The Purge


Highly disturbing! (My daughter’s pick, not mine…)

Today, we had some infrequent, yet cherished mother/daughter time. It was a re-schedule from this weekend when she asked that I take her to the MAC counter to buy lipstick…yeah… I suggested Monday that way we could peruse the shades at her leisure and perhaps take in a matinee. And that’s was her choice.

It is a original premise, although there was a hint of Hunger Games and an undercurrent of Helter Skelter.

The United States suffered an overall societal decline: high crime and violence, high poverty, weak economy, etc. Sound familiar?The year is 2022.  At some point, The Founding Fathers (some new group) established The Annual Purge, a day when society could “release the beast.” Current day boasted an unemployment rate of 1 percent, extremely low crime and a strong economy. The movie begins with black and white video feeds from last years’ Purge “events” from across the country.

Rules: for a 12-hour period, individuals could commit crimes without punishment including murder, sanctioned by the government, using weaponry that is Class 4 or below. Police, EMS and fire response personnel were off-duty until this period ends. The Purge is credited for the state of this union and everyone from psychologists to political analysts applaud the practice. One did not have to participate in the mayhem but to do so is deemed American.

I knew the premise going in and was not looking forward to the film. However, it was a clever perspective utilized to examine people’s humanity and depravity. At points in the movie, voiceovers of news anchors discuss the merits of the event: allowed individuals to purge themselves of natural, violent urges; kept crime low; stabilized the country. Points of some detractors: made the poor vulnerable because they could not afford the top, home security systems and weapons; the weak and sickly were targets for violence because they could not defend themselves.

I don’t want to give away the plot but the characters in the movie have a vital choice to make involving another individual and nobody is swayed by the dog tags that hang from his neck…

As I stated before, it was disturbing. My daughter and I discussed it after the movie and I will revisit it with her later.

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