By Amazonitalian (A Bomb Shelter)
The Purge was a look into America’s what-if future and asks some hard questions. What would we do if we were legally allowed to do anything we wanted, even commit murder one day a year? Would we participate in this Lottery-esque madness or lock ourselves away? The film centers on a family who tries to lock themselves away during this yearly night of madness. Soon after the father activates an elaborate security system, the son allows an injured man to come in. He is being pursued by a gang of privileged young people who mistakenly think it is their lawfully ordained right to hunt the injured man down and kill him.
The gang’s leader is a prep school sociopath and is wonderfully wicked as he threatens the family to give them the man. At first, the father wants to hand him over to save his family, and then reconsiders after his own son makes him see reason. When they don’t capitulate the gang uses chains and trucks to rip the metal doors off and break in, guns blazing. They trash the place while everyone is hiding with only two tiny revolvers and a shotgun.
The family is separated and the father is injured in a shoot-out and just when they catch the mother and her two kids, the neighbors show up and kill the gang. It seems like the end of the movie, but the neighbors are a cult who support the Purge and are going to kill them because the father sold them all security systems that paid for a huge, grandiose addition to the family’s house.
The reason seems silly when it’s written down, but the idea that you can kill or do anything you want is really disturbing. The sociopathic gang members are so creepy that one doesn’t even see it coming when the neighbors turn on them. The unlikely hero is the injured man who saves them from the vengeful neighbors. He plays such a small role in the film and has so little attachment to the family that his actions makes the right decision so heroic that one must think about what decision we would make. I shudder to think what this world could come to.
The sociopath earns a 10 for his Clockwork Orange performance and the family a 10 for seeming very relatable and having everyday problems. The picture wasn’t meant to be a horror film, but it was so disturbing that I have to admit the only one that scared me so badly was Rob Zombie’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre.