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  • Writer's pictureAllan Major

The Purge 2013 Reviewed

Featured Image For The Purge 2013 Reviewed.  A movie poster with a sinister smiling face half-covered in shadow.
When the night falls, society's mask comes off.

There's something about the night that gets to you. You hear whispers in the shadows, a flicker of wrongness just behind those familiar walls of your home. Maybe it's primal, those echoes of ancestors huddling together when darkness meant danger. In 'The Purge', that danger isn't the stuff of nightmares. It's your neighbors, smiling sweetly across the manicured lawn, an ax gleaming in the fading light.

The Purge 2013 Key Takeaways

  • The fragility of social order: The film starkly illustrates how quickly rules and norms can crumble. When basic laws cease to exist, societal structure disintegrates with disturbing speed.

  • The illusion of security: The Sandins initially believe their wealth and fortified home can insulate them from the chaos of the Purge. However, their security systems are ultimately breached, exposing the limits of physical protection.

  • The thin line between 'us' and 'them': The Purge paints a disturbing portrait of class division. The wealthy seek to protect themselves during the annual Purge, while the less fortunate become victims – revealing a deep-seated societal divide.

  • The potential for violence in everyone: Even seemingly ordinary people, like the Sandins' neighbors, can transform into terrifying monsters when given a night of lawlessness. It sparks a debate about the innate capacity for violence within all humans when consequences are removed.

  • The cost of survival: The Sandin family is pushed to extremes as they struggle to survive, forcing them to compromise their initial morals. The film forces us to ponder the price of survival in a morally ambiguous world.

  • Unintended consequences: The idea of the Purge as a solution to crime and societal unrest is shown to be dangerously flawed. The film suggests that institutionalized violence ultimately breeds more violence, creating a nightmarish cycle rather than a cure.

  • The danger of unchecked privilege: The film indicts those in power who benefit from the Purge system, questioning how much those in comfortable positions are willing to sacrifice their humanity to maintain their status.

Young boy watches The Purge movie, his face showing fear.
Even the shadows seem sinister when the siren sounds.

In this future America, the rules we cling to have shattered. Once a year, for a 12-hour period, there's no law. No consequence. Anything goes – theft, assault, even murder. It's the government-sanctioned Purge, a twisted solution to overcrowded prisons and a society boiling over with frustration and anger.

James Sandin (Ethan Hawke) knows the game. He's played it well, reaping a fortune selling security systems to the terrified rich. Each year, his family seals themselves into their fortress – gleaming steel doors, surveillance systems glinting like unblinking eyes. They'll just wait it out, secure in their privilege, while the rest of the country tears itself apart. But this Purge Night, everything changes.

When James's son Charlie (Max Burkholder) lets a bleeding stranger (Edwin Hodge) slip past the barricade just before the lockdown, those safe walls become his prison. The Sandins are drawn into a fight for survival as a mob of preppy, mask-wearing Purgers descend. They want their target, the hunted man, and they're prepared to dismantle the Sandin family's life piece by piece to get to him.

Man sits alone on a couch, eyes glued to the TV screen showing the 2013 film "The Purge", his knuckles white from gripping the armrest.
On Purge night, fear is the only rule.

We Can Be The Monster For One Night.

In the confined space of one house, director James DeMonaco spins a home invasion movie twisted inside out. It's less a horror film, more a brutal meditation on the haves and the have-nots. The mask-wearing rich kids hunting the homeless man with blood-smeared smiles and machetes aren't otherworldly monsters. They're our own darkness brought into brutal focus. Yet, amidst the bloodshed and the brutality, 'The Purge' gets muddled.

The performances are solid – Hawke with his brittle desperation, Lena Headey as Mary Sandin slowly unraveling, and Rhys Wakefield oozing a spoiled menace that's scarier than any monster. But 'The Purge' stumbles over its own potential. Instead of pushing that discomfort further, it falls back on clichés—the rebellious teenage daughter Zoey (Adelaide Kane), the jump scares, the predictable villains.

There's the bone-deep dread of a good horror movie here, a reflection of just how thin the veneer of civilization can be. But instead of leaving us with that, 'The Purge' ultimately chooses to be an action flick, a paint-by-numbers thriller. And that, maybe, is the scariest part of all. The monsters don't need to lurk around in the dark – they smile as they mow our lawns, and they take center stage on Purge night.

As the siren signaling the end of the 12-hour period wails and America prepares to return to its uneasy peace, so do we. You walk back to your own home, maybe give the locks an extra check. The neighbors seem just the same as always, but you hear the echo of 'The Purge' in the rustle of leaves, in the creaks of your house settling for the night. It asks that chilling question: When everything is legal for one night per year, who are you really afraid of?

And that is The Purge 2013 Reviewed. A Modern Horror Classic That Sparked A Successful Franchise. 

Stay tuned for more horror movie reviews

If You Liked The Purge 2013 You Might Also Like These Films

  • The Hunger Games (2012): In a dystopian future, teenagers are forced to fight to the death in an annual televised event. Like "The Purge," this film explores themes of social inequality, government control, and the spectacle of violence for entertainment.

  • Battle Royale (2000): A Japanese cult classic with a premise similar to "The Hunger Games." Students are dropped on an island and forced to kill each other until only one remains. It offers a more brutal and shocking take on the survival-of-the-fittest concept.

  • You're Next (2011): A dark comedy/thriller where a family reunion turns deadly when masked intruders attack. While not as focused on social commentary as "The Purge", it delivers a tense home invasion plot, surprising twists, and a resourceful protagonist.

  • The Strangers (2008): This psychological horror film centers on a couple terrorized by masked strangers in their isolated vacation home. It shares the claustrophobic feeling of "The Purge", preying on the fear of being hunted by seemingly motiveless attackers.

  • Assault on Precinct 13 (1976): Inspired by classic Westerns, this John Carpenter cult film involves a group of people defending a defunct police station against a relentless gang. While older, it offers a similar siege mentality against faceless violence that might appeal to fans of "The Purge".

The Purge 2013 Reviewed FAQs

Q: What is "The Purge" about? 

A: "The Purge" is a dystopian horror/thriller film set in a future America where, for one night a year, all crime is legal for a 12-hour period. This government-sanctioned event is called "The Purge," and it's designed to supposedly reduce crime and release pent-up societal anger. The story follows a wealthy family, the Sandins, as they fight to survive Purge night when their home security system is breached.

Q: When was "The Purge" released? 

A: "The Purge" was released in theaters on June 7, 2013.

Q: Who are the main actors in "The Purge"? 

A: "The Purge" stars:

  • Ethan Hawke as James Sandin, the father and top salesman of home security systems.

  • Lena Headey as Mary Sandin, the mother.

  • Adelaide Kane as Zoey Sandin, the teenage daughter.

  • Max Burkholder as Charlie Sandin, the younger son.

  • Rhys Wakefield as the masked leader of the Purgers targeting the family.

Q: How was the movie received by critics? 

A: "The Purge" received mixed reviews from critics. Some praised its thought-provoking premise of a crime-free night and the underlying social commentary. Others criticized its execution, reliance on horror movie clichés, and somewhat predictable plot.

Q: Are there any sequels to "The Purge"? 

A: Yes, "The Purge" spawned a successful franchise, including:

  • The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

  • The Purge: Election Year (2016)

  • The First Purge (2018) – a prequel exploring the origins of the Purge.

  • The Forever Purge (2021)

  • There's also a television series titled "The Purge" which ran for two seasons.

Q: What are some common themes in "The Purge"? 

A: "The Purge" explores themes of:

  • Social inequality: The film highlights the divide between the wealthy, who can afford protection, and the less fortunate, who become targets during the Purge.

  • Violence and human nature: It questions whether violence is inherent within us and what happens when societal constraints are removed.

  • Moral dilemmas: The film forces characters to make difficult choices for survival, blurring the lines between right and wrong.

  • Government control and social manipulation: It examines the motives behind the Purge and its use as a tool to control the population.

Q: Can you watch "The Purge" online? 

A: Yes, "The Purge" is available for streaming and rental on various platforms. Some popular options include:

  • Amazon Prime Video

  • YouTube

  • Google Play Movies

  • Apple TV


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