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The Purge (2013)

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A wealthy family are held hostage for harboring the target of a murderous syndicate during the Purge, a 12-hour period in which any and all crime is legal.

Director:

James DeMonaco

Writer:

James DeMonaco
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Popularity
1,811 ( 115)
1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ethan Hawke ... James Sandin
Lena Headey ... Mary Sandin
Max Burkholder ... Charlie Sandin
Adelaide Kane ... Zoey Sandin
Edwin Hodge ... Bloody Stranger
Rhys Wakefield ... Polite Leader
Tony Oller ... Henry
Arija Bareikis ... Mrs. Grace Ferrin
Tom Yi ... Mr. Cali
Chris Mulkey ... Mr. Halverson
Tisha French ... Mrs. Halverson
Dana Bunch Dana Bunch ... Mr. Ferrin
Peter Gvozdas Peter Gvozdas ... Dr. Peter Buynak
John Weselcouch ... Freak Interrupting
Alicia Vela-Bailey ... Female Freak
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Storyline

In an America wracked by crime and overcrowded prisons, the government has sanctioned an annual 12-hour period in which any and all criminal activity-including murder-becomes legal. The police can't be called. Hospitals suspend help. It's one night when the citizenry regulates itself without thought of punishment. On this night plagued by violence and an epidemic of crime, one family wrestles with the decision of who they will become when a stranger comes knocking. When an intruder breaks into James Sandin's (Ethan Hawke) gated community during the yearly lockdown, he begins a sequence of events that threatens to tear a family apart. Now, it is up to James, his wife, Mary (Lena Headey), and their kids to make it through the night without turning into the monsters from whom they hide. Written by Universal Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Survive the night. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong disturbing violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 June 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vigilandia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$34,058,360, 9 June 2013, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$64,473,115

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$89,328,627
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The homicidal ladies in white dresses were based on Charles Manson's killer/followers. Director James DeMonaco claims obsession with Manson from an early age. See more »

Goofs

When James and Mary tie up Dwayne, Charlie leaves the room, holding the flashlight in his hand. However, they both continue to be lit and in the following scene, Mary picks the flashlight from the floor and uses it herself. See more »

Quotes

Polite Leader: [Regretfully, after stabbing James] Shhh. It's OK. Your soul has been cleansed, Mr. Sandin. You've purged. Just one question for you: was his life worth yours? Your family's? Thank you for this unforgettable purge, Mr Sandin.
[kisses his forehead]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Orange Is the New Black: The Reverse Midas Touch (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

End of the End
Written and Performed by Cathy Davey
Courtesy of Benair Churchill LLC and Cathy Davey
Published by Tune of Benair Churchill (PRS)/Benair Churchill (ASCAP)
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User Reviews

 
Wasted potential, just a generic home invasion film.
10 June 2013 | by dannyobrien247See all my reviews

From the producers of Paranormal Activity (as is all horror films these days) The Purge tells the story of a near future were crime is at an all time low and unemployment stands at under 1% of the US population, to compensate for one night a year all crime (including murder) is legal for 12 hours allowing society some kind of release.

The film revolves around the Sandin family who are confronted by a group of college students hunting a man on the night of the Purge who the family had allowed into their home after lockdown. The Purgers (lead by Rhys Wakefield) drastically try to break into the family's home causing James (Ethan Hawke) and Mary (Lena Headey) to protect their children from the invaders in order to survive the night.

The main problem with the film is the premise itself, whilst interesting is filled with flaws and holes that just make the whole idea ridiculous. Such as what happens to the serial killers and career criminals of this world? Do they just control their urges to kill or steal for the other 364 days until the next Purge, as well what if someone has a heart attack on the night of The Purge? Is it just a case of bad luck you chose the wrong night to need medical care?

Despite the flaws of the premise, the film repeatedly ignores the possibilities of the premise, instead of exploring the ideas behind the Purge or the events that occur on the night of the Purge from different perspectives and situations. Instead the film settles for a typical home invasion story that although done well, is nothing we haven't seen done in many other films. The Purge in the end seems to only be the premise of this film to stop the age old question of "Why don't they just call the police?" in home invasion films.

To the films credit it is quite subtle, there's a running theme that the Purge is just an excuse for the upper classes to exterminate the poor, driven by all the attackers wearing prep school blazers and the person they are chasing wearing dog tags around his neck. The film also contains some strong performances, especially from Ethan Hawke (Training Day, Lord of War) and Lena Headey (Dredd, Game of Thrones) who carry the film throughout. The film also has a twist near the end which allows the audience to get inside the heads of the people during this night.

That cant be said for the leader of the Purger's played by Rhys Wakefield (Sanctum, Home and Away)whose performance is slightly cringe worthy, hes trying to be psychotic yet in control of the proceedings but it just comes across as a amateur dramatics' version of The Joker. He just never seems like a really threat and just a creepy next door neighbour.

The film also contains some bizarre and just plain weird set pieces, such as the families' son who builds a spy camera on a chard baby doll on the top of a rhino tank from Warhammer 40,000. The thing looks like a demented contraption from Sid's bedroom in Toy Story.

Overall, The Purge is an OK home invasion film, there are moments of suspense and a couple of jump scares are effective. The wasted potential of the premise is the films main downfall which could have lead to a more effective and possible original film then what we got in the end.


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