What if for one night, you could do anything you wanted – any criminal activity, even murder – and no police or any authorities of any kind would stop you? No, this is not a documentary about Friday night on the Cape Flats. This is the rather intriguing premise for speculative thriller The Purge, which sees Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey trying to survive one such very night against a group of people with a penchant for creepy masks and really big knives.
If on one night every year, you could commit any crime without facing consequences, what would you do? In “The Purge,” a speculative thriller that follows one family over the course of a single night, four people will be tested to see how far they will go to protect themselves when the vicious outside world breaks into their home.
In an America wracked by crime and overcrowded prisons, the government has sanctioned an annual 12-hour period in which any and all criminal activity—including murder—becomes legal. The police can’t be called. Hospitals suspend help. It’s one night when the citizenry regulates itself without thought of punishment. On this night plagued by violence and an epidemic of crime, one family wrestles with the decision of who they will become when a stranger comes knocking.
When an intruder breaks into James Sandin’s (Ethan Hawke) gated community during the yearly lockdown, he begins a sequence of events that threatens to tear a family apart. Now, it is up to James, his wife, Mary (Lena Headey), and their kids to make it through the night without turning into the monsters from whom they hide.
Just so we’re all clear, all the bad stuff that was promised in that trailer was totally the fault of Hawke’s character’s child of indeterminate gender, right? Kids suck. Which is why I recommend that whenever you find yourself in a situation that even vaguely resembles a dangerous scene from a movie, just find the nearest kid and render him unconscious through a method of your choosing. Trust me, it will be better off for everybody in the long run.
Along with that sterling survival advice, we also have a some images to go along with that trailer.
I have to say, despite the far fetched nature of the film’s premise, this film does rather intrigue me. I hope they play up the whole “free to do whatever” angle instead of it just devolving into a straight home invasion thriller where they can’t call the cops, as that could make for some interesting narrative possibilities. Stars Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey have both been producing seriously solid work as of late, so they would certainly have the dramatic chops to carry this film into some very interesting situations.
This is writer/director James DeMonaco’s sophomore directorial effort after mainly being known as a writer, penning such screenplays as The Negotiator and Assault on Precinct 13, the latter of which also starred Hawke. I’ve never seen or even heard of DeMonaco’s debut effort behind the camera, Staten Island, a direct to DVD effort (starring who else? Ethan Hawke!) but based on the strength of this writing credentials, this could be a decent watch.
The Purge is set for release on May 31, 2013.
Last Updated: April 4, 2013