Producer Jason Blum (the man behind ‘Paranormal Activity’, ‘Insidious’, ‘Sinister’, any other variations of these words to make them sound menacing) has teamed up with Michael Bay’s Platinum Dune’s (back catalogue being horror remakes including 2010’s ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’) to make a new horror/thriller of ‘THE PURGE’. Inspired by elements of ‘Assault on Precinct 13’, ‘Straw Dogs’ and a strange set up elements of ‘The Hunger Games’, sees Ethan Hawke (looking like Kevin Bacon here) and Lena Headey as parents in the future up lock their house up particle when it comes to the purge, a one night a year, all crimes are legal.
Aesthetically this film does have a interesting if yet silly concept of the actual purge event. It does bring some interesting social allegory issues (gun crazy America), but you could help but think that this film has a set up of some film which might come out on a VHS back in the 1980’s – where B-movies/high concept thriller and horror films thrived in. And with this you do think that this would have been better coming out back then as ultimately this is a fairly straight forward and largely unremarkable siege film. At least in the 1980’s a film with a ludicrous concept would actually have a ludicrous enjoyment factor and ideas to follow up on its concept. Instead we get this fairly dull 85 minute feature with not enough to do for its character and a rather obvious plot twist towards the end. That and the token masked killers are not in it for as long as you may assume, meaning a wasted performance from Rhys Wakefield.
Ultimately while I guess it does mean well it is very much the same film as any of Jason Blum past produced films, with the same character, the same production design and same plot points for each character and the same ‘’shocks’’. It really is a good business model thinking about it, particularly how they can make this near the well known lead actors homes, so they can have them in their film. Nothing more than a genuine shame, as this probably could have been something more memorable and do something different in the current Hollywood horror seen. Let’s hope the sequel being written puts its B-movie practises into reality. That and it’s probably the best thing Platinum Dunes have been involved with.