The Purge is a futuristic horror-thriller that stars Ethan Hawke (Training Day) and Lena Headey (300). It takes place in the year 2022 and is about a night where all crime is legal and the contributing members of society take out the non-contributors in what is known as the "Annual Purge". When a young boy lets a homeless man into his house during "The Purge", his family is terrorized through the night by a mob of preppy murderers who want to kill the homeless man.
In the film, American society is booming with a 1% unemployment rate, crime is at an all time low, and the American people attribute the turnaround to the fact that mankind is inherently violent and they must participate in the "The Purge" in order to release any pent up hostility towards others.
There is some creepy and even funny imagery as a group of wealthy teenagers wearing scary masks and holding large machetes and guns, wait outside the family's home. They make frightening gestures into the security cameras while demanding the release of the homeless man in order to fulfill their right to "purge". Rhys Wakefield (Sanctum) plays the ringleader of the teenagers. He was really quite good when he first arrived on the scene, but progressively overacted his way through the rest of the movie.
I thought the screenplay was unique and farfetched, but interesting. It was eerie in how they portrayed the wealthy families' nonchalant attitudes about the night dedicated to murder. The way all of the affluent members of the community supported "The Purge" and how it had created a better society is what really made this film feel surreal, like a twisted episode of The Twilight Zone.
There were a few things that I didn't really like about this movie. Primarily, I thought it was too short. It only has a running time of 85 minutes and just when things are starting to get good, the movie ends. The thing I disliked the most about this movie was that it was too predictable. I never felt surprised by anything that happened during the big crisis moments. Also, the dialogue and reactions to the unfolding events were too understated and a little lame at times.
This movie is disturbing and violent, but never really too gory. It is comical at times and has some good action as the family fights through the night for their survival. If you're a horror movie fan and like jumpy moments with twisted comedy, you'll enjoy this film. I myself left slightly disappointed and thought it was just 'okay'.