The Purge movie review
Firstly, I just want to say that from what I was able to glean from all the other reviews I've read about this film, some very stupid people (who fancy themselves intellectuals) seem to be under the impression that if you like this movie, you'd actually be a person that's in support of something like "the purge" happening. That's the dumbest thing in the world to assume. A movie is a movie, and even if it has a certain political/social message, it depends on the content of the film and the way it's presented that would determine a person's stance on an issue. If this was just a movie that's obviously villanizing a particular group of people and spreading unjust hatred, then that would be one thing. However, this is a "what if" type of film. I found it thought provoking, and the fact that if something like this could take place in real life, it would be scary. The scariest part is, I don't think it's something that would be too far off from happening, nor do I think it's out of the question—that's what makes it a horror film, in my opinion.
When this movie first came out, that last thing I intended to do was rush for the theaters to watch it. Come to think of it, I didn't even entertain the thought of buying the DVD when it was released. Why? Everything I heard about it was negative. I distinctly recall the actor, Jared Padalecki, making a tweet about it that went something like this: "Just saw The Purge. Can I please have the last hour and a half of my life back?" Or something to that effect. That quote isn't verbatim and I don't feel like hunting up the actual tweet, but his opinion of the film was somewhere in that ballpark. I saw other people tweeting things about it, and the reviews seemed a little mixed, though the negs weren't shy about rearing their ugly heads, but I instantly ticked it off in my mental repertoire as a film to avoid. To top it off, two of my older nephews told me it was good. That clenched it. About 75-80% of the time, their notion of quality entertainment is not equivalent to mine. I think the opinion of Padalecki stuck in my head, which is ludicrous when I think back on it now. Why the hell would I put any trust in an actor's opinion like that??? I feel nuts for doing it.
After actually watching the movie a few weeks ago, my opinion is that it's actually a really good film. Exceptionally better than I thought it would be. When I heard the concept of it a long time ago, I thought it would be nothing more than an hour and forty minutes of senseless acts of violence with no real purpose. Like the movie A-Team. Now, after having seen it, I can tell you, that it's not that way at all.
In case you're unfamiliar with what the movie is about, the basic plot is this: Sometime in the not-so-distant future, America has sanctioned a day of "purging" for its society, which means for a certain amount of time (I think it was twelve hours), US citizens can go out and commit violence towards one another. What does that mean, exactly? Well, you get to rape, murder, severely injure, etcetera, within the allotted period freely, without any legal ramifications. The point of this is stated clearly within the first five minutes of the film; the purpose of "The Purge" is to rid society of what America considers its scum: in other words, mainly poor people, and those susceptible to violence. I noticed a few comments on IMDB—where morons typically go to pick nonsensical fights with people as if they actually have made movies themselves—claiming that if something like that actually started happening, they'd buy a plane ticket and haul ass out of the country during that time frame. I just sighed and rolled my eyes at that. I wanted to say to them, "Dummy, if you can afford to do that for yourself, as well as everyone else in your family, they don't consider you 'scum' in their society." But thankfully, someone else had already responded to them with pretty much the same thing. Pretty much everything that the movie is about is summed up during the first five minutes of viewing. There are certain parts that you will see coming a mile away; then there are other portions that will take you off guard.
I think the only people that truly hated this film are America worshippers. They don't actually believe (or at least they don't want to believe) that the US would go for something like this now or in the future. Oh, please. In a country that will allow someone like Donald Trump to run for president—a bigoted celebrity who is rich and therefore he believes he should rule an entire nation of people—I actually believe that a "Purge" is possible. Before you go thinking that I'm an upper middle class yuppie who voted for the tea party, think again. I'm actually one of the racial minority that grew up poor in America and realized many years ago first hand, as soon as I could understand life itself, just how much this country hates people like me. And before any racist makes a comment that if I think this country is so bad, I should move, that goes to show how much you know and how small your mind is—racism is everywhere. Hatred for darker skinned members of the world exist in every corner of the world. The poor in society have always been scorned or ignored. Someone like the old Trumpster would more than likely watch The Purge and it would give him a great idea about the first bill he'd want passed.
The acting in the film is good. The writing is good. But whoever directed it did a superb job—I really mean that. Between the visuals and the music, I think they did great. For a movie that could have fallen completely flat, it was actually a rather riveting horror story. There was a darkness that fell over the film, and it didn't necessarily have anything to do with most of it obviously being shot at night. There are no elements of the supernatural in it, but it's one of those films that are so eerie and intense, it incites the same feelings you would have during a movie that features paranormal monsters. And oh, those masks…and the way those that wore the masks played their parts. One of those women dressed in white gave me the absolute creeps.
No, I'm not a scaredy cat, either. I love horror films. I just didn't expect this one to give me the willies the way it did.
Do I recommend it? If you can take a little sadistic violence (as well as the allusion of it), along with a plot that's a little out of the box, then I think you might want to check it out. I (surprisingly) enjoyed it. You might, too.
**I just searched for the movie poster to put in this post and it’s a 12-hr period, so there you go. Just don’t call me a dumbass (at least, not to my face).