Dammit, Carl!: An SML Review of “The Purge”

Purge_PosterSo, it finally happened – Obamacare ruined America.

The government shut down, unemployment climbed, the dollar fell, and crime skyrocketed. It seemed as if we were only a few short breaths away from ending up in a Mad Max apocalyptic wasteland (without the Australian accents). But wait, someone had an idea, a way for us to come together as a nation. A way to let our more carnivorous inclinations, a….purging of our basest desires.

James Sandin and his family live in a very nice house in a very nice neighborhood filled with very nice persons. For 364 days of the year, that is. For a twelve hour period, one night a year, the government declares all crime legal. A terrifying concept? You betcha. Fun? Yeah, probably a bit.

And apparently it’s a great idea. Crime is lower than it has been in years and employment is soaring, most Americans are polite and law abiding….just waiting for the night of the purge.

Sandin, played by Ethan Hawke (The Getaway, Brooklyn’s Finest), sells home security with a twist. No longer is an alarm and police alert adequate. Now everybody needs bars on windows, bulletproof glass, panic rooms, and sliding steel doors. Supposedly impenetrable stuff. Supposedly.

the purge bannerEvery thing is going as planned for Sandin and his wife, played by Lena Hedley (300, Game of Thrones), and their two children when a stranger being chased by a group of young psychopaths in masks knocks on their door. It is then that Sandin finds himself between a rock and a hard place – ensure his family’s safety by keeping the doors closed or try to keep his humanity by letting the stranger in. Unfortunately, his son makes the decision for him and opens the damn door. This kid is basically Carl, for any of you Walking Dead fans.

The rest of the movie is spent in a frightful fit of trying to keep people out, trying to find family members in the dark, and trying to stay alive, of course. Besides Hawke and Hedley, director James DeMonaco’s (Assault on Precinct 13, The Negotiator) 1-hour-and-25-minute, pulse-quickening film is carried by a variable cast of unknowns who all do really well.  Especially the main psychopath dude. Super creepy.

In the same vain as The Strangers, or really any good movie where the good guys try to keep the bad guys out of a house, The Purge thrills us, scares us, and makes us wonder what we would be capable of in the same situation. Hmm….

What would you do in this situation? Check out The Purge on Amazon Instant Video and let us know in the comments.


Chris Moore

Chris Moore is a freelance masochist and an aspiring wordsmith. His travels have made him a self proclaimed expert on all things frightening, odd, and entertaining. On breaks from jet setting and bourbon guzzling, he graces SML with pithy and satirical commentary on what - or what not - to watch. All hail the Maniacal Master of Movie Reviews! The second most interesting man in the world.

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