As you know, I saw Evil Dead this past week. One of the trailers before the movie was for The Purge. I had heard some excited giggles about it, but didn't know anything about it.
Anyway, here it is.
At first blush, I was kind of excited about it. It looks creepy and intense and all those things a good thriller should be.
And it has a pretty cool premise. For one night out of the year, anything goes. All that murderous rage you have pent up inside of you? Let it out. Kill a hobo. Hell, kill an honor student. The only authority you have to answer to is your own conscience (also, if that honor student's parents happen to have machetes at the ready, you will also have to answer to them). Apparently 12 crime-filled-hours a year is enough to keep the crime rate down the other 364 days of the year. (And, also, enough to keep unemployment amazingly low.)
But, the more I thought about it, the more ridiculous it all seemed.
Why are they wearing masks? I don't deny that it's creepy, but why would they wear them? They can't be punished for the things they do during The Purge. I suppose it's possible there's an actual reason for this, but I doubt it. I'm guessing they're wearing them to be creepy. When really...who cares? If I were in the house, I wouldn't care whether the people trying to kill me were in masks or not in masks. I would just be trying to survive. The masks wouldn't really concern me in that situation.
It all just feels a bit too much like The Strangers, but in different circumstances.
Don't get me wrong: I liked The Strangers. Sure, I felt it could've been quite a bit better, but I still enjoyed myself (if for no other reason than seeing Dennis Reynolds take a shotgun blast to the head. That guy...always joking). That doesn't mean I want to watch a different version of it.
And, in The Strangers, they had a reason to wear the masks. They could've been arrested if either Liv Tyler or Scott Speedman (I don't remember the character names, so I'm assuming they just played themselves in that movie) survived and was able to identify them. That line of logic is irrelevant in The Purge. Like I said, perhaps there is a reason for them wearing masks (they're the neighbors and don't want to be judged for killing someone, they fear retribution the next year, they're working for the government, etc.), but, since one of the characters has his mask off at the door, I'm left to assume there are no such reasons. Which makes them irrelevant.
What kind of system - one that relies on keeping a family safe in the face of a yearly murderthon - can be disarmed by a kid? Just by pushing a single button? You gotta password protect that thing.
The line "Nothing will ever be okay ever again" annoys me to no end. I have no idea what has happened up to that point, but I have a pretty good idea (my "good idea" revolves around Ethan Hawke dismembering a body with a hacksaw in front of his children). Still, it's an obnoxious, overdramatic and obvious line. I hope it doesn't make it into the movie.
This has nothing to do with the movie, but I just read that Lena Heady is broke. That makes me sad. I've always liked her. I've seen her in quite a bit, and she's always been great. Keep your head up, Lena. It's gonna be okay.
I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed the shot of them watching the neighbor sharpening his machete. I really want to do that at some point.
I have no doubt in my mind that I will watch this at some point. But I do not have high hopes for it.