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Monday, 16 September 2013

Film : The Purge


The Purge is a 2013 American science fiction thriller film directed and written by James DeMonaco. Starring Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey, the film is set in the year 2022 when the United States has become "a nation reborn", with crime and unemployment rates 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 WMDs) is forbidden. 

The Purge is designed to act as a catharsis for the American people, so that they may vent all negative emotions and repressed urges however and on whoever they desire. The idea of "The Purge" is very similar to the Krypteia tradition every autumn of ancient Sparta.


James Sandin (Ethan Hawke) is a wealthy home security salesman who lives in a nice neighborhood in the streets of San Francisco, 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 extension 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 with a pair of glasses and the glasses are connected to the camera, causing 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. Later an Emergency Broadcast System message appears on television, telling America the rules of the Purge and that all police, fire, and hospital aid will be shut down for the 12 hour period. Tornado sirens start blaring outside, commencing the start of the annual "Purge", which is a period when all crime is legal and emergency services remain suspended.

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 (Edwin Hodge), outside the house pleading for help. Charlie deactivates the security system and lets him in. James intercepts the stranger and holds him at gunpoint. Henry appears and opens fire on James, to eliminate the obstacle preventing his relationship with Zoey. James fatally shoots Henry, and in the confusion the stranger escapes to hide within the house. Zoey runs off with the fatally-wounded Henry and watches him die. James then goes off in search of his daughter and the stranger.

Later, a group of masked vigilantes led by a sadistic man who wears a suit and is known as "Polite Leader" (Rhys Wakefield) arrive at their home, looking for the stranger. The leader emphasizes that James' family and the "Purgers" have common interests in the Purge, and that they have no desire to hurt "their own people". The leader reveals that the stranger's homelessness made him a good candidate for purging, and that James should not impede their right to purge. The leader suggests the family give them the stranger or else they'll kill everyone inside. James admits that the security system was designed to act as a deterrent, but not to withstand any number of aggressive assaults. Charlie finds the stranger and leads him to a secret hiding place. Zoey inadvertently stumbles into the stranger when she tries to hide in the same place and he holds her at gunpoint. Mary arrives on the scene and as the stranger's attention is focused on her, James forcibly takes Zoey from him and straddles him on the floor, pounding his head with a vase and knocking him out. James and Mary tie up the stranger to subdue him, aggravating his wounds, ready to deliver him to the people outside. After seeing James with Zoey, the stranger sadly tells James to take him 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 the Sandins are forced to defend themselves. James sees two of the attackers in the pool table room. He incapacitates one of the attackers by grabbing a pool ball and whacking him upside the head with it. The other killer tries to murder him with a firefighter axe, but he shoots her with his shotgun.

Another "Purger" bursts in from the window and attacks James, but he kills him with the firefighter's axe. However, as James left the room, he stumbles upon the "Polite Leader" of the purgers and the leader puts a Bowie knife in James' stomach. Meanwhile, as Mary searches the house for the purgers, she is assaulted by two of them (Alicia Vela-Bailey and Aaron Kuban) and is unable to defend herself. The female "Purger" takes out a machete and sharpens it on the ground. As she reaches back and is just about to kill Mary with the machete a couple of neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Halverson, arrive and shoot the two purgers. Mary gets on her feet and goes to find her family, only to find James struggling for his life. The "Polite Leader" meets them and attempts to kill them with his shotgun, but before he can kill the family, he is suddenly shot dead from a handgun in the hands of Zoey. Mary thanks the neighbours, who 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 the little robotic video camera doll scoot across the floor. Then the stranger comes to the Sandins' aid. He kills Mr. Cali with his handgun, holds Grace in a headlock and threatens to murder the remaining neighbors if they don't let the Sandins go, which they do. Mary decides to spare her neighbors, as too many people have already been killed as well as to deny them the pleasure of living without the family. While waiting for the end of the Purge at the kitchen table, Grace tries to grab Mary's gun to shoot her, but Mary deflects the attack and hits Grace with the gun and smashes her face into the table. The surviving neighbors and the stranger leave the house and walk away as sirens outside start blaring again, signaling the end of the Purge. The family watches emergency services vehicles arrive outside their home. During the credits, there is audio from television broadcasts stating that this Purge was the most successful due to the record high number of murders, with stock markets opening high, due to the release of aggression and sales of home defense systems and weapons.


Ethan Hawke as James Sandin
Lena Headey as Mary Sandin
Max Burkholder as Charlie Sandin
Adelaide Kane as Zoey Sandin
Rhys Wakefield as Polite Leader
 Edwin Hodge as Bloody Stranger
Tony Oller as Henry
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
 Peter Gvozdas as Peter Buynak
 David Basila as George
Karen Strassman as Newscaster
John Weselcouch as Rude Freak
Alicia Vela-Bailey as Female Freak
Aaron Kuban as Freak
Boima Blake as Freak
Nathan Clarkson as Freak
Chester Lockhart as Freak

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