Movies I won’t be seeing – The Purge.

Well I have a toothache, a really vicious one, and so I am in vicious mood. Thus it seemed like the perfect time to start a series of blogs in which I rant at how far down the pathway of suck Hollywood often goes. And now we start with the first big “horror” of the Summer, The Purge.

The concept behind this movie is very simple. A near future America has almost no crime, and no poverty. How did they achieve this miracle of social engineering? By declaring all crime of, any type, legal for one night of the year. So for one night of the year you can have your house broken into, be gang-raped, and then have what’s left of you tortured to death. Oh and guess what? Yes, that’s right, the police, the ambulance service, and the hospitals will do NOTHING to help you (we’ll get to the last part in a minute). According to this movie this is apparently the cure to all of America’s social whoa. I think I forgot to mention something, if you don’t get involved you can be summarily shot.

Now I like a dystopian future as much as the next nerd, 1984 is both one of my favourite books, as well as one of my favourite movies. But I really don’t think the writers of this premise really thought it through, at all.

There is no possible way that this premise could cure any of the social ills of any nation. For starters what will this fictional America do about the huge numbers of PTSD sufferers they wind up with post-Purge night? What about the complete breakdown in trust between people? Because you sure as fuck aren’t gonna trust your violin teacher if you saw her hacking the fingers off of her least promising student, for playing every note flat. What about the insane cost of basically rebuilding huge swathes of most cities every single year. What about the collapse of healthcare after doctors, nurses, orderlies, and frustrated dentists realise that they can legally walk into a hospital ward, and slaughter every single person there with total impunity?

It’s a dumbass premise for a dystopia movie…what? It’s the premise for a home-invasion movie?

Oh fuck, Hollywood? Really? I just give up, I’m taking some painkillers and going back to bed. I can’t cope with a toothache and this sort of idiocy at the same time.

Good day to you.

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3 Comments to “Movies I won’t be seeing – The Purge.”

  1. This is a really late response to this but I just came across your writing by searching for “purge movie PTSD”. I was looking for takes on that aspect of the movie, as it’s something I picked up on while watching it recently (themes of PTSD and homelessness in veterans) but haven’t seen it addressed much.

    Now at first glance it does seem like the movie is presenting the idea as a glorification of the violence and lawlessness, and the Purge as a cure for all social ills. There also seems to be an element of that in the marketing to attract horror fans who want to see some violence and gore.

    However it’s actually a fairly interesting film that explores, in it’s own small-scale and uneven way, the actual consequences of such a dystopian event, and criticizes the idea that letting people loose every year to “clean up” society (killing poor people and the homeless, essentially) would be a solution. There’s an undercurrent of doubt about the whole process, and it’s shown as something that is supposedly working (for now), but it’s alluded that the event is getting more and more out of hand every year and not everyone is on board with it. Parts of it are played up for suspense, especially with the masked killers seen in the previews, but I found there to be some real commentary here.

    I personally also read it as a criticism of the way PTSD is handled in the US, specifically with issues relating to PTSD in veterans. The character of the homeless man who is let into the main characters’ home is a veteran, and I found that significant. He represents the problem that no one wants to acknowledge until they are forced to.

    It’s not a great movie but I found that it clearly condemns violence, and at least makes an effort to show some of the real effects that it can have, and also criticizes the idea of poor people, who can’t afford big houses with security systems, being the root of society’s problems. I just wished there was more of an exploration of that, but you get what you can from a summer movie!

    • Hi Jesse,

      Sorry for the delay in approval, and reply. For some reason my dashboard never told me you’d replied, I may have to punish it somehow.

      Anyway, after The Purge was released I did ask a few people who’d been to it whether it actually turned out to be what the adverts implied or not; and most of them told me pretty much what you wrote. But even with that I still won’t be giving the producers my money. Simply because what they advertised will now forever be what I see the Purge as. SO I guess it could be used as an object lesson in not using false advertising.

      Nehew, glad you replied, and took so much time to send me such a good reply. Hope you enjoy my blog, and that I hear from you again.

      • Oh no problem!

        Going back and looking at the trailer again, as I hadn’t seen it in awhile, there are definitely issues with the way it’s marketed. Specifically towards the end where there are a bunch of dramatic flash cuts showcasing most of the violence in the actual movie. One part that hints at the movie having something to say is one of the characters saying “Nothing is ever going to be OK again”, which is at least an effort to portray some consequences. That and the distorted “America the Beautiful” blasted towards the end, although that was far from subtle. I agree, these moments are overshadowed pretty heavily by the rest of the trailer though.

        It was good to hear back from you, I always love discussing these kinds of issues in movies, forgettable as the movies themselves may be.

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