Friday, June 7 2013, 07:13 PM MDT
Movie Review: The Purge
1.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: James DeMonaco
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Lena Haeadey, Max Burkholder
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Recommended To: Those looking for a mediocre home-invasion film with a concept that is more ridiculous than it is intellectually challenging.
Synopsis: The Purge is an annual event where for a 12-hour period all crime is legalized. Police, fire and all other emergency services are shut down. When the Sandin family allows a target man to hide in their house they are held hostage in their own home by a group of privileged killers looking to cleans their souls.
Review: The central idea behind The Purge is fairly ridiculous, but I’d be willing to look past that if the movie did well with its concept. Unfortunately writer/director James DeMonaco’s film fails to paint an interesting picture within its frame. There are simply too many stupid and unexplainable aspects to the story that range from characters’ decisions and the family’s pre-Purge preparation to take the film seriously. It’s also not very suspenseful. There are a few thrills towards the end of the film, but most of the events are so telegraphed that when they happen there is no sense of surprise. The lack of thrills can also be tracked to Rhys Wakefield’s misguided performance as the “Polite Stranger.” He seems to be channeling a less-effective version of Heath Ledger’s Joker. He’s campy without any of the creepiness.
At least the film ends well with a crescendo of violence and a sinister sense of humor that should have been there from the opening frame. Sadly, it’s just too little too late to justify the price of entry.
-Ryan Michael Painter