The Purge (2013 film)

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The Purge
The Purge film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJames DeMonaco
Produced by
Written byJames DeMonaco
Music byNathan Whitehead
CinematographyJacques Jouffret
Edited byPeter Gvozdas
Distributed byUniversal Pictures[1]
Release date
Running time
85 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$3 million[3]
Box office$89.3 million[4]

The Purge is a 2013 American dystopian action horror film written and directed by James DeMonaco. The film stars Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Adelaide Kane, and Max Burkholder as members of a wealthy family who find themselves endangered by a gang of murderers during the annual Purge, a night during which all crime, including murder, is temporarily legal.

The Purge had its world premiere at Stanley Film Festival on May 7, 2013, and was theatrically released in the United States on June 7, 2013, by Universal Pictures. The film grossed $89 million against a $3 million budget.

It is the first installment in The Purge franchise, with a sequel, subtitled Anarchy, released worldwide on July 18, 2014.[5] A third film, Election Year, was released July 1, 2016, while a prequel depicting the origins of the event, The First Purge, was released on July 4, 2018.[6][7] A fifth and final film, The Forever Purge, will be released on July 9, 2021.[8]


In 2014, the New Founding Fathers of America, a totalitarian political party, are voted into office following an economic collapse. They pass a law sanctioning an annual "Purge": for 12 hours each year all crime, including murder, arson, theft and rape, is legal during the period, except against government officials, and all emergency services are unavailable until 7 am. By 2022, the United States has become virtually crime-free and the unemployment rate has dropped to 1%.

In 2022, James Sandin returns to his home in an affluent Los Angeles gated community to wait out the night with his wife Mary and their children, Zoey and Charlie. The family is assured the security system manufactured by James' company will keep them safe. While the family awaits the start of the purge, Zoey meets her boyfriend Henry, an older boy whom James dislikes as he is eighteen, deeming him too old for his daughter. James enables the security system, and as the purge begins, the family disperses in their home to go about their normal routines.

Zoey returns to her room to unexpectedly find Henry, who had snuck back in before the security system was engaged, and says he plans to confront her father about their relationship. Meanwhile, Charlie watches the security monitors, and sees a wounded man calling for help. He temporarily disables the system to allow the man into the house. James races to re-engage the system and holds the man at gunpoint. Henry comes downstairs and pulls a gun on James, but James fires back, mortally wounding Henry. During the chaos, the wounded man disappears and hides.

Through the surveillance cameras, the family sees a gang of masked, heavily armed people arriving at the front lawn. The leader warns them failure to surrender the wounded man will result in invasion. Mary asks James if the security system will protect them, but James admits the system will not actually resist a determined assault. They decide to find the man and give him to the purge gang outside, but after capturing him they realize they are no better than the gang. They decide to spare the man, and defend themselves against the gang.

With their deadline having passed, the gang uses chains attached to a truck to rip the metal plating off the front door and enter the house. James fights back with a shotgun and kills several gang members before he is stabbed by the leader. Charlie views the surveillance cameras, and notices their neighbors leaving their homes. The neighbors overpower and kill the remaining gang members. Mary is captured and humiliated by two purgers, one of who tickles her. Before they can kill her, the purgers are killed by the neighbors. The gang leader reappears, brandishing a shotgun to kill the family, but is fatally shot by Zoey with Henry's handgun. James succumbs to his injuries in front of Mary, Zoey, and Charlie, leaving them in tears.

Mary thanks their neighbors for their support, however one of them, Grace Ferrin, reveals their hatred for the Sandins due to the wealth acquired at their expense. Mary, Charlie and Zoey are bound by duct tape and put in the hallway. As the neighbors make a ritualistic preparation to kill them, the man whom Charlie let in earlier re-emerges. He shoots Mr. Cali, one of the neighbors, dead and holds Grace hostage, forcing the neighbors to free the Sandins. Mary prevents the stranger from killing the other neighbors, deciding they will all wait out the remainder of the Purge without any violence.

The next morning, in the last few minutes of the Purge, Mary, Grace, the man, and the neighbors wait in the living room. Mary asks a neighbor, Mr. Halverson, if he enjoyed Grace's "Purge party" (the meeting of the neighbors to discuss the plans for the murders), to which Halverson affirms. As Charlie and Zoey mourn James' death, Grace attempts to seize a shotgun from Mary; Mary regains control of the shotgun, rams the stock of the gun into Grace's nose and throws her head down onto a glass table, furiously ordering for an end to the violence. Mary orders Grace and the neighbors out of the house as the siren sounds, signaling the conclusion of the Purge. After the neighbors depart, Mary thanks the man for his help and he bids the Sandins good luck as he leaves behind the gun he was using.

During the credits, news reports are heard stating this year’s purge was the most successful to date. Other stations broadcast the stock market is booming due to the massive sales of weapons and security systems. A man’s voice speaks of the loss of his patriotism after the death of his sons the night before.


The Sandin family[edit]

The Neighbors[edit]

  • Arija Bareikis as Grace Ferrin
  • Tom Yi as Mr. Cali
  • Chris Mulkey as Mr. Halverson
  • Tisha French as Mrs. Halverson
  • Dana Bunch as Mr. Ferrin

The Purgers[edit]

  • Rhys Wakefield as Polite Purge Leader
  • John Weselcouch as Interrupting Freak Purger
  • Alicia Vela-Bailey as Blonde Female Freak Purger
  • Mickey Facchinello as Brunette Freak Purger
  • Boima Blake as Freak Purger
  • Nathan Clarkson as Freak Purger
  • Jesse Jacobs as Freak Purger
  • Aaron Kuban as Freak Purger
  • Chester Lockhart as Freak Purger
  • Tyler Osterkamp as Freak Purger
  • R. J. Wolfe as Freak Purger

Other characters[edit]


The film premiered at the Stanley Film Festival on May 2, 2013,[10] and released in cinemas on June 7, 2013, in the United States.[11]

Home media[edit]

The Purge was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on October 8, 2013. A 4K UHD Blu-Ray release occurred on June 12, 2018.[12]


Critical reception[edit]

Rotten Tomatoes reports an approval rating of 39% based on 155 reviews, with a weighted average of 5.20/10. The site's critics consensus reads, "Half social allegory, half home-invasion thriller, The Purge attempts to make an intelligent point, but ultimately devolves into numbing violence and tired clichés."[13] The film holds a score of 41 out of 100 on Metacritic, based on 33 critics, signifying "mixed or average reviews".[14]

On io9, Charlie Jane Anders described it as "a clunky and implausible political screed in movie form".[15] 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".[16]

On Tri-City Herald, Gary Wolcott described the movie as "[A]lmost the dumbest movie in history. My recommendation is purge The Purge from your weekend movie plans."[17]

Box office[edit]

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.[18] The film earned $64.5 million domestically and $24.9 million outside the United States, for a total of $89.3 million worldwide, with a production budget of $3 million.[19]

Sequels and prequel[edit]

Due to the success of the first film, a sequel, The Purge: Anarchy, was developed by Universal and Blumhouse. It was released worldwide on July 18, 2014 and is set in 2023, a year after the first film.[20][21] Edwin Hodge (The Stranger) was the only cast member to reprise a role.

A third film, The Purge: Election Year, was released on July 1, 2016.[22]

A fourth film, The First Purge, which is set as a prequel in the franchise, was released on July 4, 2018.[23]

A fifth and final film, The Forever Purge, will be released on July 9, 2021.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "The Purge (2013)". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved May 9, 2020.
  2. ^ "The Purge' (15)". British Board of Film Classification. April 30, 2013. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "The Purge (2013) – Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  5. ^ "The Purge Movies at the Box Office - Box Office Mojo".
  6. ^ "Warning: The next Purge will take place on July 4, 2018". February 17, 2017. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  7. ^ "Purge 4 Director Will be Burning Sands' Gerard McMurray". 20 July 2017.
  8. ^ a b Welk, Brian (July 8, 2020). "Universal Shifts Blumhouse's 'Halloween' Sequel and 'The Forever Purge' to 2021". TheWrap. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  9. ^ The character's real name was revealed as "Dante Bishop" in The Purge: Election Year.
  10. ^ Kit, Borys. "Ethan Hawke's The Purge to Open Inaugural Stanley Film Festival". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  11. ^ "The Purge (2013) – International Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  12. ^ "High Def Digest | Blu-ray and Games News and Reviews in High Definition". Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  13. ^ "The Purge (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved December 24, 2020.
  14. ^ "The Purge Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  15. ^ Anders, Charlie Jane (June 7, 2013). "The Purge could be this year's most hamfisted political movie". io9. Gawker Media. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  16. ^ Nashawaty, Chris (June 12, 2013). "The Purge Movie". Entertainment Weekly. Meredith Corporation. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  17. ^ Wolcott, Gary (June 6, 2013). "The Purge: Spend your money elsewhere". Tri-City Herald. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  18. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for June 7-9, 2013". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2013-06-16.
  19. ^ "The Purge (2013) – Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  20. ^ "The Purge has a sequel in development". 10 June 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  21. ^ "Universal Re-Slots The Purge:". 28 February 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  22. ^ Mike Fleming Jr (6 October 2014). "'The Purge' Scares Up Third Film With Director James DeMonaco - Deadline".
  23. ^ "This Is What The Purge 4 Will Be About - CINEMABLEND". 29 September 2016.

External links[edit]