The Purge #review

Download The Purge on Amazon here.

My wife and I were excited to see this movie. We don’t get to go out too much because we don’t have a reliable babysitter. So we’d been waiting for this to come out on DVD and picked up a copy a few days ago.

The intro to the movie is disturbing. I don’t know if those were videos of real incidents the director put into the movie or if they were created specifically to illustrate what people do on Purge Day, but it definitely sets the tone for what to expect.

The Sandin family is shown as being reasonably well-off as soon as the movie begins. Detractors of Purge Day believe it’s an excuse for people to target the poor, killing them and thus reducing the unemployment rate because there are just that much fewer people looking for jobs. Others, like James Sandin, are fully on the party line, that Purge Day is the time when people can gather up all that hate that’s been lingering inside them over the last year and let it out, to release the Beast, as so many people are fond of saying.

But we immediately see that the Sandins aren’t so much different from any other average family. They have two children: a teenage daughter, burgeoning on the verge of womanhood and a son who’s still determining his identity.

Okay, here’s where the spoilers begin. I’ll try to keep them few, but there are some plot points I have a bone to pick with.

The children are annoying. Why it occurs so often that young people are written as obnoxious, self-absorbed jerks, is beyond me. Sure, teens are a little self-involved at that age, but when there are people outside who would like to kill you, you’d think that would get put on a back burner.

First, the son disarms the security to let in a homeless man who is pleading for help. His father has already explained to him that it is extremely dangerous out (which doesn’t make sense unless the boy either just moved to the US or was in a coma for every Purge Day prior). The homeless man promptly disappears into the house after the daughter’s 20-something boyfriend who has snuck back in before the security was armed and tried to shoot James so he could be with his daughter. So you can make the case that everything that happened after that point was completely the son’s fault, but absolutely no one is the slightest bit upset with him that now people outside the house want to get in and kill everyone. Neither parent so much as calls him a bad boy.

Rewinding a little bit, the daughter, upon discovering her boyfriend is inside the house decides to completely check out and stay in her room with her earbuds in when her boyfriend says he wants to talk to her father. At no other point throughout the year did he indicate wanting to have this conversation so it should have been pretty apparent what he had in mind.

So then there are people who want to kill the homeless man the son, Charles let in the house. James is busy trying to find him and has explained to his son that it’s essentially us or him to his son, but his son actively hides this man.

Meanwhile, after the shootout between Zoey’s boyfriend (the daughter) and James, Henry, the boyfriend, dies in her bedroom. Rather than running to her parents because her boyfriend did something so unbelievably horrible, she stays with him until he dies and then hides somewhere in the house.

Nonsensical things like the children hiding from their parents when there are strange hobos or murderers roaming the house, monologuing (and that includes playing around with the machete instead of chopping up the intended victim) and people who conveniently show up to smoke the bad guy just before he/she/they can kill one of the protagonists. This story was rife with cliché and I haven’t even started on the three Christ figures in the movie (father, son, Holy hobo).

***EXTRA EXTRA SPOILER BELOW***

Okay, I can’t just leave that one hanging. Jesus died so we can live, right? James Sandin died as well. If you take the first initial from his name and his son’s you have JC. He was also stabbed through the side. Oh, and guess who else was stabbed through the side—the hobo. After James Sandin shot him. And then he delivered the family from evil by smoking one of the bad guys.

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