Movie Review: “The Purge”

   I haven’t posted a review of a horror-film in a while. In-part, that’s because I have been saving them up for October. However, with the release of The Purge: Anarchy on Friday, I decided that I would make an exception.

    I hope that The Purge 2 actually plays somewhere in my area. Last year, I wasn’t too lucky with the first one. We will see what happens though.

   The Purge is a 2013 American science-fiction horror thriller film written and directed by James DeMonaco. (Other-wise known for The Negotiator) The film stars Ethan Hawke in the lead with a supporting cast of Lena Headey, Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane, Edwin Hodge, Tony Oller, Rhys Wakefield, Arija Bareikis, and Chris Mulkey. 

   The premise of the film is what drew a lot of people’s attention. Basically, in-order to keep crime-rate down, every year, there is an annual Purge. For twenty-four hours, all crimes are considered as legal, including murder. Once implementing this new way of handling things, crime has dwindled. Civilians lock their doors and live in fear of this singular day.    The Purge revolves around a family that attempts to survive through the day.

    There was a lot of intrigue in this idea. Which is why it was able to make nearly one-hundred million dollars at the box-office with only a three million dollar budget. With Ethan Hawke in the leading role, it certainly seemed like a higher-tier horror-movie.

    Unfortunately, the concept fails at reaching its potential.

    The characters feel entirely one-dimensional. This isn’t something that should feel like too important of a factor. This is a high-concept horror film. While it is definitely appreciated, they aren’t really expected to have in-depth characters. People head to the theater for these types of movies to either be afraid or see a sadism depicted on the screen. A vicarious thrill, someone could call it. After all, a slasher movie usually has a formulaic routine of introducing its characters and having them picked off one-by-one until the end. 

    What always mattered for me was that the characters entertain me. Unfortunately, nobody really has too much of an opportunity to do it. The leader of the gang that visits the house is the character I liked the most. Nobody really has much time, but he is one of the characters that I wish I would have been able to see more of. There isn’t very many scares, and once more, scares weren’t really what I went into this movie expecting. What I expected was elaborate scenes of demented escapism.

    Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of creativity to it. The movie seems like it wanted to be more of a thriller, but would’ve excelled more properly through character-driven antagonists.

    Other-wise, it’s watchable. It isn’t anything that’s worth jumping up and down about, but until the end, it isn’t too insanely nonsensical. By the end, it really, really loses itself and becomes too stupid for its own good. They don’t build up to the conclusion. In-fact, with a run-time of only around eighty-seven minutes, they don’t actually build to much of anything.

    In conclusion, I wish I would have had more to say about this one, but it just doesn’t really offer much of anything to go off of. The premise screams potential, but what comes out of it is a wasted opportunity. It fails at character development or a strong antagonist character, and more importantly, it fails at entertainment.

    I have hopes for The Purge: Anarchy though. From the trailers, it looks like the film will be really hitting the right notes. I am hoping that I’ll be able to have a review up on Saturday about it.

Rating: – 2.0 out of 5.0