Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Purge

Movie Name: The Purge
Year of Release: 2013
Director: James DeMonaco
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane, Edwin Hodge, Rhys Wakefield, Tony Oller, Arija Bareikis, Tom Yi, Chris Mulkey, Tisha French, Dana Bunch
Genre: Thriller, Horror
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 2

James DeMonaco has made his career as a screenwriter, with the remake of "Assault on Precint 13" being one of his most visible features. "The Purge" takes place in a nearby future, one where unemployment and violence have been almost wiped out from society. This has been accomplished by using "The Purge", a night where everyone can do whatever they want, in terms of violence and mayhem. It's during this night that the Sandin family gets prepared to spend it within the confinements of their protected shelter. That is until Charlie, the young son, lets a hunted man into their household. What follows is a game of resistance, with the captors trying to get their prey.
This low budget film, has a very interesting premise - it questions and raises issues pertaining to the social tissue of society, racial issues, all filled with great potential. However the director opts to make the film more specifically about the violence that surrounds a family and how the gradual realization of the deeply rotten core of a ritual, actually represents the perversity of what lies within that society. What could have been a fantastically accomplished thriller, claustrophobic and filled with tension, quickly degenerates into a series of cliches (and shootouts), which sadly make the film a lot less interesting. Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey try to make the best of their characters, but have sadly little to do, other than act scared and scream when required. An interesting premise wasted in a forgettable film.