The Purge is a 2013 American Horror Film written and directed by James DeMonaco. Despite mixed reviews, the film did well at the box office, grossing over $83 million. A sequel entitled The Purge: Anarchy was released the following year.
In the year 2016, the United States has become "a nation reborn" thanks to the New Founding Fathers of America. Crime and unemployment rates are at an all-time low due to the government's having instituted an annual 12-hour period called The Purge, during which all criminal activity becomes legal. The only rules during the Purge are that government officials "ranking 10 or higher" must remain unharmed, the use of weaponry above "Class 4" is forbidden, and police and emergency services are suspended. Anyone who doesn't follow the rules is executed. The Purge provides a catharsis for the American people, allowing them to vent negative emotions and repressed urges on whomever they please.
James Sandin, a home security salesman who lives in an affluent neighborhood in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California, has made a fortune selling security systems featuring security cameras and metallic "butts" that are specifically designed for the Purge. A neighbor, Mrs. Grace Ferrin, tells Mary that neighbors' gossip claims an extension to the Sandins' house was financed by the security systems her husband sold them.
At their heavily fortified house, Mary struggles with Zoey and Charlie. Zoey is dating an older boy, in defiance of her father, while Charlie is constantly questioning the need for, and the relevance of, the Purge. Charlie uses a little robotic video doll he made for a homework assignment to spy on the family from a secret hiding place in his closet. Zoey goes to her bedroom, where Henry waits for her. He has sneaked back into the house right before lockdown. He wants to convince Zoey's father to bless their relationship. He figures that he can't be thrown out during the Purge. At 7:00 P.M., an online emergency broadcast system message warns the United States that the Purge is about to begin and that all police, fire, and emergency medical services will be shut down for the 12-hour period. Sirens begin to blare outside, signaling the start of the Purge.
The Sandins watch the Purge unfold through video monitors in the lounge. After a while, Charlie is left alone and notices a bloody stranger running outside the house, pleading for help. Charlie deactivates the security system and lets him in. After James intercepts the stranger, holding him at gunpoint, Henry appears with a handgun and opens fire on James, revealing that his true intentions all along were to kill James and secure his relationship with Zoey. James fatally wounds Henry. During the confusion, the bloody stranger runs off into the house. Zoey takes Henry back to her room and watches him die. Meanwhile, James sets off in search of the stranger and his daughter, ordering Charlie and Mary to wait in the lounge.
A group of masked criminals, led by Polite Leader, a sadistic man in a suit, approaches the house, looking for the stranger. They threaten to kill everyone inside unless the family surrenders the stranger, whose homelessness, they claim, makes him a good candidate for purging. James admits to his wife that the security system was designed to act as a deterrent, but not to withstand any number of aggressive assaults. Charlie finds the stranger and leads him to a secret hiding place. However, Zoey is held captive by the stranger after she stumbles into his hiding place. James arrives and subdues the stranger, planning to turn him over to his pursuers outside. However, the Sandins have a change of heart after realizing they are becoming essentially no different from the Purgers outside. The Polite Leader, seemingly unsatisfied, announces that their time is up. Using chains and a truck, the Purgers tear down the metal walls and enter the house, and the Sandins are forced to defend themselves.
James sees two of the murderers in the game room. He kills the first attacker by shooting her in the chest with a pump-action shotgun and kills the second by throwing the killer's face down into a pinball machine and dragging his head against the pieces of broken glass, stabbing his head. Another Purger tries to kill James, but James grabs a fire axe and throws the blade down into the murderer's back, killing him. He leaves the room but is stabbed by the Polite Leader. As Mary is about to be killed, her neighbors, led by Grace and her husband, come to the family's aid. Mr. and Mrs. Halverson shoot Mary's attackers, and Mary goes in search of her family. After locating Mary, Charlie and James, who is dying, the Polite Leader attempts to kill them, but Zoey emerges at the door and shoots him dead. The neighbors then enter the room, having killed the remainder of the Purgers. Although Mary thanks the neighbors, they reveal that they have come to kill the Sandins as the opportunity for this patriotic duty happens to coincide with their hatred for the family's wealth.
Just as the neighbors are about to kill the family, the stranger comes to the Sandins' rescue. He kills Mr. Cali with his handgun and holds the remaining neighbors at gunpoint. Deciding that too many people have already been killed, and to ensure the neighbors live with their guilt, Mary spares their lives. They sit at the kitchen table, awaiting the end of the Purge. In a last desperate act, Grace tries to grab Mary's gun, but Mary beats her face with the butt of her gun and slams her face onto the table, screaming that they all should have had enough of The Purge. After The Purge is over, the surviving neighbors and the stranger leave the house and walk away, as sirens start blaring. The family watches emergency services vehicles arrive outside their home to carry away the murdered Purger bodies as well as James's body.
During the credits, radio broadcasts state that this Purge was the most successful one yet, due to the record-high number of murders, with stock markets opening high, due to the release of aggression, and sales of home defense systems and weapons booming. The Purge will be held again next year.
- Ethan Hawke as James Sandin
- Lena Headey as Mary Sandin
- Adelaide Kane as Zoey Sandin
- Max Burkholder as Charlie Sandin
- Edwin Hodge as Dante Bishop / Bloody Stranger
- Tony Oller as Henry
- Arija Bareikis as Grace Ferrin
- Tom Yi as Mr. Cali
- Chris Mulkey as Mr. Halverson
- Tisha French as Mrs. Halverson
- Dana Bunch as Mr. Ferrin
- Rhys Wakefield as Leader of The Freaks
- John Weselcouch as Interrupting Freak
- Alicia Vela-Bailey as Female Purger
- Aaron Kuban as Freak
- Boima Blake as Freak
- Nathan Clarkson as Freak
- Chester Lockhart as Freak
- Tyler Jaye as Freak
- Peter Gvodzas as Dr. Peter Buynak
- David Basila as George (Voice)
- Karen Strassman as Female Newscaster (Voice)
The film premiered at the Stanley Film Festival on May 2, 2013 and was released to theaters on June 7, 2013.
The Purge received mixed to negative reviews from critics
The Purge was released on DVD and Blu-Ray Disc on October 8, 2013
Main Article: The Purge: Anarchy
Despite mixed reviews, Universal and Blumhouse announced a sequel would be produced. The Purge: Anarchy was released on July 18, 2014.
The story follows several groups of people who get stuck outside in the city on the night of the annual purge. By one way or another they unite to try and survive the night together without supporting the dark holiday. On their journey to sanctuary they come face to face with bounty hunters, government-controlled purgers, and much worse.
Main Article: The Purge: Election Year
A second sequel (a third movie) was released in 2016 called "The Purge: Election Year".