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Movie Reviews The Purge

The Purge

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If you have a taste for mindless violence, you'll love THE PURGE (2013) starring Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, and Max Burkholder. One of those rare movies who's premise was ripe with potential, we unfortunately are left with little more than just another home-invasion movie.

The year is 2022 and the United States of America, now governed by The Founding Fathers of America, have devised a policy that supposedly eradicates nearly every case of unsanctioned violence in daily society. THE PURGE, an annual 12-hour event in which all criminal activities, up to and including murder, are temporarily legalized appears to be the answer. We join James Sandin, an affluent businessman fighting to protect his family when an unwanted stranger gains access to his home and begs for protection from the mob vying for his throat right outside his front door.

Of course high ranking military and political officials are exempt in the country's annual cleansing, so we immediately realize that THE PURGE becomes an annual class-war fought on the residential streets of local neighbourhoods. With so many chances to explore the psychological choice to purge or to barricade and hide during the annual event, audiences instead find themselves only assaulted with anger and the subsequent violence. Never do we experience the true horror of a society turning on its most vulnerable members past the obligatory bloodshed.

Directed by James Demonaco, what could have been a classic case of society examining its primal urge for retribution has instead devalued itself to the level of just another slasher-movie. But then what should we expect from the producers who brought us PARANORMAL ACTIVITIES, INSIDIOUS, and SINISTER. Rated R, 85 minutes, Horror, Sci-fi, Thriller, ** 2 stars out of 5. 'Safe Night' everyone.

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Reviewed by Lynne Martin June 18, 2013
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