The Purge (2013)
May 10, 2022 6:47 PM - Subscribe

Given the country's overcrowded prisons, the U.S. government begins to allow 12-hour periods of time in which all illegal activity is legal. During one of these free-for-alls, a family must protect themselves from a home invasion.
posted by DirtyOldTown (10 comments total)
 
I didn't watch this movie for years after it came out just because of the way the memes portrayed it. When I finally did watch it, I thought it was much better than the reviews and online commentary had led me to believe.

Or maybe the world just got that much shittier in the intervening six or so years, so what was originally a half baked allegory suddenly turned into a "yeah, I totally see this coming" type of movie.
posted by Literaryhero at 10:30 PM on May 10 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I sort of ignored it for a few years after it came out and then a friend recommended the original to me and I watched it and it was more entertaining than I expected.
posted by rmd1023 at 3:53 AM on May 11


My objection to these movies is that everyone just immediately descends into elaborate murder. Where are all the people trying to steal from shops, or the graffiti artists tagging the state capitol, or all the exhibitionists, or even just people pirating movies guilt-free?
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:37 AM on May 11 [8 favorites]


It's true! There's so much available crime one could do. "Sorry I'm late with all the spray paint colors you needed, I had to dodge not one but TWO fucking murder squads. What is their problem?!"
posted by rmd1023 at 4:58 AM on May 11 [9 favorites]


My objection to these movies is that everyone just immediately descends into elaborate murder.

Right?? And one question I've always had about the movies--and if they have covered it, forgive me, I don't remember--is when The Purge is scheduled, are we not allowed to leave the country? Like, I would totally book a vacation just over the Canadian border or similar when Purgin' time came around.
posted by Kitteh at 6:15 AM on May 11 [5 favorites]


I've only seen it once and that was a while ago, but wasn't that sort of the implied point? That if you were well off you weren't at risk because you could secure your property behind unbreachable walls, but... plot twist, the crime is coming from inside the house this time!
posted by Molesome at 7:08 AM on May 11 [1 favorite]


This is one of the most surprisingly consistent film series around. The brief (two seasons) TV show was also terrific.

I wish the show had gotten to keep going because it was gradually answering many of my questions. What if people got a taste for killing and couldn't stop when the alarm sounded? How do they handle interactions that were in progress as the alarm goes off? Even if you survive an attack from your neighbors, what would it be like to live in a neighborhood when you know everyone there wants you dead? Shouldn't high-end theft be insanely easy, since no one wants to die for some rich asshole's shit? The film series answered a few of these too. (Yes, there is Purge Insurance.) But they never did get to the why-not-flee-to-Canada thing. I'm guessing the answer is societal pressure to "support the Purge."

While there is a ton of interesting crime that could happen, the omission of that is one part that never bothered me. I mean, sure I'd love to boost a Lamborghini and see what it's like to drive 200 mph, but not if it would have me cross paths with murder squads in cartoon masks.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:08 AM on May 11 [2 favorites]


I also think the series has picked up some respect over time, because while at first a person might ask, "Is this allegory or just viciousness?" the sequels have increasingly made it clear that it was always always allegory.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:09 AM on May 11


While there is a ton of interesting crime that could happen, the omission of that is one part that never bothered me. I mean, sure I'd love to boost a Lamborghini and see what it's like to drive 200 mph, but not if it would have me cross paths with murder squads in cartoon masks.

I feel like Purge world is also similar enough to our world that most people would be rightly cynical about their chances of getting away with set-you-up-for-life money. In our world, you can do all the "there's no rule saying a dog can't play basketball" legal interpretations you want, but if you make the wrong people mad, a prosecutor will find some way of charging you with something. Did you hack $1bn from someone's accounts during Purge night? Well, the money transfer didn't actually happen until the next morning, so you don't get your money and also you're going to jail. And if your risky theft is too petty to merit institutional intervention, you still have all the risks of making a rich person take special notice of you in murderworld. Not worth it.

Maybe the problem is that the cartoon-masked murderers should be doing more thieving? I mean, it's not worth the risk for normies, but if you're out there anyway.... (now I want to watch the Purge TV series to see if there's a IRS:Purge division to make sure people report all their loot)
posted by grandiloquiet at 8:34 AM on May 11 [2 favorites]


The movie itself, while a great premise, was deeply disappointing because none of the characters are empathetic at all. At best I didn't care if characters died and at worst I wanted them to be killed so the movie would be over.

However, the subsequent film was much better and I'm glad the concept was given a second chance. The show was, for me, the most fascinating because it did focus on what happens after the Purge is over as well as a wide range of various characters. I wish it had continued.
posted by miss-lapin at 12:11 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


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