Ah, another disappointing horror film from 2013. The Purge tells the story of the Sandin family, an upper middle-class family who live in a la de da gated community. We meet them on the day of the annual Purge – a 12 hour period during which all crime is legal, there are no emergency services and it’s basically every man for himself.
This ridiculous premise is explained away by proposing that throughout the rest of the year, crime is virtually non-existent, presumably because all of the nation’s criminals have really good self-control and hang fire until the Purge before committing all their wrong-doings. Sigh.
Anyway, the fly in the already improbable ointment is the appearance of a stranger at the door, begging for sanctuary against the murderous Purge-night mentals. The dilemma then is, do you help the stranger or lock him out and keep yourself and your own safe?
A potentially interesting twist on the home invasion sub-genre is wasted with some poor execution. While the invaders are initially very sinister, The Purge just falls flat. It’s predictable and lacks any real pizazz or excitement, however hard Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey may try.