3 June 2013 2:14 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

That old horror-movie standard, a homestead besieged by psychos, gets remixed with a bit of Occupy-era class-conflict satire in the disappointing future-set thriller “The Purge.” Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey are interestingly cast, slightly against type, as a smug couple defending their family against murderous intruders on the one night of the year when any crime, even murder, gets a free pass. But while writer-helmer James DeMonaco’s scenario echoes the fiction of J.G. Ballard and even “The Hunger Games,” the film’s thudding shocks and predictability dull its edge. “Purge” took a not-so cathartic $1.5 million over the weekend in Blighty; it looks to do proportionally modest biz when it opens Stateside on Friday.

It’s the year 2022, and some very wacky regime with a religious agenda (given how often the authorities mention God) has taken control of America. Starting on March 22, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., anyone can »


- Leslie Felperin

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