‘The Purge’ Goes Beyond a Thriller

'The Purge' is out in theaters June 7th.
‘The Purge’ is out in theaters June 7th.

Written and directed by James DeMonaco, ‘The Purge’ is a speculative thriller that takes place in a future America where one night a year people are allowed to take part in any act of crime without punishment. In 2022, ‘The Purge’ America has been reborn with unemployment and crime rates at an all-time low. This can be attributed to the yearly Purge. In this 12-hour period, from 7:00 PM to 7:00AM all the law-abiding citizens can address their pent up anger and attack and kill anyone without consequence. A wealthy family readies themselves for yet another Purge, which they personally do not participate in, but regardless, hoards of murders come to their home ready to attack. DeMonaco’s film is overflowing with ideas about social class, race, and violence and he has found a horror/thriller story line in which to address them.

DeMonaco’s film was screened at the Stanley Film Festival this year, which showcases classic and contemporary independent horror cinema at the haunted Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. While there is plenty of bloodshed and violence, the most disturbing part of the movie is the actual concept of this Purge. ‘The Purge’ has been criticized for not delving deep enough into America’s issues, but just touching on the ideas of aristocracy and race is enough to get the audience thinking. It is hard to ignore the idea that in this world America has saved itself from destruction by killing themselves off. The Purge allows them to kill anyone in general, but what what becomes a reality is that they are killing the people that are not contributing to the betterment of society; in essence, the poor and homeless.

This movie was released on June 7th and has made nearly $52 million to date domestically. ‘The Purge’ stars Ethan Hawke, Rhys Wakefield and Lena Headey. ‘The Purge’ received a B- from Entertainment Weekly’s ‘Movie Review’ and a 37% on Rotten Tomatoes’ ‘Tomatometer.’