Friday, April 25, 2014
Review: The Purge
We have seen plenty of films dealing with a dystopian or not-too-distant future. But in my opinion, we rarely see those types of films that deal with situations that seem realistic and plausible. The Purge definitely does just that and showcases it successfully.
The Purge is set in the not-too-distant future where crime has gone down in America because the government allows one night a year known as "The Purge", when all crime is legal and criminals and whomever can "let off steam". One family who arms the security system in their home find themselves in peril when the son lets a desperate homeless man into their home and the people who want to kill him won't leave until they give him up.
What I Liked About It:
First and foremost, I loved the film's concept. As I said, the concept involving crime being legal one night a year so that people can be able to "let off steam" seems like something that can happen and I don't think has ever been brought to the screen before. So, the writer/director, James DeMonaco, gets major bonus points for originality. Not only that, but he manages to take this concept and weave it into a home invasion thriller, which I thought was pretty neat. Also, as the main characters hold the homeless man in their house, they think of surrendering him, but question whether they are different from the "Purgers" they are hiding from, so the film definitely asks some moral questions about what would happen if you were in this kind of position.
Another thing I thought was interesting was the ending. I don't want to give anything away, but I'll just say the ending is both climactic and anti-climactic. That makes the ending both predictable yet somewhat unpredictable, and I thought that was very neat. I honestly can't give enough praise to James DeMonaco to his originality and one thing that makes me kind of sad is how films with more original concepts, like this and Sinister, get a mixed or just lukewarm reception, while piss-poor films like Paranormal Activity are almost universally praised. Luckily, this film really surpassed its $3,000,000 budget and it did well enough to allow the creation of its upcoming sequel.
What I Didn't Like About It:
I'll be honest and say I did have one big complaint about the film. It is that the event that drives the film's story forward is the scene where the family son lets the homeless guy in. That part bugged me because by letting this homeless guy in, this kid endangers his family. Luckily, the film's aforementioned moral questions manage to almost fix this mistake. Other than that, I have no other issues.
Overall, The Purge is a thrilling home invasion film with a highly original and plausible concept. I would highly give this a watch if you are looking for a horror/thriller film that offers something new to the table or if you want a thriller with some action.