THE PURGE (2013) Reviews and overview

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‘One night a year. All crime is legal.’

The Purge is a 2013 American horror thriller film written and directed by James DeMonaco (co-scriptwriter of Skinwalkers).

The movie stars Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Edwin Hodge and Max Burkholder. It was produced by Michael Bay, Jason Blum (Blumhouse) and Jeanette Brill.

On a budget of $3 million The Purge took $89.3 million at the box office. Three sequels and a TV series have followed…


If on one night every year, you could commit any crime without facing consequences, what would you do? In The Purge, a speculative thriller that follows one family over the course of a single night, four people will be tested to see how far they will go to protect themselves when the vicious outside world breaks into their home.

In an America wracked by crime and overcrowded prisons, the government has sanctioned an annual 12-hour period in which any and all criminal activity—including murder—becomes legal. The police can’t be called. Hospitals suspend help. It’s one night when the citizenry regulates itself without thought of punishment.

On this night plagued by violence and an epidemic of crime, one family wrestles with the decision of who they will become when a stranger comes knocking…



The Purge has a plethora of brilliant ideas that are all underdeveloped. It’s as if DeMonaco didn’t know how to express his own frustrations with our society, which end up on screen like a conspiracy theorist spewing thousands of ideas he’s heard without ever researching or understanding them himself. And with that comes an insanely unfocused, diluted and generic thriller that carries zero impact.” Bloody Disgusting



” …watching it in theaters – watching audiences howling and cheering for gruesome violence – is enough to fill your head with dread about who your neighbor in the next seat truly is – or at least would be, given an opportunity to “purge themselves.” There is definitely something unnervingly relevant and timely about The Purge and its commentary on our collective (and respective) psychology.” Screen Rant

“Horror fans, be warned: it’s bit of a stretch to label this a horror movie, despite the marketing’s efforts to brand it as such. It’s more of a very loud and violent thriller with a little gore, with most of the action (and hell, most of the narrative) centered around gunplay.” Shock Till You Drop

“The problem is that for the filmmaker’s thesis to have any power, one has to blindly disregard the story’s multiple logic issues. For instance, if anyone could kill anyone during this 12-hour period in the US, why would anyone stay indoors in the same domicile as other people? Why wouldn’t Americans simply flee the country during the Purge?” Tim Grierson, Screen Daily



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