The Purge Review
Friday, June 14, 20131 Comment
Am I the only one who loved The Purge? I’ve talked to myriad other people who all paid to see it, all of which thought it was, “All right, I ‘spose.” The tiny movie that did—it had a budget of only $3 million, making $33 million in the first weekend—has been hit with bad ratings and reviews across the intertubes.
Why didn’t people dig on The Purge? Well, probably because it was advertised as a horror movie with a cool premise. The premise, for those not privy, is that for 12 hours once a year, all laws are rendered null. You can kill that neighbour who cuts your hedges or your college roommate whose jaw clicks loudly when he eats (for example[?]).
It was failed advertising that got people into those theatre seats and ultimately deceived them, rendering the film a disappointment. The premise, that moistened the palettes of anyone hungry for an original idea, served up a twisted home-invasion scenario the likes of a The Strangers kind of pedigree.
As the movie was rife with ethical dilemmas that’d make your philosophy profs sputter, there was a deeper meaning behind the film that gave it a glaze of finer piquancy. Of course, the characters go through the motions of morality in terms of killing in the 12 hours of purge, but this is boring and not what I am talking about.
The more interesting bits of the film were merely hinted at, creating a back story framework asking the audience to connect the dots themselves. The Purge didn’t let people get out their frustrations, as the overt tones would depict, but rather creates a better pedigree of pants-on-head crazy second-ammendmenteurs. It’s the old Batman complex: if Batman didn’t exist, better criminals wouldn’t have come along to wreak more havoc. The Purge merely creates more heavy handed crimes brimming with pain and anguish and all the things a nutjob would plan all year to commit.
The main baddy, a youngish college bro with a smile that could melt the face off Dali’s clock, was brilliant in his ape-shitness. I get the feeling that he and his cronies were lost on the audience and considered as malicious frat boys. However, I felt these masochistic glee clubbers were more of a church, kneeling at the mound of The Purge. To them, this was Christmas. It was Shomer Shabbos with shotguns and fire axes. This is more interesting and indicative of the true nature of The Purge: it will become a religion.
To me, this screams a depth that was beyond the simple 12-hour killing spree and house invasion that most thought of the movie. It was rather a criticism on the American dream and a much needed autopsy of such American splendor. The religious overtones were subtle, however I saw the killers as simple zealots, only to be dispatched by the idolatry that can only come from Escalade driving, tiny-box living, gun-toting suburbanites. It was a home invasion movie, but rather than chalking it up to simple crazy murderers, the home invasion was committed by American Stereotypes taken to the extreme degree. It was a film about American greed and faith in the face consumerist upperclassmen and real housewives of Orange County.
Or maybe I’m wrong. But that scene where Ethan Hawke buries an axe into that other dude’s spine was siiiiiick.