by Reymundo Salao
THE PURGE is more of a slasher suspense thriller, but not as gory as the standard slasher movies. Much of the movie's strength centers on the thrilling suspense, build-up of things to come, and how the story and the events in the movie unfold. The twist and the turns that are sure to generate an audience reaction, whether their reactions may hate the movie or admire it.
The story has a premise which is well-thought-of and unique in the horror/slasher genre. The setting is in some near future (in an almost-present-day setting), crime and poverty has been eradicated because the government has imposed that one night every year, the annual purge is held, a night when, not only is it legal for a citizen to kill somebody or anybody, it is even encouraged as a civil right. In that evening, all emergency services; ambulances, the fire department, and the police are temporarily suspended. [continue after the jump]
The story's focus is centered upon a family whose patriarch played by Ethan Hawke is a wealthy businessman and developer of security services. On the evening of the Purge, his family becomes the target of a group who demands a specific thing from the family.
Unlike the premise, the main story itself is weak, as rendered by its unimpresive script. Oftentimes, its main characters make annoyingly illogical decisions. On the other hand, the story takes a better, redeeming route when it reaches the final acts. By the end, I loved the movie, although I acknowledge that the middle part had moments that pissed me off.
On the background of the story is a thought provoking (semi-subliminal) message about peace, order, and the psychological urge for violence.
Although the movie has some flaws, I consider it a must-see if only for the strength of its unique premise. With a premise like this and its surprising success in the US box office, It's no surprise that there will be sequels of it soon. Especially if you love scary movies with some deep psychological meaning, don't miss THE PURGE