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When James DeMonaco’s The Purge was announced, I’ll admit to being criminally skeptical that such a ridiculous plot could be pulled off with any amount of plausibility. A mostly crime-free America that holds an annual 12 hour free-for-all allowing all citizens’ bad deeds to go unpunished? Hogwash. But…potentially frightening hogwash nonetheless, as the above trailer, courtesy of Apple Trailers, proves.
Ethan Hawke, wife Lena Headey, and children Max Burkholder and Adelaide Kane are your average family living in a gigantic suburban house, quick to secure themselves inside once the yearly Purge crime spree begins. But of course, things don’t go according to plan, as the son allows an injured man (Edwin Hodge) into the house, only to find out he’s being targeted by a group of freaky mask wearing goons who threaten to kill the family if they don’t give the man up.
Considering the film is touted as being “From the producer of Paranormal Activity and Sinister,” there’s really no reason to think this film was going to be any more realistic. But Hawke was the force that anchored Sinister’s somewhat silly premise, there’s no reason to think he won’t do the same here.
It doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to see that the film looks like a cross between David Fincher’s Panic Room, with shades of Bryan Bertino’s The Strangers in there, and even carries over some themes from another of DeMonaco’s films, his 2005 remake of John Carpenter’s Assualt on Precinct 13. This film would have probably failed miserably had the story’s scope branched out beyond this single location, but let’s hope such a limitation doesn’t drag the story down in the meantime. My main complaint in a film like this is usually shitty child actors, but Burkholder’s powerful work on NBC’s Parenthood and Kane’s work on the Australian drama Neighbors solidify their talents, so it looks like it will all come down to the film’s script, which DeMonaco also wrote.
Take to the streets on May 31, 2013 when the film comes out, but realize the crimes you commit will be held against you.