This post is the original, unedited, copy of the review published in Images on Sunday – Dawn Newspaper, on 21 July 2013.
By Farheen Jawaid
Akin to The Hunger Games and Battle Royale, The Purge, has the same sociopolitical thoughts, trigger happy violence and cliché plot, however the winning point of this low budget thriller is its George A. Romero/Night of the Living Dead-like ambiance which creates potential for its own unique cult following.
The year is 2022, in the dystopian future America remodeled by its new “founding fathers”, who have come up with an annual event called The Purge where citizens are encouraged to purge’s out anger, negativity and deeper instinct of violence out of their system.
They have 12 hours to go rampant out on the streets, and crime – including murder – is legal during that time. The next day when people are cleansed of their violence, things return to normal. The so-called “purging” has a unique side-effect: there’s high employment and low crimes rates, the other 364 ¼ days.
Things are good for James Sandin (Ethan Hawke); he is a successful sales guy whose company makes security systems for homes. With a big house, a Stepford Wife Mary (Lena Headey) and two kids – Zoey (Adelaide Kane) a rebellious teen and Charlie (Max Burkholder) a tech nerd.
They are the ideal family, also ideal to be hunted by their neighbors from jealousy. They are well off, and well protected, without being bothered about being hunted in the purge, nor sadistic enough to be a part of it. Purge hunters usually go after the poor or the unimportant who can’t save themselves – until one of the victims comes knocking on the Sandin’s home.
The Purge, written and directed horror by James DeMonaco with love for the 60-70’s sci-fi, is slowly paced. The film-maker takes time to set up scenes, and knows how to fashion itself on old the premise fan favorites, that even with a rushed final act doesn’t mess up.
Released by Universal Pictures, The Purge is rated R for sadistic violence, a psychopathic indulgences of masses gone wrong.
The published version is here: http://www.dawn.com/news/1030836/animadversion-monsters-in-college