Take one part A Clockwork Orange, add two parts Panic Room, strain it through The Strangers, and you might have The Purge, director James DeMonaco's new thriller/social experiment. In the near future, the United States has solved its ongoing issues with unemployment and crime by suspending all laws and emergency services for one night a year. During that night, anybody can do whatever they want, including murder, with impunity. The idea is that people have all these pent up urges that are constrained by societal conventions, but if they're allowed to go totally nuts once every 12 months they can purge themselves of those feelings and become much more healthy, productive, responsible citizens the other 364 days of the year.
Unfortunately, for Lena Headey and Ethan Hawke's characters in The Purge, that means they're in for at least one really bad night. Their fortress of a home comes under assault from a marauding gang during the purge after their kindhearted daughter disarms their security to allow a guy the gang is stalking to enter their home in safety. It's all out war after that. Think of The Purge as a parable of paranoia in gated-community America. Except that paranoia is apparently justified as the movie goes far enough to suggest that we're all criminals and killers at heart, with only our fear of consequences — not any moral code — holding us back. Check out the new trailer.
Do you think you'll sign up for The Purge when it opens May 31?
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[Photo Credit: Universal Pictures]