It’s the year 2022 on the eve of the annual “purge” as some Americans prepare to take full advantage of the 12-hour period when murder is legal, while others take shelter in their homes.
It’s preposterous to think murder could ever be legal but as we find out in “The Purge” it’s the “new” America’s way to combat crime.
If you can afford it your chances of survival on this night are much better.
One particular family, The Sands, are of the few who can afford this luxury. On the night of the annual purge, the family prepares to lock their home down tighter than Fort Knox.
James Sandin (Ethan Hawke) is confident in his home security system as he is a top security system salesman. Despite his confidence, Mary (Lena Headley) his wife and children Charlie (Max Burkholder) and Zoey (Adelaide Kane), dread this night.
Minutes before the start of the purge, the Sandins are locked up tight in their home behind steel walls that cover every door and window like a modern day castle. Everything looks good for the family as the purge begins. Live feeds on televisions show the mayhem has already begun and the killing begins.
The Sanders appear to be safe — that is until young Charlie makes a mistake that puts everyone’s lives in jeopardy.
James DeMonaco (“The Negotiator,”” Assault on Precinct 13”) has managed to write and direct a script with a fresh idea, but the mystique of the whole concept wears off quickly.
It’s a brilliant idea but the story loses it’s impact when the Sanders become the focus and the family is forced to fight for their lives against, what appear to be, a very wealthy group of white collar young adults.
They may look unassuming but they prove otherwise as for their resources on this night are more than enough to breach the Sandins top-notch security system. Chaos ensues and the film’s level of suspense shoots off the charts.
Despite the suspense of it all, the film would have been much better if it didn’t centre on just one family, but if you’re familiar with the director’s style, “The Purge” is true to his style. It’s a classic evil versus good scenario with nothing to detract from the main plot.
Overall, “The Purge” is good but not great. The idea of the story will suck you in just enough to get you to hang around for the entire 85 minutes.