This review is full of spoilers. I would suggest not reading it until you have seen the movie, if you want to be surprised at how it goes. This movie was bad. Awful. read on to see why.
So the basic facts of the movie are that violence and unemployment was destroying society, so the powers that be came up with an idea: allow people one night per year where few laws were enforced for a 12 hour period. This would give people an opportunity to get their natural desire to be criminals out of their system. Under this rule, the only laws enforced were: no weapon above “class 4” (whatever that means) were allowed, and no government officials above “grade 10” could be harmed. This night would be called “the purge.” Then the picture went on to explain how crime, violence, and unemployment are virtually nonexistent because of the purge.
There were quite a few problems with the film. It was your typical class warfare tripe, where the rich were demonized for having more than the poor. The film focuses on a family, whose patriarch is a salesman for security systems. He has sold systems to virtually every home in the neighborhood, and become rich as a result. The neighbors hate him for “getting rich off of their fears and misfortune.” The entire movie centers around this have versus have not editorial.
From a tactical standpoint, the man was foolish. The security system that he has in his home consists of metal shutters that close over the doors and windows after being activated from an upstairs control room by entering a PIN code. A code that his young son knows, which turns out to be a problem. The system begins to break down when the boyfriend of the man’s daughter hides inside the home before it is activated, and then waits until the beginning of the purge to approach and shoot at the man.
The second disaster is when the man’s son sees a homeless man fleeing people attempting to kill him, and uses the PIN to disable the system and allow the homeless man in. The people who were hunting the homeless man then go on the warpath because they were denied. The rest of the movie consists of the people in the house trying to stay secure, and the ones outside trying to get in.
I noted during the movie that for a man who made a fortune selling security systems, he didn’t know jack about security. He had no way of engaging anyone outside. Some firing ports, a moat with crocodiles, boiling oil on the roof, or even land mines would have made the place safer. Simply locking yourself in a house with sealed windows and doors isn’t going to work. To compound this, he secured a standard home by putting shutters over the doors and windows. Anyone with an axe would have found it easier to enter through the roof. He also had no fallback position in the event that his barricaded windows failed. Why not turn the basement into a saferoom, and hole up down there?
As for the bad guys: They got in by pulling the steel door and window
covers off the house using a pickup truck. What did they hook the chains
to? Also, how did they simultaneously pull off every window and door
using one truck?
How hard is it to defend your home one night a year, when you know the time and the date that it will occur? If this were happening today, this would be my favorite holiday of the year. One year, I would defend my home with land mines. The next year, it may be boiling oil. Each year, the challenge would be to use something different. It wouldn’t be about simply defending the house, it would be about defending it with creativity and style.
This movie was painful to watch.