Theatrical release poster
(Hospitality Services version)
|Directed by||James DeMonaco|
|Produced by||Michael Bay
Sébastien Kurt Lemercier
|Written by||James DeMonaco|
|Music by||Nathan Whitehead|
|Editing 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 directed and written by James DeMonaco and starring Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane, Edwin Hodge, Tony Oller, Rhys Wakefield, Arija Bareikis, and Chris Mulkey.
Despite mixed to negative reviews, the film grossed $89,328,627 during its run, surpassing its $3 million budget. The film was turned into a scare zone for 2013's annual Halloween Horror Nights due to its success, and has developed a cult following. A sequel, titled The Purge: Anarchy, is set for a worldwide theatrical release on July 18, 2014.
In the year 2022, the United States has become "a nation reborn" this is because of the New Founding Fathers of America. Crime and unemployment rates are hitting an all-time low due to the government having instituted an annual 12-hour period called "the Purge" during which all criminal activity (including murder, theft, and rape) becomes legal. The only rules during the Purge are that government officials of "ranking 10 or higher" must remain unharmed and usage of weaponry above "Class 4" (such as military weapons and WMDs) is forbidden. Additionally, the police and emergency services are suspended during this time and anyone who doesn't follow the rules of the Purge will receive the death penalty. The Purge is designed to act as a catharsis for the American middle and working classes, so that they may vent all negative emotions and repressed urges however and on whomever they desire, although it is implied throughout the film that the Purge is really just a method of population control, allowing the weeding-out of the impoverished and other people who are seen as a burden on the economy and society in general.
James Sandin (Ethan Hawke) is a wealthy home security salesman who lives in an affluent neighborhood in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California. James has made a fortune selling home security systems—comprising security cameras and metallic "butts" blocking any possible entrance—that are specifically designed for the Purge. One of the neighbors, Mrs. Grace Ferrin (Arija Bareikis), tells James' wife Mary (Lena Headey) the neighbors have been gossiping that the new addition on the Sandin family's house was financed by the security systems which her husband had sold them in the first place.
At their heavily fortified house, Mary struggles with their two children, Zoey (Adelaide Kane) and Charlie (Max Burkholder). Zoey is dating an older boy named Henry (Tony Oller), of whom her father does not approve and Charlie constantly questions the need for the Purge. Charlie has a little robotic video doll on an RC car (in which he has named the car "Timmy") with a pair of glasses connected to the camera, allowing Charlie to see everything in front of the RC Car. Zoey goes to her bedroom, where she finds Henry, who snuck into the house before the lockdown to convince James to bless their relationship and figured he could not be thrown out of the house during the Purge. At 7:00 P.M., an Emergency Broadcast System message appears on television, telling the United States the rules of the Purge and that all police, fire departments, and hospital aid will be shut down for the 12-hour period. Sirens start blaring outside, commencing the start of the annual Purge.
The Sandin family watch the events of the Purge unfold via the video monitors in the lounge. After a while, Charlie is left alone and notices a bloody stranger called Dwayne (Edwin Hodge) outside the house pleading for help. Charlie deactivates the security system and lets him in. James intercepts Dwayne and holds him at gunpoint. Henry appears with a handgun and opens fire on James, this apparently having been his plan all along in order to carry on his relationship with Zoey. James fatally shoots Henry, and in the confusion Dwayne escapes to hide within the house. Zoey runs off with the fatally-wounded Henry and watches him die. James goes off in search of his daughter and Dwayne.
A group of masked criminals, led by a sadistic man in a suit known as Polite Leader (Rhys Wakefield) approach the house looking for Dwayne. They threaten to kill everyone inside unless the family surrenders Dwayne, whose homelessness they claim makes him a good candidate for Purging. James admits to his wife that the security system was designed to act as a deterrent, but not to withstand any number of aggressive assaults. Charlie finds Dwayne and leads him to a secret hiding place. However, Zoey is held captive by Dwayne after she inadvertently stumbles into his hiding place. James arrives and subdues Dwayne, planning to turn him over to his pursuers outside. However, the Sandins have a change of heart after realizing they are becoming essentially no different from the Purgers outside. The Polite Leader, seemingly unsatisfied, announces that their time is up. Using chains and a truck the Purgers tear down the metal walls and enter the house, and the Sandins are forced to defend themselves.
James sees two of the murderers in the game room. He kills the first attacker by shooting her in the chest with a pump action shotgun and kills the second by throwing the killer's face down into a pinball machine, then dragging his head against the pieces of broken glass, stabbing his head. Another Purger tries to kill James but James grabs a fire-axe and throws the blade down into the murderer's back, killing him. He leaves the room, but is stabbed by the Polite Leader. As Mary is about to be killed, her neighbors led by Grace and her husband (Dana Bunch) come to the family's aid. Mr. and Mrs. Halverson (Chris Mulkey and Tisha French) shoot Mary's attackers and she goes in search of her family. After locating Mary, Charlie and a dying James, the Polite Leader attempts to kill them, but Zoey emerges at the door and shoots him dead. The neighbors enter the room, having killed the remainder of the Purgers. Although Mary thanks the neighbors, they reveal that they have come to kill the Sandins as the opportunity for this patriotic duty happens to coincide with their hatred for the family's wealth.
Just as the neighbors are about to kill the family, Charlie notices Timmy scoot across the floor. Then Dwayne comes to the Sandins' aid. He kills Mr. Cali (Tom Yi) with his handgun and holds the remaining neighbors at gunpoint. Deciding that too many people have already been killed and to ensure the neighbors live with their guilt, Mary spares their lives. They sit at the kitchen table and patiently await the end of the Purge. In one last desperate act, Grace tries to grab Mary's gun, but Mary beats her face with the butt of her gun and slams her face onto the table. The surviving neighbors leave the house and walk away, Dwayne then decides to leave, but before he could leave Mary thanks him, and tells him if hes going to be ok. Dwayne states he will be fine and leaves, as sirens outside start blaring again, signalling the end of the Purge. The family watches emergency services vehicles arrive outside their home to carry away the bodies of the Polite Leader and the other Purgers, as well as James's body (where he had succumbed to his wound).
During the ending credits, there is audio from radio broadcasts stating that this Purge was the most successful yet, due to the record high number of murders, with stock markets opening high with increased sales of home defense systems and weapons, and that the Purge for 2023 will occur as normal.
- 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 mixed to 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.
Due to the success of the first film, a sequel film is in development by Universal and Blumhouse in the near future. On November 20, 2013, the film was announced for a worldwide release on July 18, 2014.
- 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.
- "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