Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Movie Review: "The Purge" (2013)

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Movie"The Purge"
Director: James DeMonaco
Year: 2013
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

James Sandin (Ethan Hawke) sells security systems to people in his neighborhood to protect them from the annual Purge. He's also made a fortune doing so, buying a huge house and living a life of ignorant luxury in front of those he's helped protect. He figures just because he has money and a security system, that's enough to keep violence away from him and his family on Purge night. He was dead wrong.

A Lannister always pays their debts.

Government sanctioned crime, one night a year, 12 hours of merciless violence, everything is legal, even murder, in order to purge yourself of all your hatred, anger, and pent-up emotions. Are you in? At precisely 7pm one night a year, the annual Purge begins and people must take shelter and assume the best, or fight for their lives and join in the chaos, murder, and violence. This government sanctioned process was enacted by the New Founding Fathers as part of a reborn United States in response to soaring crime rates, a slumping economy and rising unemployment. The scary part is, it worked. "The Purge" is said to work by those who believe in it because it cleanses your soul. Purge supporters believe in it like they would a religion, and they treat it as such.

On the surface, "The Purge" may appear to be a simple home invasion murder party film, and in some respects, it is. In reality, this is another film about the haves versus the have nots. It actually implies the Purge is a means of getting rid of the poor "trash," society's burdens, though mass population control in an almost 'mass cleansing' of this demographic. It's easy: kill all of the poor and unemployed, and there will be no more poverty and unemployment.

This movie is pretty damn terrifying. The entire thing is frightening to think about, especially knowing where our country is headed now, 3 years after this film's release. It isn't just the overall theme of the movie, it's much more than that. The human element is what scared us. People support this movement, people live for this movement. TV personalities talk about it as happily as they would if they were reporting stories about puppies being adopted. A happy sounding sonata plays over a scene of gruesome murders as the credits roll in the beginning moments of "The Purge," which really reminded us of watching Nazi propaganda films in high school, seeing how people believed in every word Hitler had to say. We got very Hilter-esque vibes throughout the entire thing, actually. The tone sets a genuinely creepy stage for what's to come.

Despite its social commentary on poverty and the ultimate solution, much of it is handled in a clumsy way. What better way to focus on the plight of the impoverished than to focus on a rich white family? Beyond this, a lot of it is predictable, with simple dialogue flushing out its murderous intentions. This makes it mostly flawed. On the most basic level, it's a home invasion type of violent horror film, only this violence is simply legal because it's sanctioned by the government. There's no real twists or turns, you pretty much see everything coming. The suspense is decent and it has a sinister feel to it, especially the masks on the people who show up at the Sandin's doorstep. Overall, this is a relatively good movie with some glaring flaws and a bad ending.

**NOTE: This review has been carried over from my other blog, Lolo Loves Scents, and edited to reflect our thoughts upon a second viewing.

My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 37%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
One year ago, we were watching"Ted"

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