One day in the year for 12 hours from 7pm to 7am, everything is legal, everything including murder. A day where violence is allowed. Supposedly this day lowers crime rates throughout the year. One day where anyone can do whatever they want. No police. No ambulances. Just everyone to fend for themselves or, in the neighbourhood of the Sandin’s, go into full lockdown and stay indoors until the 12 hours have passed.
The Sandin family. This is who the whole film is revolved around, in their home. Father and mother, James (Ethan Hawke) and Mary (Lena Headley – yes, Cersei from ‘Game of Thrones’), and daughter and son, Zoey (Adelaide Kane) and Charlie (Max Burkholder). Previously, their security system in lockdown has never been destroyed, but this year sings the possibility of a break-in, especially when Charlie in worried mind lets in a stranger (Edwin Hodge) who was calling help from the street. Everything turns to chaos once he saves this man. Because this man brought the group that wanted to kill him with him, straight to the house. The psychotic Purgers outside have one request, let out the homeless man so they can kill him or they’re coming in…
Safe to say, ‘The Purge’ definitely got my heart racing, glued to the screen but wanting to look away. The killers were definitely psychotic and crazy enough to fear for everyone on screen. We all know sound is key in making a horror great and as scary as it can be, and dramatic music is definitely used in this one, as is silence, just as important. As the family are trapped in one house, so are the audience, unable to escape with maniac killers on the loose. Lighting is also something important and when the Purgers cut off their power, everyone is plunged into darkness also adding to the horror of the film.
I wouldn’t say this is the best horror I have ever seen. But it is good and there were parts I was held in uncertainty of life or death for those on screen. I’m definitely intrigued to watch the other two films that have followed on from this one. It has a good plot and of course a great horror story! They created clever suspense and thrilling moments. Also, it helps that the actors and actresses are played amazingly well. If you’re looking for a new horror, this one isn’t bad, isn’t bad at all. Ticks all the boxes for a horror I think.