I find myself sitting in my local movie theater (Carmike Oaks 7 Cinema in Batesville, AR) and tonight’s movie is The Purge.
You’ve seen the preview. Crime and unemployment are at an all-time low. The government has sanctioned an annual 12 hour time frame called ‘The Purge’ in which any crime is legal and will go unpunished.
While the concept is extreme, sometimes you simply have to go into a movie with an extreme suspension of disbelief. Think about the first time you saw Ghostbusters, Joe Verses the Volcano, or Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? Could the elements in those movies actually happen? Have they ever actually happened? Probably not and No. They all require a fair amount of suspension of disbelief.
The Purge is such a film. Could we really ever live in a world that was 99% crimeless and where 99% of us were employed? Of course not. Would we really ever get to a point where we all could bottle up our anger and save it for just one small 12 hour period? I very much doubt that (and by me saying that I am in no way admitting to any crimes – just so you understand that).
SO.. Let’s go ahead and get that out of the way now. If you are avoiding this movie because of its concept, let go of that thought. Sometimes you do have to let go, take a chance, roll the dice, and just have fun.
What’s fun about a film that depicts a night where any crime goes? Yes, yes, the actions themselves are horrible to ponder, but leave that; this is just a movie. Keep that thought in mind but also try to relate with the main characters. That’s where this movie shines.
Put yourself into the shoes of the family in their home. They don’t want to hurt anyone let alone kill anyone. But what would happen when someone seeming innocent needs help? Would you turn your head and let them suffer, knowing you could have tried to save them? Or would you help them?
The fun is in letting your mind go for a while and consider what you would do in that situation. I approach most zombie flicks in the same way; and much in that way The Purge reminded me of that. It’s a movie about survival. Who will be your enemies, who will be your allies?
The concept within the movie has been around for literal years; The Lottery by Shirley Jackson comes to mind as does an episode of Star Trek (The Return of the Archons). That’s not to say that The Purge is unoriginal, it absolutely is original; I’m just explaining that the theme is one that may not be as far-fetched as it appears.
If I haven’t stressed this enough, just go watch the movie with the mindset of simple enjoyment. Avoid trying to explain why it could or could not happen and just enjoy it.
You can pick it up on Blu-Ray here:
The Purge (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet)
We give it 3 out of 5.