Sunday, October 5, 2014


THE PURGE is a great little movie.  It was a sleeper hit that simply presented an intriguing idea of a family surviving a night  during national Kill Anyone You Want Day.  The premise was so good that people went to see what this movie was all about.  It didn't have the biggest names in Hollywood and it was rated R.  It didn't matter.  People wanted to see what this movie was all about.  It looked good and it was.......Well at least I liked it.

Ethan Hawk (Sometimes called Kevin Bacon when I get confused) plays a business type guy whose business specializes in making security systems.  That is a very profitable business in a world where one night a year all crime is legalized.  He plans to spend Purge night indoors with his family.  Unfortunately a man shows up to his door being hunted by rich punks in scary masks.  Ethan's son lets him in and now his home is surrounded by crazy rich kids that want to get inside and kill everyone.

The thing that made me really like this movie is the quiet tension that builds quickly at the start of the film.  We are brought into the story hours before the Purge takes place.  We see a rich neighborhood settle down and get ready for the night to begin.  The rich are secure in their fortresses far from the bad neighborhoods of the slums where most of the killing and crime will take place.  The rich even throw parties for crying out loud.  The calm before the storm is scary and no one has died yet.  We see how everyone gets ready for the night.  Some hide behind their big mansions while others get ready to do their own purging.  Purge night is the one night where everyone can take off their everyday masks and show everyone who they really are.  How do you really know who your neighbors are before it is too late on Purge night?  What would I do on Purge night?  The film gives the audience some interesting thoughts to ponder before all hell breaks loose.

This is one of those movies that has a strong beginning and an almost stronger ending.  Where it falters slightly is in the middle.  The middle where all the horror stuff takes place is for the most part good.  The killers trying to get in are fascinating and wonderfully psychotic.  They keep you interested but the Ethan Hawk's kids have a tendency to do dumb stuff like run off when they should be sticking close to their dad who is trying his best to keep them safe.  It really bugged me that something would happen when everyone was starting to get together and suddenly one of the kids runs off to danger just because the writer couldn't think of something smarter for the kids to do.  It is a poor excuse to keep the kids in harms way to pad out the running time.  That is the only thing I really didn't like.  Otherwise I thought the ending was brilliant and somewhat subversive.  What you think would happen doesn't.  The ending is rather bloodless for a movie all about violence.

I know I may be a little too forgiving of this film's possible faults.  I just don't see them like some others do.  I just really appreciate that a film like this can be successful.  It only goes to show that a good imagination or concept can make a good movie that people actually want to go and see.  I know some people were disappointed with THE PURGE.  I think some wanted something more.  They wanted to see more Purging.  They wanted something on a more grander scale.  Well they got their wish with THE PURGE: ANARCHY.....


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