The Purge Review
Released June 7th 2013
Director : James DeMonaco
Starring ; Ethan Hawke, Lena Heady, Rhys Wakefield, Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane
The Purge is a rare and wonderful creature; a high concept film that lives up to its intriguing premise. The year is 2022 and the ‘new’ American government have devised a way to lower crime rates and create harmony among its citizens ; The Purge , an event that happens one night a year where for twelve hours murder and all other crimes are legal and all emergency services are suspended.
We are introduced to the Sandin’s an affluent happily married couple who live in their quiet prosperous neighbourhood with their young son and teenage daughter. They are preparing to lockdown their home with a maximum security system (that the husband Ethan Hawke sells) and wait out The Purge, as they do every year but this year will be different..
The Purge is a fantastic film, it brings us a familiar concept; the home invasion with a new satirical twist. It maintains a tight cloying tension throughout and is at often times terrifying. The main villains of the film (though the overall villain appears to be that of human nature) are a group of marauders who wear disturbingly haunting masks and dress in a way that provokes images of The Manson Family ; the young women have long natural hair and wear 60’s era flowing white dresses. With their childlike gestures; hand holding, skipping and remorseless intentions they are by far the creepiest and scariest horror villains in a long time. But the standout of the group is their leader played with gleeful malice by Rhys Wakefield. The young Aussie and former Home and away star gives a fantastically chilling performance that evokes fellow Australian actor the late great Heath Ledger in his most lauded role ; The Joker. Wakefield’s character envelopes you with his polite insanity and gives one of the greatest direct to camera speeches seen in years.
The Purge is thrilling, exciting and terrifying and unlike many horror films it actually has something interesting to say. An absolute must see!
5 out of 5