Theatrical release poster
(Hospitality Services version)
|Directed by||James DeMonaco|
|Produced by||Jason Blum
Sébastien K. Lemercier
|Written by||James DeMonaco|
|Music by||Nathan Whitehead|
|Edited by||Peter Gvozdas|
Media Rights Capital
Why Not Productions
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Running time||85 minutes|
The Purge is a 2013 American science fiction horror thriller film written and directed by James DeMonaco. It stars Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane, Edwin Hodge, Tony Oller, Rhys Wakefield, Arija Bareikis, and Chris Mulkey.
Despite mixed reviews, the film grossed $89,328,627 during its run, far surpassing its $3 million budget. The film was turned into a scare zone for 2013's annual Halloween Horror Nights due to its success. A sequel, titled The Purge: Anarchy, is set for a worldwide theatrical release on July 18, 2014.
In 2022, crime and unemployment rates in the United States reach unprecedented lows. This is because the country is now governed by the New Founding Fathers of America who have enacted The Purge, a twelve-hour period held from 7:00 PM March 21 to 7:00 AM March 22 annually during which all crime (including murder, theft, and rape) is completely legal. The only rules during the Purge is that government officials of "ranking 10 or higher" must remain unharmed and the usage of weaponry above "Class 4" is forbidden. Also, police and emergency services are suspended during this time period. Anyone who doesn't follow the rules of The Purge will be executed. Though presented as a catharsis for the release of negative emotions and repressed urges, the Purge really serves as a form of population control as the poor and the homeless are victims during this period.
Hours before the annual Purge commences, security system salesman James Sandin (Ethan Hawke) returns to his home in an affluent Los Angeles suburb to prepare for holding out the night with his wife Mary (Lena Headey) and their two children, Zoey (Adelaide Kane) and Charlie (Max Burkholder). The family is assured that the security system from James' company, which his house as well as many of the homes in the development are outfitted with, will keep them safe. Zoey sees her boyfriend Henry (Tony Oller), an older boy whom James dislikes. James enables the security system, which includes a remote camera monitoring system and metal plating that seals the home. The Purge begins, and the family disperses in their home to go about their normal routine.
Zoey returns to her room to find Henry had snuck back before the security system was engaged, and he plans to confront James about their love while they are in confined spaces. Meanwhile, Charlie watches the security monitors and sees a wounded man trying to find help. He temporarily disables the system to allow the man Dwayne (Edwin Hodge) into the house. James races to re-engage the system and holds Dwayne at gunpoint as Henry comes downstairs and pulls a gun on James. Henry's shot misses, but James fires back, fatally wounding Henry, and in the chaos, Dwayne disappears and hides elsewhere in the house. Henry makes his way back to Zoey's room before dying and she takes his gun while James takes Mary and Charlie back to the security control room.
As James scolds Charlie, they witness a group of young adults wielding guns and wearing masks approach the house. Their leader (Rhys Wakefield) unmasks himself and warns them via the cameras that the man they have taken in is homeless and a prime target for the Purge and if they don't return the man by a given time, they will break into the house and kill everyone. As the gang cuts power to the home, James is forced to admit that the security systems are only meant as a deterrent and would not protect against a forceful invasion. He and Mary go off to find Dwayne intent on turning him in, while Charlie, using a remote-controlled toy, finds him and lures him to a secret space to hide him from his parents. Zoey inadvertently stumbles into the space, and Dwayne takes her hostage as James and Mary converge on him. The family realizes that they are acting as bad as the Purgers, and they decide not to turn him over.
The Purger gang, their deadline having passed, proceed to use a truck to rip the metal plating from the front door and enter the home. James kills several of them before he himself is killed by the leader. Just as Mary is about to be killed, the family's neighbors the Ferrins come to their aid, killing most of the Purger gang, with Zoey killing their leader. The Sandins are initially relieved that the neighbors had saved them from the Purgers until the neighbors reveal they had come there to kill the Sandins as they are jealous of their wealth due to the sales of security systems. Dwayne emerges and kills one of the neighbors before they can kill the Sandins. Mary says there has been too much killing that night and along with Dwayne, watches the neighbors while they wait out the remainder of the Purge in peace.
Just before the end-of-purge siren sounds, Grace Ferrin attempts a last-ditch effort at purging by attempting to grab Mary's gun off the table. Mary thwarts this attempt and butts Grace in the face with her gun breaking her nose. As the Purge ends, the neighbors leave for their own homes along with Dwayne. Mary, Zoey, and Charlie watch as emergency services come to retrieve the dead.
The film's credits end on news reports saying that this Purge was the most successful one yet, spurring the stock market with sales of more security systems and weapons.
- Ethan Hawke as James Sandin
- Lena Headey as Mary Sandin
- Adelaide Kane as Zoey Sandin
- Max Burkholder as Charlie Sandin
- Edwin Hodge as Dwayne: The Bloody Stranger
- Tony Oller as Henry
- Arija Bareikis as Grace Ferrin
- Dana Bunch as Mr. Ferrin
- Chris Mulkey as Mr. Halverson
- Tisha French as Mrs. Halverson
- Tom Yi as Mr. Cali
- Peter Gvozdas as Dr. Peter Buynak (voice)
- David Basila as George (voice)
- Karen Strassman as Newscaster (voice)
- Rhys Wakefield as Polite Leader-1
- John Weselcouch as Interrupting Purger-2
- Alicia Vela-Bailey as Female Purger-3
- Aaron Kuban as Purger-4
- Boima Blake as Purger-5
- Nathan Clarkson as Purger-6
- Chester Lockhart as Purger-7
- Tyler Jaye as Purger-8
- RJ Wolfe as Purger-9
The Purge received negative reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes records a rating of 37% based on 131 reviews, with a weighted average of 5.1/10 and the site's consensus stating "Half social allegory, half home-invasion thriller, The Purge attempts to use thriller formula to make an intelligent point—but ultimately only ends up sinking in numbing violence and tired cliches." The film holds a score of 41/100 on Metacritic based on 33 reviews, signifying mixed or average critics. The film received a "C" on CinemaScore.
On io9, Charlie Jane Anders described it as "a clunky and implausible political screed in movie form." Entertainment Weekly gave The Purge a B−, saying that it "clearly has a lot on its mind, but it never really manages to express it."
In its opening weekend, The Purge topped the box office with $16.8 million on opening day and $34.1 million through the entire weekend. The film has collected $64,473,115 domestically and $87,043,336 worldwide, with a production budget of $3 million.
The Purge was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on October 8, 2013.
- List of films featuring home invasions
- "The Return of the Archons", a 1967 episode of Star Trek in which an otherwise placid society is allowed pre-scheduled 12-hour periods of lawlessness and violence.
- Madeinusa, a 2005 film about a village that believes it is impossible to sin from Good Friday to Easter.
- This is Moscow Speaking (1962), a novel by Yuli (Nikolai Arzhak) Daniel.
- You're Next, another home invasion movie that was released in 2013.
- "The Purge' (15)". British Board of Film Classification. April 30, 2013. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
- Kaufman, Amy (2013-06-06). "Box office: Low-budget 'The Purge' expected to beat 'The Internship'". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
- "The Purge (2013) – Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
- Kit, Borys. "Ethan Hawke's The Purge to Open Inaugural Stanley Film Festival". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- "The Purge (2013) – International Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
- "The Purge (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Warner Bros. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
- "The Purge". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
- Subers, Ray. "Weekend Report: 'Purge' Kills, 'Fast,' 'Trek' Reach $200 Million". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
- Anders, Charlie Jane (2013-06-07). "The Purge could be this year's most hamfisted political movie". io9. Gawker Media. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
- Nashawaty, Chris (2013). "The Purge". Entertainment Weekly (1263): 72. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
- "Weekend Box Office Results for June 7-9, 2013". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2013-06-16.
- "The Purge shocks with $36.4 million opening at box office". Newsday. Associated Press. 2013-06-09. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
- "The Purge has a sequel in development". 10 June 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
- Official website
- Official website at Blumhouse Productions' website
- The Purge at the Internet Movie Database
- The Purge at Box Office Mojo
- The Purge at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Purge at Metacritic
- The Purge at AllMovie by Jason Buchanan