The Horror Asylum

Sign Up   Forgot Password? 
11,606 horror articles & features | 6,949 horror movies | 1,530 horror reviews | 1,244 giveaways hosted | 220 delicious interviews Established in 2001  
The Horror Asylum
  Horror News   Reviews   Giveaways   Interviews
Movies | TV | DVDs | Books | Games Movies | DVD | Books | Games Just Added | Ending Soon Just Added | Archives
Home About Enquiries Submissions Advertising Premium Feeds Cookies

LATEST HORROR HEADLINES

FRIGHTFEST 2016: You've Come a Long, Creepy Way in the Dark, Baby! 'Injustice For All' Fan Project Pleases Those Left Underwhelmed by 'Suicide Squad' The Five Best Horror Movies of 2016 So Far Corruptive Challenges: Selling Your Morals for Money
Twisted Games: Classic Games Featured in Horror Russian Film Noir Finds Transylvanian Female Composer 'Video Killer' Gets Cool New DVD Artwork and Trailer GirlFightMovie.com Reveals its Latest 'GirlFight:inVite' Short Trailer

WIN a Soundtrack Digital Download with LIGHTS OUT
WIN a Soundtrack Digital Download with LIGHTS OUT
WIN a Limited Merchandise Bundle with Stephen King's CELL in Cinemas
WIN a Limited Merchandise Bundle with Stephen King's CELL in Cinemas
WIN The Wave on Blu-ray
WIN The Wave on Blu-ray
WIN Tank 432 on DVD
WIN Tank 432 on DVD
WIN Gotham Season 2 on Blu-ray™
WIN Gotham Season 2 on Blu-ray™
WIN Horror Anthology SOUTHBOUND on Blu-ray
WIN Horror Anthology SOUTHBOUND on Blu-ray


The Purge
Buy from Play.com Buy from Zavvi.com

The Purge (2013)

movie | Movie Details
Images, Posters, News
| Comments
Have your say

Plot Summary:
"Given the country's overcrowded prisons, the U.S. government begins to allow 12-hour periods of time in which all illegal activity is legal. During one of these free-for-alls, a family must protect themselves from a home invasion."


Review by
Ryan McDonald
Follow me:
@horrorasylum
Review Date: 21 June 2014 My Rating: out of 5

 

Set in a near future America where the new founding fathers have curbed crime via an annual, one-night purge, whereby all criminal activity is permitted, yes even murder. Apparently, this is meant to satiate all anti-social urges, but it mostly seems like a way for the affluent to murder themselves some po’ folk. Ethan Hawke plays an installer of hi-tech security devices, and obviously he makes a pretty penny around this time of year. He’s also a family man, and neither he nor wife Lena Headey see the need to participate in the purge, holing up in their well-protected house with tech-obsessed son Max Burkholder, and rebellious teen daughter Adelaide Kane. Unfortunately, as the purge begins, two intruders find their way into the home. Kane’s boyfriend turns up, wanting to have a talk with her dad, whilst socially-conscious Burkholder wants to save a homeless black man from being a purge victim. It’s this latter act which alerts the attention of and earns the ire of a bloodthirsty mob headed by suited, demonically grinning Rhys Wakefield (dressed in what looks like a private school uniform- he clearly comes from money and privilege). They want the homeless man…or else.

Despite the mixed reviews, I think writer/director James DeMonaco (writer of “The Negotiator” and “Skinwalkers”) does a damn good job of taking a nifty but potentially thin idea and sustaining tension and interest pretty well throughout this 2013 horror-thriller. I was worried at first that he was going for a right-wing, pro-gun statement here, but by the end you definitely can’t argue that. That’s a good thing, because there’s just no way that a purge would ever work in real society. Someone who gets off on breaking the law or has urges that are uncontrollable would likely either not benefit from the one-night purge, or would exploit it beyond its intentions. Arguably it’d never see the light of day to begin with, but I was willing to go along with the premise to that extent, otherwise why bother watching? But it ain’t no pro-NRA film, that’s for sure.

It’s certainly a contentious and interesting premise that gives lots of opportunities for tension, suspense, and home invasion terror. It begins with a somewhat creepy, impending sense of dread, and even the central family aren’t terribly comforting to begin with. 90s hipster actor Ethan Hawke seems emotionally stifled and practically choking on his own tie, Lena Headey gives off a superficial housewife/suburban vibe that could harbour dark urges underneath, and youngest son Max Burkholder’s robot-obsessed little weirdo could really go either way. And it only gets creepier when former “Home & Away” actor Rhys Wakefield (co-star Adelaide Kane, by the way, was briefly featured on the rival Aussie soap “Neighbours” a few years back) turns up grinning maniacally like a Stanley Kubrick character and dressed like a wannabe Patrick Bateman. Subtle he isn’t, but creepy he certainly is, in an effective casting against type. As his polar opposite, Ethan Hawke is hardly the most charismatic guy in the world, but cast as a mild-mannered abstainer from the purge, he’s well-utilised.

OVERALL SUMMARY
This might have a few holes and contrivances in it (However, I must say that some of the stupid behaviour is committed by the kid and the horny teen, so it’s not exactly unbelievable), but the premise is intriguing, the tension is kept pretty much throughout, and overall this is one of the more original horror-thrillers of the last few years. I’m not sure what the mixed reviews are all about. To me, this one’s a winner, and best of all, doesn’t stick around long.



Reviewer: Lisa Giles-Keddie @FilmGazer
Location:London, UK
Review Date: 30 May 2013 My Rating: out of 5

Imagine a night where any crime is legal, including murder. Who would you ‘purge’ given half a chance? Writer-director James DeMonaco’s The Purge is more frightening in concept than conception, though it’s still a solid and watchable affair. It doesn’t offer any new chills that other under siege-style horrors haven’t already. It’s also not as creepy as Paranormal Activity or Sinister – though producer Jason Blum’s influence is apparent having worked on all three. However, The Purge’s initial strength before the mayhem begins is fuelling that deep-seated fear of lawlessness and loss of control, heightened by the horn that signals the start of ‘anything goes’ – including our viewing journey.

It’s America but one of the near future where employment is at one per cent and crime is virtually unheard of, thanks to a government-sanctioned, 12-hour period where any and all criminal activity, including murder, becomes legal. The Purge is a night of citizen rule designed to clean the streets of undesirables. Some go out to purge, while others like the Sandins stay at home behind metal barricades until the 7am siren sounds the end. However, this time, when a distressed intruder breaks into their home, the family must make a moral decision that could cost them their own lives.

Like Paranormal Activity or Sinister, The Purge is most successful when it relies on the power of voyeurism through CCTV to titillate, waiting for the action to play out into screen, and in so doing, building up our anticipation of the first big scare. The rest is a cat-and-mouse chase through darkened corridors and rooms in a plush and expensive abode with some satisfying jumpy moments. That said it does suffer from prompting its next move at times that lessens the impact. It could also have been a lot darker by toying with and exploring the psychological effects, but it’s more content with funny-looking masked characters popping out of dark corners with little imagination spent on how.

The Purge also suffers from that saccharin Hollywood horror gloss, more concerned with how attractive its characters and their lifestyle look – even when wounded and blooded – than getting downright ugly and twisted. In that respect, Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey are perfectly adequate in their roles, but there’s none of the tortured appeal of Hawke’s author character Ellison Oswalt in Sinister.

The standout performance comes from Rhys Wakefield as the polite, smiling stranger who comes a-knocking at the Sandins with his frenzied band of well-to-do flower power kids. Wakefield’s character represents the worst nature of the privileged that this night of legalised slaughter truly benefits behind a real, live mask of his own. It’s his chilling social commentary that is the most terrifying to contemplate as he explains in a maniacal but disturbingly reasonable fashion into CCTV camera why he is acting as he does. Like a present-day Clockwork Orange character, he has an intelligent but alarmingly unhinged and mysterious persona, making him all the more effective in delivery.

OVERALL SUMMARY
Equally shocking and uncomfortable to watch is the chosen target of the night who takes refuge in the Sandins’ home. There’s no mistaking the racial cleansing connotations here, and the labelling of certain groups deemed more responsible for reported crime. In that respect, DeMonaco’s film challenges engrained social stereotypes, say, with rough sleepers – do pay attention to the target’s attire. It even poses the question of what secrets are kept inside America’s gated communities who are perhaps as culpable. The story has an end twist that with hindsight is set up at the start. Again, the film’s strength is in what is not actually being said. The Purge offers an intellectual debate first and foremost, rather than any memorable shocks and horrors. It also exposes a new talent for acting the madman in Wakefield, leading to exciting things to come. DeMonaco should be happy to be instrumental in that.




Blood and Guts: Comments

Username:
Password:

Not Registered?
Sign up for FREE >>




 
There are currently no comments.
Why not have your say!?



Watch and Stream Horror Movies Online
using the Vidmate App

LATEST REVIEWS

Darling Movie Review

Darling

Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead Movie Review

Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead

Theyre Watching Movie Review

Theyre Watching

The Open Door Movie Review

The Open Door

The Gallows Movie Review

The Gallows

Most Likely to Die Movie Review

Most Likely to Die

The Conjuring 2 Movie Review

The Conjuring 2

[REC] 4: Apocalypse Movie Review

[REC] 4: Apocalypse

The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) Movie Review

The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence)

The Final Girls Movie Review

The Final Girls

Moth Movie Review

Moth

Torment Movie Review

Torment

The Sacrament Movie Review

The Sacrament

Mr. Jones Movie Review

Mr. Jones

Asmodexia Movie Review

Asmodexia

LATEST GIVEAWAYS

WIN a Soundtrack Digital Download with LIGHTS OUT WIN a Limited Merchandise Bundle with Stephen King's CELL in Cinemas
WIN The Wave on Blu-ray WIN Tank 432 on DVD
WIN Gotham Season 2 on Blu-ray™ WIN Horror Anthology SOUTHBOUND on Blu-ray
WIN a CRIMINAL Blu-ray Movie Bundle WIN The Bloodstained Butterfly on Dual Format Blu-ray and DVD
WIN Identicals on DVD WIN Reckless on DVD

AN INTERVIEW WITH

An Interview with Charlie Clouser
Charlie Clouser







Vampires.com Werewolves.com