The Purge

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(2013) ★★★

Film4: PREMIERE Wednesday 23 December, 9.00pm

It’s 2022. On March 21, the New Founding Fathers of America allow ‘The Purge’ to take place. For 12 hours, all crime – including murder – is sanctioned in a kill-spree that’s officially a government approved outlet for American rage. In reality, it’s a lawful eradication of the underclass.

Because the poor cannot afford to protect themselves. Security systems salesman Ethan Hawke – a Purge profiteer! – is desperate to protect his family from intruders in an exclusive suburban community that should be safe from the kind of mayhem going on downtown. Wearing hideous grinning masks, Rhys Wakefield’s gang wants Hawke to hand over Edwin Hodge, the injured homeless back man hiding in his house. Hawke would, if he could find him.

Tipping its hat to Night of the Living Dead and The Strangers, The Purge is an impressively economical short-sharp-shock reluctant to belie its trashy exploitation premise. Setting and sticking to a deadpan satirical tone, it really does the job. In fact, it’s so aggressively unpleasant, I’m not at all sure that 15 is a suitable classification. Writer-director James DeMonaco previously scripted Ethan Hawke’s underwhelming Assault on Precinct 13 remake but he wouldn’t hit an authentic John Carpenter stride until Purge 2, the freak-flag flying Anarchy.

Certificate: 15
Duration: 82min

IMDB – The Purge

TMDB – The Purge

Rotten Tomatoes – The Purge

Other Showings Date & Time
Film4 Tuesday, 29 December at 9:00PM