Taking place in the near future, The Purge shows us an America that is almost completely free of crime, with unemployment teetering around 1%. Much of this success is attributed to The Purge, a 12-hour period once a year where all crime is legalized. This gives the average citizen a chance to express all their anger and hatred but some question the real reasoning behind this yearly event. On the night of The Purge, a wealthy family somewhat unintentionally harbors the target of a murderous group of psychopaths, which in turn makes themselves a target of the group's rampage. James DeMonaco's The Purge is a classic example of a concept being much stronger than its execution. The film's concept has a lot of potential, given the obvious moral/social commentary, but unfortunately much of it is wasted in this film with a skin-deep, superficial commentary that doesn't really say much. The Purge is full of the typical horror tropes of the genre-a homestead beseiged by psychopaths, poor character decisions, etc. but some of the decisions of the characters in this particularly movie, especially the two children, are just nonsensical and laughable. There is an incredibly awkward and unnecessary subplot revolving around the Daughter's boyfriend that goes absolutely nowhere, and the film relies heavily on the 10 year-old son to dictate the moral conflicts. I didn't find myself invested in these character's fight for survival and outside of a pretty fun, creepy performance by the leader of the psychopaths, the characters are wholly uninteresting. The Purge tries desperately to be a satire about class conflict between the rich and the poor, but while it's an interesting concept, the film never takes it anywhere poignant or profound. I guess basically what I am saying is James DeMonaco's The Purge is a film that far too gimmicky to support its ambitions, instead coming off as an incredibly dumbed down film that gives its audience no credit.
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