Movie Review: The Purge (2013)


With the recent release of the new horror-thriller “The Purge: Election Year”, I decided that it was time for me to go through and review the first two movies in the series because I had not seen them. That’ really the reason why, I had no other reason to see them. I had not heard the most positive things about them, but a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. Which in this case means I have to review them. So, enjoy.

Ladies and gentlemen, won’t ya please take part in… “The Purge”.

The world has gone to shit. And by that I mean that the United States has started a new annual tradition that they call “The Purge”. This means that for 12 hours straight, from 7 pm to 7 am, ALL crime is fully legal. That’s right; assault, theft, burglary, murder… rape… ALL of that is fully legal. So there are no police officers, no paramedics, no one that you can call for help in case you get attacked by some asshole with a hatchet. Now in the middle of all this shit we have James Sandin (Ethan Hawke), a man who sells protection for your home in case of Purge (break glass). But he isn’t so safe when his son (Max Burkholder) lets a homeless man into their home. The bad thing isn’t that there’s a homeless dude in their home, but that he’s chased by a gang of young psychos who really want to kill him. And instead of having a really clever and cool thriller about the consequences of this “Purge” idea, we get a pretty generic home-invasion thriller filled with jumpscares and stupid plot points. Yeah, the story/plot of this movie is not good. I’m not gonna lie, I think the idea behind “The Purge” is fucking brilliant, but that potential is wasted when they lock it down to one location and make it a generic home-invasion thriller. Yeah, not very good.

The characters in the movie are not that great. Either they make really stupid moves or their motivations are unclear/really dumb. But hey, at least the acting in the movie is pretty good. Ethan Hawke as the dad is actually pretty good, despite a not very good script. Lena Headey plays his wife, and she’s really good in her role. Max Burkholder (the son) does a pretty decent job too despite being, hold on… *looks on imdb*… only a few months younger than me. Adelaide Kane plays the angsty teenage daughter in the family and she does a pretty decent job. Rhys Wakefield plays the very well-spoken young man who is the leader of this psychotic gang who’s after the homeless guy and he does a pretty good job. I would say that every actor in the movie does a good job with what material they are given.

The music for the movie was composed by Nathan Whitehead and is was pretty meh. It’s very typical horror-thriller stuff that is meant to “build suspense” until the next jumpscare. I didn’t hate it, but it wasn’t very good either. The only tune on the soundtrack I enjoyed was the opening credits one, and that was the classic tune “Clair De Lune”, which was not even created for this movie.

This movie was directed by James DeMonaco, and looking at his filmography doesn’t exactly reassure me of quality. Yes, the shots in this movie look pretty good, but most directing choices in the movie are not that interesting. Like I said earlier, typical home-invasion thriller… that also happens to be littered with jumpscares. The blood and gore leaves no impact either. It’s not shocking and it’s not even entertaining. Basicaly, this movie doens’t really have any interesting directing at all.

This movie has not been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 37% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 41/100. And on it has a score of 5,6/10.

So “The Purge” has some great ideas behind it… but it doesn’t really deliver on that. The plot is terrible, the characters are dumb, the music is meh and the directing isn’t very interesting. Though I do have to say that the acting in the movie is good and the opening credits aren’t half bad. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Purge” is a 4,54/10. It’s not good and I think you should skip it.

My review of “The Purge” is now done.

So much trouble for one homeless guy…


12 thoughts on “Movie Review: The Purge (2013)

  1. Yeah, I quite liked this concept, if only they had delivered more on it. I think I must have a Purge run again sometime and see them all – never watched another one after this.

    • I understand what you mean, but I just feel like they wasted the great idea by keeping it isolated like that. I think it would’ve benefited from being on a bigger scale, showing this event and how it affects more people. If you have a great idea like this, don’t lock it down to a home-invasion thriller.

      • I guess we all just enjoy different things. To be fair I didn’t see it in 2013, it was a good couple of years later (on Netflix – that’s how long after release haha) and I knew already most people disliked the premise so I didn’t have very high hopes which always helps. But I ended up really enjoying it. I do tend to enjoy films that are ‘in a room’ if you know what I mean, where people have to make decisions and you’re not sure what will happen but I understand your point entirely too. I still need to see subsequent sequels!

        We want rape and pillaging god dammit! 🙂

  2. I thought the concept for The Purge was pretty interesting but I avoided it at the time because of Ethan Hawke. If it turns out like you said that he’s one of the best things about the movie, I’m probably not going to like it.

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