The Purge Film Review


The Purge PosterThis one came out of leftfield for me. The first I’d heard of The Purge was on this site just a few weeks ago and then before I could say ”sounds good but Ethan Hawke again?” it was out in the UK with no prior buzz whatsoever. After viewing, it became apparent as to why. It’s horrible.

Ethan Hawke plays a successful businessman who, on the night of the annual purge, takes refuge in his mansion of a house with his wife, two children and his maximum security system. We learn that the Purge was created in order to combat against violence and crime and has been a huge success as criminal activity has dropped to 1% (come again?) throughout the course of each year in the US. It takes place once a year between 7pm and 7am, during this time all bets are off. Violence and crime is tolerated (yes even murder) as its seen as a way for people to release the beast inside and thus lead a more fulfilling life (!?). Completely ridiculous concept, but original nonetheless and one that opens the door to many possibilities.

It starts well enough as we are introduced to the family and what the Purge entails. The tension builds leading up to 7pm and there are a couple of characters outside of the family to which you feel are possibly hiding something more sinister inside. It builds, it builds, it builds and then boom! Nothing. Unless you enjoy watching a toy remote control car try to communicate with a seeming mute man in the dark, then this is a damp squib of a movie that has no direction whatsoever. It’s all over the place with cliches and ideas, yet nothing pays off. The second act in particular is painfully slow, monotonous and repetitive. It’s not scary or funny and, first act aside, it’s not remotely suspenseful either. So what is it? It’s a mess.

It’s high on concept and low on content. The final 10 minutes is so completely bonkers that it does elevate the film everso slightly, but by that point you really have given up all hope. There’s a good film hiding in there somewhere but with plot holes galore, pointless scenes chucked in for no apparent reason and an absence of real quality, The Purge is a missed opportunity. In a world where remakes are dominating the horror genre, it is a real shame that a film with an innovative idea forgot to have fun with it.

1.5 / 5 stars     


Our policy for commenting is simple. If you troll or post spam or act like a child we will send you to your room without dinner and take away your posting priviledges. Have fun, be polite!

      1. melissa June 8, 2013 at 11:51 am

        So the movie sounds like HAlloween night, when demons get run the earth.. damn and I was gonna go see this.. ty for savin me the time and cash!

      2. Ash June 8, 2013 at 5:34 pm

        Good analogy Melissa, I guess it is a lot like Halloween night. I’m glad I could help and save you some pennies or dollars as the case may be.
        Ash: film reviewer; watching bad films so you don’t have to :)

      3. Madalynn June 8, 2013 at 5:36 pm

        I saw the flick. You can see every move coming. The family is so stupid that you start to cheer for the bad guys. One min they love the purge then they think its bad, then they like it again, then bad, and on and on. And the way that the bad guys get in the house makes you want to purge yourself for wasting your time watching this movie. Its all over the board bad.

        • Ash June 8, 2013 at 5:44 pm

          Good point Madalynn, that was infuriating. The whole time that was going on we were subjected to people roaming around in the dark trying to find each other – “have you seen your sister? Where’s you mother, oh there she is… now where’s he gone! Hay, have you seen your brother?” Etc, etc… Just stick together dam it! :/

      4. Mike New June 8, 2013 at 8:53 pm

        I don’t understand why everyone had high hopes for this movie. It is a horror movie. Of course it sucks. Most of the house invasion movies are boring and drawn out. When they finally get to the payoff/climax of the movie, most of the time it leaves you scratching your head. Honestly, the only movie I considered decent compared to these types of movies is funny games with Naomi watts. I think Naomi watts was in it. It has been a few years since I saw it.

      5. Ash June 8, 2013 at 8:59 pm

        Are you suggesting that all horror movies suck? Bold statement Mike.

        • Herner Klenthur June 8, 2013 at 10:49 pm

          Not to be rude but that statement is so wrong its hardly worth a response.

        • Ash June 8, 2013 at 11:15 pm

          I agree Herner it was a narrow minded statement. The audacity to suggest all horror movies suck on a horror fan web site, of which we of course know not to be true. He then goes on to say how he enjoyed funny games and thus contradicting himself. Bizarre.

      6. bob101910 June 9, 2013 at 3:50 am

        Does the movie explain why a family that can afford a high security mansion not go to Canada on vaction for those 12 hours?

        • Ash June 9, 2013 at 7:05 am

          Ha! It most certainly does not :)
          That’s a very good point bob and one of the many silly things about this movie… Also, why give your 14 year old (age guess) kid the code to disarm said maximum security system? :/

      7. Mike New June 9, 2013 at 5:14 pm

        I love horror movies. It is my favorite genre. If you are trying to compare these films to big budget box office successes like iron man 3 or the upcoming superman movie, horror just doesn’t have a chance. look at the numbers. I am sorry for being too harsh and if i get heat from everyone, I dont care. I think the review was way to harsh. The movie was called shit. You and everyone else had high hopes for it. You should lower your standards when watching Horror. That is what i do. i seem to enjoy films that way. You are probably one of those people who like to get on their soapbox when a classic horror gets a remake. i hope i am wrong.

        As you can see though, it made money at the box office. I am sorry by offending if you took my statement the wrong way. When watching a horror movie just don’t expect an Oscar award winning or best film of the year performance. To me it seems like that is what you were looking for because Ethan Hawke was in the movie. When I say horror movies suck I mean they suck when they are going against other genres or big name movies.

        With that said not sure how I am contradicting myself by thinking how I said funny games was a better film compared to the other house invasion films. I say this because this is my opinion. Most of them are boring. I am sure you will disagree. I am sure I will disagree with you on other films Oh, I forgot, house on the left was also very good.

        Also Ash, if you got a problem with my statement, address it to me not anyone else like I am not in the room. Cowards do that. FYI I am not calling you a coward. Thanks for taking the time to read.

        • Herner Klenthur June 9, 2013 at 6:04 pm

          Up until the last paragraph of your comment it was a great one. I dont know what you are on about with ‘cowards’ and what not. We are adults here this isnt Fight Club.

          The purge kicked ass at the box office bringing in 6 times its published budget which means it was a hit even if critics and vocal fans hated it. ( http://www.horror-movies.ca/2013/06/the-purge-wins-big-at-the-box-office/ )

          As for ‘low expectations’ going into horror movies I think you are simply not watching the GOOD horror movies. Let The Right One In, Pontypool, Dawn of the Dead, Stakeland, 30 Days of Night are all FANTASTIC movies worthy of any studio / budget level.

          Tks for commenting and reading our site!

        • Mike New June 9, 2013 at 6:31 pm

          I have watched all those films you have just listed. All good movies. Just forget the last paragraph I wrote. I enjoy the website. I comment on it all the time. Mostly positive. I am not here to start trouble. I feel there was some trash talking on the last post by Ash. I felt like I was being judged by someone who doesn’t think I love the genre, but I guess I can accept responsibility on that since I didn’t explain myself on the first post.

      8. Ash June 9, 2013 at 8:44 pm

        Mike, I think your last post sums it up. You did say horror films suck. Therefore, I understood your comments to mean exactly that. I wasn’t trash talking, I was just responding to Herner’s post (the owner of the web site). It was a bizarre thing to say on a horror fan site. However, in your last post you have taken responsibility for the confusion and explained what you actually mean to say. Therefore, lets start a fresh. I appreciate your comments and I think you made some valid points in your long post. I’m not someone to jump on any band wagon, I’m far too opinionated for that :) but I do set the bar high on films in general. I say what I see and if I see a film that is sloppy I will say so. Far too often a film will do well at the box office because of the buzz and marketing campaign, but that has no significance as to whether its a good film. All that says is that it created excitement for film goers. The concept alone could do that as its very original. My guess is that it will plummet big time in the coming weeks because word of will deter the rest. I too love horror films and have seen many that I love, remakes included. However, this film stank. That’s my opinion and from what I’ve heard so far, most other people’s as well. No band wagon there though Mike, I watched it on opening night in the UK which was last weekend so I had no preconceived ideas. Thanks for your posts Mike.

      9. Mike New June 9, 2013 at 10:49 pm

        I understand raising the bar high when it comes to films. Nowdays, with the price of movie ticket, you should have an exciting movie experience. Your review does help and you do quite well in summoning it up. I have friends who tell me a movie might stink while others say it is good. This doesn’t seem to be the case with all the negative feedback. I will probably wait for this movie to come out on bluray so I can enjoy it in the comfort in my own home. I tend do do that on most horror movies.

        I am excited that it did well at the box office. No matter if it is good or bad. I remember reading a article a year ago talking about how horror movies are slowly fading away. So something like this makes me feel good. I do agree, it probably won’t make that much money its second week. It is nice to see Ethan Hawke in another horror movie after sinister. I have been a big fan since training day.

        When it comes down to all the hype from the marketing and advertising of a movie that is horrible, you almost feel a sense of betrayal.

      10. Ash June 9, 2013 at 11:04 pm

        Great post mike. I agree totally about the feeling of betrayal. That is why I like to get my voice heard in reviewing films. I want people to know when a movie stinks and likewise if its great. Of course opinion comes into it, but I like to explain why in my reviews. Short, sweet and to the point. I am slightly surprised by the article you read though because I feel that horror movies are on the rise these days as they seem to be making money and finding an audience at the cinema. Remakes in particular are making big bucks, hence the reason so many are being made. I’ve noticed a lot more horror being shown at my muliplex. Even those that don’t make the cinema seem to be finding an audience on DVD. That’s just my observations. I’d be interested for you to watch the purge and hear your thoughts post viewing.

      11. Mike New June 9, 2013 at 11:39 pm

        They do have cheap matinees mon-thurs in the area. I could watch it for four dollars. I can’t beat that deal. I will check it out and let you know what my thoughts are.

        • Ash June 9, 2013 at 11:55 pm

          Seen as you sound like you have interest invested in this film then for 4 dollars you won’t be wasting too much of your hard earned :) but don’t say I didn’t warn ya mike! 😉

        • Mike New June 10, 2013 at 12:28 am

          I won’t hold it against you :)

      12. Joe June 25, 2013 at 2:14 am

        Just watched the film. I know I am late but I am just so upset right now I gotta vent. By the middle I was rooting for the bad guys HARD. I wanted that family dead. I even considered what I would do had I been the man of the house. I would probably kill my kids and just start over and hang the memory of the last two over the new kids heads as a warning. Yeah, I was that mad.

        1.Kid has access to security meant to keep family safe during the most dangerous night of the year? (Shame on dad, or me if I was the dad)
        2. Kid opening up locks to let some random guy in the house who may turn out to be a killer? (Immediate concussion resulting in him sleeping through the night. And he should be thankful I didn’t purge him)
        3. Daughter allowing BF in the house and not telling me that one most important night of the year? (Concussion #2)
        4. Her running to comfort him after he just tried to kill me? (She is dead to me. Time to purge and start over)
        5. Son STILL helping random man while people outside are threatening our lives? (Purge #2, Sorry hun. We can have more kids)
        6. Wife suddenly asking “What are we doing this” while people outside are still threatening our lives? (Not purge worthy, but we have to break up now)

        And that is when I left. I wanted so bad for the bad guys to kill them all. They are the only people that made sense. I would have on a mask right with them.

      13. Andrea Ramsay October 13, 2013 at 5:47 am

        i loved the premise of this film however it just fell short i think mainly because except for the kid (and after he stupidly let the random in that was gone) the family was unlikeable and very stupid i kinda just wanted them to die however the bad guys were creepy and worked well with the movie for such a great idea it fell short for me