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 Movie Review - The Purge

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Enlightened Viewer

PostSubject: Movie Review - The Purge   Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:45 pm

The premise of this film interested me. It's set in the none too distant future and a law has been passed in America which has reduced unemployment to 1% and just about rid the US of crime. This law is that for 12 hours on a set night each year, citizens are able to purge themselves of all their pent up frustration and rage in a violent outburst against property and people. Posies of blue flowers are used to demonstrate you support the concept and these are placed in front of your home.

This is a small budget film, set in and around a family home. Much of the story is relatively predictable - it is a besieged drama. However Mark, our local cinema owner, has told me that in America it is out stripping M Night Shyamalan's picture After Earth, at the box office. The question is why? What is it about this film that has audiences in the States flocking?

For the family central to the film's story the purge has secured them financial security as the husband sells a state of the art security system. Naturally, the family home has one and they live in a good neighbourhood. The dynamic between rich and poor during Purge night, is discussed on the television in the background at one point, there is also a family discussion that highlights how the ideology/history is already being taught at school. These and other scenes bring home one of the films strong points: the concept is a well constructed, thought out piece of fiction. It is also well applied with a believable cause and effect scenario within it's premise.

A further achievement is the tension created. Again, we see nothing really new, the twists and turns aren't totally unexpected but they are so well executed in terms of acting and camera shots, point of view etc., that you become caught up as the events unfold on screen. It was clear that other members in the audience were enjoying the picture. The performances are believable.

Something else I felt the film got right was how we can relate to the position the family finds itself in. This means the film asks some difficult questions about the nature of humanity in relation to protecting your family. Again, you would expect that from the film's premise, but it's negotiated and explored well.

If you get a chance, have a look at this short, sharp chiller. I enjoyed it and would watch it again.

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