Director: James DeMonaco
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, and Max Burkholder
Sentence Summary: A family gets attacked and proceeds to exemplify the most ridiculous and terrible behaviour for the given situation.
So recently I was making a list of all of the 2013 movies that I’ve seen. Okay, maybe I need a hobby.
Anyways, doing this brought back vivid memories of some of my favourites of the year, but also of some of the crushing disappointments that this year had to offer. Taking the top spot on my “Crushing Disappointments” list is The Purge.
This was an idea that had so much potential. Anything is legal for 12 hours. ANYTHING. Cool, right?
We are instead faced with a fumbling story of “sadistic” teens, completely unlikeable characters, and a twist at the end that was so obvious, it was almost comical.
Okay, maybe that sounded a little harsh, but I should explain that for me, one of the most important aspects of a horror film, or any film really, is having good characters. I am not saying that they have to be the epitome of goodness, but they have to give you something to root for. Hawke, Headey, and the rest of the family failed at this so completely that I could not bring myself to care about their fates at all. Needless to say, any of the potential scares sort of lost their edge after I found myself so completely indifferent to them. There was not even an attempt to establish connections to the characters or to make sense out of any of their terrible qualities or decisions. We were just thrown into this weak story with no one to root for, and nothing to care about.
Maybe I was expecting too much from this director who is pretty new to the horror genre, but wow. I could not have set my expectations low enough not to be disappointed by this unemotional, lazy movie. There wasn’t even any good gore.
The only saving grace is that it is only 85 minutes long.
However if character development is not a major factor for you, then you might enjoy this movie; if you do like it, I’m sorry for sounding so negative, this film was just such a letdown for me because the idea had so much potential.
Verdict: Skip it. If you want to watch a creepy home invasion film, check out The Strangers.
Do you feel differently? Let me know! I’d love to hear a different perspective; I’ve heard people say that they really enjoyed this movie, and I would like to hear what it is that some people liked.
Photo courtesy of Google Images