The latest news in film and entertainment across Canada!

Review: The Purge


In the year 2022, America has changed, sort of. There is still a lot of unnecessary patriotism and ugly planned communities, but the economy is flourishing and crime and poverty are at incredible lows. This is all because on one night of the year, there is no law, and people can exorcise their internal demons by vandalizing, raping, and killing. Security salesman James Sandin gathers with his family inside his locked house during the annual purge, but things are not as secure as they think, and they are forced to fight to survive the night against a group of psychotics.

Who’s in it?
Ethan Hawke, a year after starring in the eerie horror flick Sinister, plays a father once again, while his wife is played by nerdom star Lena Headey (Game of Thrones, The Sarah Connor Chronicle, 300).  Both are wasted, sadly, and an attempt by Rhys Wakefield to play a creepy, deranged villain fails.

There is such emptiness, such laziness, and such great stupidity making up The Purge that to hate it would be a waste of emotion – it’s not worth it. Head-scratchingly bad, and filled with unused potential, especially when it comes to the two leads, this film written and directed by James DeMonaco is less a movie and more of a simple idea scribbled on a barroom napkin, that should have stayed there.

A labored beginning that shows us that everyone is comfortable with a 12-hour period where killing is cool sets up the Sandin family as relatively normal if not incredibly clichéd. Father is proud of his work, son is weird and awkward, daughter fools around secretly with a boy, and wife, well she is just really attractive.

As they shutter their doors and windows, they aren’t as secure as they think, especially since they can’t keep their insubordinate and idiotic kids in line. Both screw up big time and jeopardize the family a night where you’re going to want to be very careful. You can buy the premise, but within this alternate world where New Founding Fathers have instituted the purge, a movie goer cannot simply forgive the stupidity of the children.

Their dumb acts are simply a lazy means to create a problem, but the laziness continues throughout. Action clichés abound, even though there isn’t much action. We have villains standing over their prey talking way too much instead of killing, and we have family members talking too much when they should be running and hiding. We have children being stupid then apologetic, we have father suddenly becoming an action hero, and we see the cold hearted turned warm.

All of this is set against the not-so-subtle economic themes that are meant to be more interesting than they really are. The purge may simply be a way to eradicate the poor in this society, and those that are well off can be safe, and those that have-not cannot. The Sandins don’t feel the need to murder, or do they? Who cares? All of it falls flat with a deafening thud in a wasteful, forgettable, and egregiously feeble summer film.

Should You See It?
No, not now, not ever, no matter how tempting or decent it looks. We cannot let anything like this be made ever again.

Memorable Quote:
“Well be fine just like always, no worries.” Oh, how ominous!

[star v=1]

Anthony Marcusa

A pop-culture consumer, Anthony seeks out what is important in entertainment and mocks what is not. Inspired by history, Anthony writes with the hope that someone, somewhere, might be affected.

  • Scott Robinson

    What a BAD review of a film, so monotonous and one sided, very very bad work here whoever the amateur critic is!

  • Javier Montoya

    I didn’t think the review was bad. It actually echoed my thoughts exactly. What kind of real-life kids disappear into the darkness of the house for no good reason at all other than to inconvenience their parents and prolong the film. Every one of the ‘good’ characters was completely useless except for the father. The kids needlessly create more problems and the mother as well. If you’re going to have an inner moral conflict why have it when your children’s lives are at stake!? It would be much more believable to me that any mother would stop at nothing to save her children’s lives. I couldn’t ignore that characters disappeared from the scene for long periods of time for no reason. This movie did a poor job of being believable at any level. I found myself hoping the kids would die for most of the second half of the movie. Someone give me one good reason why it’s better to stalk your victim or explain to them your whole evil plan rather than just kill them, considering that’s your only reason for being in their home in the first place. Completely lazy writing here.

  • Shari Ballon

    Don’t judge the review so harshly before you see it for yourself. I’ts closer than you think.

  • Bryan Murray

    Yes , the film is terribly done but as the studios have learned , there are people , lots of people that will see this crap and they can be made on the cheap