In the future there is a thing known as the purge – a day when anything goes…even murder. This lets people purge themselves of their dark desires, and it means that for the rest of the year everything is perfect. In The Purge we focus on a family (Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder and Adelaide Kane) as they lock themselves in their house and try to stay safe during the night.
I was first interested in The Purge because it reminded me of a Star Trek episode, The Return of the Archons, in which a civilisation has certain time periods where they release their darkest impulses in order to maintain civility and control the rest of the time. Sadly, The Purge did not live up to the concept.
I was hoping that the film would look at what happened during the purge in different areas, and different groups of people because the concept is an interesting one. I thought that it could have talked about the role of crime and morality in our society and what happens in the aftermath of all this stuff. I wanted to explore the darker side of people we think we know, and how things can be lurking beneath the surface. There was a little bit of that towards the end but it wasn’t explored nearly enough for my liking.
Instead we were given a typical home invasion story that has been seen a hundred times before. It didn’t offer anything new to the genre and felt tired and uninspired. The worst sin of this film is that it’s boring. I don’t mind it when films are bad, as long as they have some redeeming features, but when a film is dull it just seems like a waste of time. There’s no tension, there aren’t any scary parts and there’s no reason for anyone to invest themselves in this film. There isn’t even much gore either. It’s like you know that some really interesting stuff is happening outside and the true horror of the movie is that you’re stuck inside with this boring family while a good film is happening somewhere else.
I can’t recommend this at all. Hopefully someone else will do something more interesting with the concept.