“The Purge” brings eerie faux reality

 “The Purge” is a gruesome way to start the summer but it is packed full of action, suspense and oddly funny scenes.

Imagine “The Hunger Games” mixed with the bone-chilling quietness from “Meet The Strangers.” 

In about 90 minutes, “The Purge” manages to make you feel as safe as the President of the United States then takes a dark turn for the worst by making you feel vulnerable sitting in the theater surrounded by strangers.

The movie takes place on March 21, 2022 in an American suburb that even the Jones’ would be jealous of.

Unemployment is at 1 percent and crime barely existed. 

The annual purge, a 12 hour free for all, starts with ceremonial blue flowers being placed at the doors of each house who “support” the festival but opt out of personally taking part in killing, stealing and wreaking havoc. 

James Sandin (Ethan Hawke) is a lucrative businessman who sells fortress-like security systems to prepare for the annual purge. 

Armour shutters fall down over the house as the clock winds down and the government suspends all emergency services as the beginning of the climax plays out.

Sandin’s son, Charlie, makes several huge mistakes from the get-go that lead to the house being broken into, moral lines being drawn and multiple bloody deaths. 

After a homeless man is saved from the hands of a deadly group of masked psychos, chaos erupts.  

The ringleader of the masked killers has a smile creepier than Heath Ledger’s Joker and completely lacks any sense of compassion.

The whole idea for the movie came after America fell to corruption, poverty and crime.  The new “founding fathers” deem it not only necessary to purge, but a cleanse for your soul. 

“You don’t remember how bad it was, Charlie,” Sandin said. “The poverty, the crime. This night saved our country.”

The movie grasps the moral controversy that every person in the theater is toiling with themselves: kill a man for the sake of the family or fight to protect a man simply because killing is wrong?

Overall, the plot is strong, the acting is solid, and the ending is awkwardly funny.

By the end of the movie, you will have your own purge list, wonder if you are on anyone else’s list and will question whether you could kill someone.

Expect to laugh, scream, look away and grab the person next to you out of sheer terror.


Cayla Maurer can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].