HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
   
 
Newest Articles
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
   
 
  Purge, The Oh What A Night
Year: 2013
Director: James DeMonaco
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane, Edwin Hodge, Rhys Wakefield, Tony Oller, Arija Bareikis, Tom Yi, Chris Mulkey, Tisha French, Dana Bunch
Genre: Horror, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: The year is 2022 and a solution to America's social problems has finally been found: it's called The Purge. With unemployment at 1% and crime down to negligible figures, what is the nation's secret? It is something businessman James Sandin (Ethan Hawke) has made his fortune with, thanks to his company which sells home security systems, and those are only needed on one night of the year. That is The Purge, when for a few hours of darkness all crime is allowed, and save for a few government and military officials everyone is fair game. With the population offered the chance to behave as badly as they please for the evening, all the other days are peaceful.

This introduced a science fiction concept to what looked to have been inspired by a fondness for the siege part of Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs, and really did very well at the box office for a low to medium budget horror movie, but not everyone was satisfied with what they saw. Although the premise brought the paying customers in to check out what writer and director James DeMonaco had concoted, many of them were quite happy to shoot the whole thing down in flames immediately afterwards as utterly unbelievable, ignoring the fact this was set in an invented dystopian future, or at least one for a sole night, and therefore should be judged on those terms.

Obviously if you had the opportunity to murder whoever you wanted with no consequences you would not jump at the chance and set about bumping off the person who most pissed you off, or you wouldn't unless you were some kind of maladjusted menace to society at any rate, in which case you would probably not be waiting for someone's permission to give in to your worst impulses. But you had to go with the notion that once the population had gotten used to the idea of permitted violence, there would be those who embraced it and make Purge Night a misery for the rest of us, or the rest of those in the United States, at least, where the horror stories of individuals attacking their countrymen and women were a daily event.

A certain paranoia had to be courted then, although some criticisers had a point when they complained the characters were too rich to be appropriate for such a storyline, and had DeMonaco concentrated on those in a poorer neighbourhood his pretensions to a social commentary would have more traction. As it was, there was really only one character who fitted that bill, and he didn't even have a name, he was simply "Bloody Stranger" (Edwin Hodge) who the Sandins warily take in when son Charlie (Max Burkholder) takes pity on him as he runs panicking through the gated community. Quite how he arrived there is never truly explained, but we have to assume the rich kids with weapons looking for a Most Dangerous Game recreation caught him in order to assert their social domination.

Which they do by laying siege to the Sandins' mansion, their leader (Rhys Wakefield, by far the most charismatic performer in the movie) smoothly demanding the stranger be released to them. Do James and his wife Mary (Lena Headey) give in to their consciences and provide shelter, or do they throw their visitor to the wolves? If there was one thing The Purge lacked, it wasn't moral dilemmas no matter how forced they were, it was a sense of the wider world going to pot for one night, as we never see much of the mayhem outside the relatively small location the plot concentrates on, but they only had so much cash at their disposal and you could argue keeping it claustrophobic worked in its favour. Still, there were illogicalities where you wondered if anyone had thought this through - would the unpopular with the parents boyfriend really win over his girlfriend (Adelaide Kane) by shooting her father?! - though that was the nature of the beast, most violence is not considered with a plan for the consequences. Yes, The Purge was farfetched, but diverting for all that. Music by Nathan Whitehead.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1556 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: