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Warning: Major Spoilers Ahead!

Today is the release of the anticipated thriller film The Purge from the producers of Sinister and Paranormal Activity. If anyone knows me they know that I love horror and thriller films of all kind, especially the ones by the previously mentioned producers. Their films are scary (the first Paranormal Activity, Sinister, Insidious) and if they aren’t scary they are at least entertaining to watch if not a bit predictable (the other Paranormal Activity films).  The Purge was neither scary nor entertaining. If I had to describe the film in a single word I would have to use the word frustrating.  I was frustrated with the characters, mostly the son. I was frustrated with the plot. I was frustrated with everything.

The concept of The Purge is that America has a one night a year where all crimes, including murder, are completely legal. From 7pm to 7 am everything is up for grabs. There are no cops, no firefighters, and absolutely no medical teams available during the Purge. James Sandin, played by Ethan Hawke, is a wealthy security salesman. It’s his job to sell American families the protection they need to stay alive during the Purge.

The movie starts one hour before the Purge starts at the Sandin house, which is located in a very well of neighborhood, where mom, Lena Headey, and their teenage children, Charlie and Zoey, live. The family isn’t really preparing for the Purge because they have the best security money can buy. The mother is your average housewife. The son, Charlie, a brainy child who has built his own remote control car with a night vision camera attached to it. The daughter Zoey is an over the top moody 18 year-old who complains and broods every chance she gets because he parents won’t let her date her older boyfriend. Up until this point the movie is fine. The pacing is good and the audience gets a feel for what kind of a family the Sandins’ are.

At 7 o’clock the Purge starts and the family “locks up”. Thick metal doors drop over the doors and windows with cameras located all around the house so the family can see outside making the house seemingly impregnable. Soon after the Purge starts a man runs down the road screaming for help. The son then runs into the security control room and disarms the house causing the thick metal walls to retract. Charlie beckons the stranger to get refuge in the home. When the parent’s realize that the security has been disarmed they run into control room and rearm the house, but it’s too late. The stranger is already in the house. Here is where my first problem with the son comes in. He’s supposed to be smart and he even mentions that they learned about the history of the Purge at school so he clearly knows what’s going on. So why on earth would he disarm the house let alone allow someone stranger into his family’s home. They don’t know what this man could do, what weapons he might have on him. There is no logical reason why an educated person would do this. And why did Charlie even know the password to disarm the house? That’s not important.

The Sandin’s manage to lose the stranger in their massive home. When trying to figure out what they are going to do they notice that a group of masked strangers are standing at their front door brandishing all sorts of weapons. The leader of the group takes off his mask and very politely asks the Sandins to return the man to them. The group doesn’t want to hurt them at all; they just want the “homeless scum”.  So they offer them an ultimatum they have until the groups back up arrives to return the man to them or the group will force themselves into the home where they will kill the family as well as the homeless man. I don’t mean to sound heartless but to me the choice is clear. Give them their man. But the son complains that they can’t kill the man. Is this kid stupid? Does he not realize that everyone will die if this one man doesn’t?

Using his remote control camera Charlie leads the homeless man to Charlie’s secret spot, which is located behind the paneling in the boy’s closet. The family eventually finds the man after Zoey tries to hide in the secret spot. They tie him up where Charlie again pleads for them not to kill him. The homeless man eventually tells James to hand him over to the group so the family will be spared. But of course it’s just then that the group’s back up arrives with a pickup truck. They tare off the metal barricade and get into the home. James tells the children to hide and tells the wife to fight for their children’s lives.

Charlie hides in the pitch-black basement but for some reason the boy won’t turn off his flashlight. Part of me thinks that this kid wants to die. Even if you’re playing hide and seek with your friends you would turn off the light, let alone with people with weapons who have made it clear that they want to kill you. He might as well walk out with a target strapped to his chest. The boy is of course found but is saved by the dad.

The group’s leader eventually kills off the father and the neighbor’s who show up at the last possible second kills off the rest of the group. Thinking that they are saved the mom thanks her neighbors but of course the neighbors tell the mom not to thank them yet. The group of neighbors ties up the family and tell them that they’ve all hated the family because of the new extension the Sandin’s have added to their house. That the Sandin’s are rubbing how much it cost in their faces. Wait what? The neighbor’s want to kill the family because the dad was good at his job. What the actual fuck. It’s not like the dad sold them faulty security to get ahead at work. He sold them good security systems that under normal Purge conditions would keep them safe. The stranger that the son initially let in saves the family and offers to kill the neighbors but the mom says that she won’t have any more deaths in her home. So everyone, a neighbor included, sits down at the dinner table and waits for 7 o’clock in the morning to come. That’s it. That’s how it ends.

I, and the rest of the theater, spent the whole movie wanting to kill the son. Because of his stupid actions his father and several others died. If you live in that kind of society you don’t open the doors to strangers on Purge night. You especially don’t disarm you house for any reason.

What I don’t understand is if you spend so much money trying to protect your home from would be attackers why don’t any of the houses have offensive measures? Why is nothing electrified? Why are there no gun turrets on the top of houses?

They say several times that ALL crimes are legal but the only crime mentioned or shown on the Purge Feeds is murder. Why is no one robbing stores? Doing drugs? Raping people? Also, just because something is legal doesn’t mean that everyone does it. I like to think that if murder was legalized, even if just for one night, that most people wouldn’t partake in it.

The film had no real shocking moments and nothing about it was even remotely scary. I wanted this movie to be good. I really really did. But this film grossly disappointed me.  If I had to rate it on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being so bad that I’d rather shoot my foot and 10 being the best movie I’ve ever seen. I would have to rate it a 3. It’s not worth seeing but if you do want to see it to experience the son’s stupidity for yourself wait until you can rent it.