In the near future the American government decides to try a radical new approach to tackle crime. They will allow ordinary citizens one night during the year where they can commit crime without being punished by the law. The idea ostensibly is that it will give ordinary citizens the chance to release any pent up frustration or negative urges they have inside them. The emergency services will be suspended on this night and so will the police. That is the main concept in this new horror thriller and it is a very strange idea that defies logic. The film takes place several years after the Purge experiment which happens one night every year.
The trailer gives the viewer the impression that the experiment is a success as titles on the screen indicate that crime is at an all time low as a result of the Purge. This knowledge is surprising and it makes the films plot even more bizarre. The negative repercussions of such a disastrous idea are many and it would take ages to debate all of them. The film may struggle to come up with a plausible explanation as to how this idea could work. Maybe the film operates on the idea that some people would be motivated to be nicer to each other. This decision would be borne out of fear of reprisals from enemies when the Purge comes round. If a person has no enemies then they are less likely to be targeted during the Purge. Things are never that simple though and people are not always able to control their negative urges. Most perpetrators would not behave all year and politely wait for one night to commit crimes. The Purge seems to be an experiment that takes the idea of Individualist anarchism to the extreme.
In the film Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey play a rich family with a young son and daughter living in a nice neighborhood. When the Purge hits they barricade themselves in their well-fortified home and try to ride out the storm. Things fall apart however when a young man turns up on their doorstep begging for help and seeking refuge from a mob. The man then enters the home when the young son in the family disables the security system. The system is then quickly reactivated and the man joins the family as they wait for the Purge to end. Unfortunately the masked gang that is after the man turn up on the doorstep and threaten the family. If they gives up the victim they will be left alone. If not they will all be killed. All hell then breaks loose as the protagonists try to defend themselves from the attackers. The Purge is basically another home invasion movie that the writers have tried to spice up with an unconventional plot.
The action in the trailer is thrilling and The Purge is certainly a movie that will attract attention. Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey are well cast as the rich couple and they are reliable actors. Max Burkholder and Adelaide Kane also look fairly convincing as the son and daughter. The trailer is also nicely edited and it makes clever use of CCTV footage. The music is effective and it gets progressively creepy towards the end of the trailer. The masked killers also look rather psychotic and the ringleader (played by Rhys Wakefield) delivers a chilling ultimatum to the family which is very effective at creating tension. The Purge is a movie that has the potential to be an effective horror thriller. Everything hinges on how well made the film is and whether or not people are willing to suspend enough disbelief to accept the plot. Some viewers may disregard the film entirely because the main concept is too ridiculous for them.
The fact that The Purge is a home invasion movie means that it will no doubt focus on the main protagonists. This would be a shame as it would be cool to also see the effects the Purge has on wider society. Doing this would also elevate the film to something more than just another home invasion genre effort.
Fans willing to suspend disbelief regarding the ludicrous plot in The Purge can catch the movie when it is released on May 31st.
Have a look at the trailer and share your thoughts.