s the problem. His actions are those of maybe a 6-8 year old that doesn’t understand ANYTHING about the Purge and the ramifications of letting an unknown man, covered in blood, on a night where all crime is legal, into your house. Then, the stupid brat continues to help the guy out – even though he has just heard all the people chasing the man threaten his own entire family if they don’t deliver that man. I wanted him to die, so bad. Everything that happened that night was a direct result of this idiot kids actions. He even says that he spent all day in school talking about the history of the Purge, and the Purge has gone for I think it was about 10 years…. so seriously, this kid should know whats up, but he clearly doesn’t. I hated him. How did those smart parents raise such a little dipshit? We will never know.
The fight scenes were alright, they were just so quick. I wanted more of them, or more count and mouse type hunting. But, given how short the movie was (85 mins), you couldn’t pack much more into it, besides making it longer, which would have been fine with me. I also would have taken more gore, but again, I’m demented.
Still a very good premise, not long enough to get you bored or have too many stupid scenes, with a nice social commentary that it could have taken farther but didn’t. Not too gory, but still violent and creepy.