Movie Review: The Purge

You may be wondering why, on a medical blog for authors, I would do a movie review. I like to think of this blog as not only exploring medical issues, but also ethical, moral and social situations. These often bleed into the medical realm– euthanasia being one such collision.

The Purge, starring Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey, is a thriller/speculative movie that brings out some interesting social commentary that I thought would be worthy of discussion.

James Sandin, Ethan’s character, is head of a specialized security firm that installs high-tech (very high-tech) security systems into private residential areas. His largest clients are his neighbors who live in a pricey, gated community.

Quickly, the viewer discovers that the need for these swanky security lock down systems is to protect people from The Purge– which is a government sponsored 12 hour period of criminal mayhem where any crime you commit (including murder) is given a free pass. The point of this freedom to act violently is to keep the crime rate at zero for the rest of the year.

That’s the trade off. Survive The Purge and live fear free the rest of the year.

Soon, the movie becomes a social commentary on our society. Is this really a government sponsored way to thin out the impoverished because they cannot afford to protect themselves like the upper class can by purchasing these types of security systems?

Things go awry when one of James’s children lets in a man who is being hunted by a mob of blood-thirsty young adults. If James and his family don’t release the man– then the mob will come in and kill his family.

Of course, jealous neighbors play into a good twist at the end but The Purge is a worth it thriller. I do think it’s nice to see a suspense movie with a thought provoking plot and not just violence without cause.

What about you? Have you seen The Purge? What did you think of the movie?

As an end note– I have not seen the second film in this series, The Purge: Anarchy, which seems more like violence for violence sake.

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