If all crime was legal one night each year, what would you do? Would you lock down your home and ride it out? Most of us would. But, it’s the nasty ones who want inside you must fear in “The Purge.”
This home-invasion thriller starring Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey (Game of Thrones) takes place in 2022, when the United States is run by multi-national corporations known as the New Founding Fathers. They have declared that all crime is legal during a 12-hour annual event called The Purge.
Hawke is a well-to-do salesman, who makes his living off home security systems. His house has state-of-the-art protection, but as we all know, things can go wrong and often do, especially during a horror movie. Some nasty young people in masks come calling and promise to kill everyone inside unless they surrender a homeless man admitted to the house by Hawke’s son.
“The Purge” works as an exercise in suspense. Writer-Director James DeMonaco knows how to generate the chills. I almost ripped off the arm rest of my seat during the first three-quarters of the film. It all kind of falls apart in the end, and just becomes an exercise in killing. And, the film doesn’t really work well as a social allegory. But, if you like horror-thrillers, then “The Purge” will likely meet your expectations. I would definitely see it again. Grade: B-