Horror definitely isn’t my favourite genre of film but every now and then I pluck up the courage to flick through the horror section of Netflix and take my pick. After scrolling through many appealing films such as ‘Chucky’ and ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ I deemed The Purge as scary enough to meet its criteria but neutral enough for me to get some sleep after watching it. The film was a little disappointing and the outcome was obvious in some parts but after getting into bed whilst clutching Winnie the Pooh, I couldn’t help but mentally explore all of the different possibilities of the film if the same thing were to happen in real life.
For you guys that haven’t seen The Purge, I’ll summarise it for you. Think the Hampton’s, no financial problems, smiles all round and over-friendly neighbours. However, for 12 hours, 7pm to 7am once a year, all bets are off crime wise, anything and everything is permissible and everybody representing law and order turn a blind eye. The decision on everybody’s mind is to purge (the act of killing somebody) or to remain safe. The film focuses on the Sandins, a wealthy family who, with the help of their father’s business, have the most up-to-date home security system installed in preparation for the Purge.
Completely safe right? Naturally, like all good horror films, some idiot (in this case being the youngest son) decides to unintentionally endanger the protagonist. The son decides to rescue a complete stranger who was being chased thus, putting danger on the family, as they were then the targets too. Add several killing sprees, some frightening masks and a group of disloyal neighbours and you’ve pretty much summed up the film. The concept is ridiculous I know, but it did get me thinking. Which crimes would you commit if you were allowed? On the night of ‘The Purge’ would you be the one killing or would you be searching your town, weeks in advance for the best home surveillance?
If somebody were to pose the question as to whether The Purge should become a real life event, I’d brand him or her a fool for even suggesting such nonsense. Murder and theft happen every day so imagine how much it would increase if the consequence of imprisonment was to be negated.
Murder, rape, violence, fraud; I don’t imagine myself inflicting any of these things on anyone and I certainly wouldn’t want them happening to me. When you take a step backwards and look at the human race, we’re not in such a bad state. The terrorists and the rapists et al are few and far between (and it’s always been this way) because there are far more good people in this world than bad. As thrilling and as genre-fitting as the film was, it is a bit of a ridiculous concept which diminished the reality of the film. Because of the fictional plot, excluding some twists and turns, the outcome of the film was predictable and thus being so, I suspect the film, although perfectly well made and acted, won’t be scooping up numerous Oscars anytime soon.