Review: THE PURGE (2013)

THE PURGE has officially commenced. Check out my review below.

purge_ver2_xlg__spanTHE PURGE (2013)

Director: Andrew Niccol

Cast: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane, Rhys Wakefield

MPAA Rating: R


Imagine a society where crime is down to an all-time low and the economy is booming. Unrealistic? Well, in the world of THE PURGE, it isn’t. However, society gets a 12-hour pass at night to commit any crime in what they call “The Purge.” All emergency services are suspended for 12 hours. The only exceptions from harm during the purge are a certain level of government officials. The goal of the night is to get all aggression out and “purge the soul.”


We follow those 12 hours of the Sandin Family, which includes the James (Ethan Hawke), Mary (Lena Headey), and their two kids Charlie and Zoey (Max Burkholder and Adelaide Kane). Charlie, who’s emotional immaturity leads him to allowing a homeless veteran into their home while running from a gang of wealthy prepsters donning creepy masks on a hunt for their yearly murder. After the kid lets the man, the family, who was hunkered down in their protected mansion, has to decide whats right: sending a man to his death, or defending their home when the maniacs force their way through barricades and unleash murderous hell.


The movie is a fantastic home invasion flick. It has all the aspects of your typical home invasion: protect what is yours no matter what. However, there are some flaws. We know that the movie takes place in protected, gated community with the wealthiest houses. How did a homeless veteran find his way into the streets of the perfectly manicured and gated neighborhood. Also, with all the money that the family has, why wouldn’t they have a back up system in case their expensive security system fails? These are just some of the many questions that go unanswered. In addition, we only see the 12 hours as it relates to this neighborhood. I would have liked to have seen more snippets of a nearby city in complete chaos as to not make the movie feel like an isolated incident.


As for the acting, the entire cast was pretty good, with a special highlight on Max Burkholder and Rhys Wakefield (who played the “polite” purger). Both of them stole the show with two opposing characters–Max playing the emotionally immature yet sympathetic son, and Rhys playing a wealthy prepster trying to invade the home.


If you love home invasion movie with some psychotic personalities and some blood, then you’ll like this movie. However, there are some questions that go unanswered (which is a bit of a downer).

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  1 comment for “Review: THE PURGE (2013)

  1. June 12, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    Could have been as smart as its idea, but instead, decided to use every convention and obvious route that every home-invasion before it has used. Nice review.

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