The Purge (2013) Review


Rated R

85 min

Directed by: James DeMonaco

Written by: James DeMonaco


The Purge takes place in the near future where the United States de-criminalizes murder for a 12-hour period with the hopes of quelling the violent nature within us for the remainder of the year, leading to a more peaceful society. Where do I sign up?

The Sandin family, including Ethan Hawke (James) and Game of Throne’s Lena Headey (Mary), treat this occurrence as routine since they are protected by a state of the art security system. This is all put into jeopardy when their son Charlie lets a stranger into the safety of their home and a group of psychopaths show up at the front door looking for him.

Who will survive the night?



Great concept – The idea behind the movie is it’s strongest feature.

Good acting – Ethan Hawke is always likable as the father figure and the rest of the family are portrayed well. The standout however is Rhys Wakefield as the leader of the psychopaths who appears polite and intelligent but with the perfect mix of psychotic tendencies.

Social commentary – The rich are protected and safe through the use of security systems while the poor are unprotected and left to die. Violence in society is another issue covered here.

Potential for franchise – The sequel’s already in the works, but the concept here is open to a lot of different story possibilities. The radio comments over the credit sequence showed that not every citizen supports the purge, foreshadowing a possible future rebellion against the government.



–   Failure to deliver on concept – While the first half of the movie was great build-up, the last half was disappointing and failed to live up to its amazing concept.

–   Lack of violence – I couldn’t believe that this movie was rated R because there is a noticeable lack of violence and gore. Most of the deaths involve gunshots, lame. I see no reason why this movie wasn’t rated PG-13.

–   No suspense – All suspense is lost when you know that every time the family is threatened someone will swoop in at the last second and save them all from an untimely death. It’s way to convenient and happens a bit too much.

–   Human stupidity – I know that many times characters in horror movies make stupid decisions, but what makes me mad about the characters in this movie is that they could have completely avoided conflict in the first place if their son Charlie never opened the door. Moron!!!


The Purge started off strongly with an amazing concept and the promise of something special. Unfortunately this movie lets the audience down in several key areas, such as the lack of visceral violence, and fails to live up to its many great ideas. This movie is basically a glorified home-invasion flick.

The Purge is worth watching, just as long as you can accept that the concept is greater than the sum of its parts.