By: Ricardo Montero, Editor-in-Chief.

       Before I purge, let me begin by saying that The Purge could have been remarkable; the concept was there, the hype was there, Ethan Hawke was there, even Michael Bay was there as a producer. Nevertheless, it is what it was made to be: a mediocre “horror” film.

       The film centers around rich-man James Sandin (Ethan Hawke) and his family, who live in the equivalent of Orange County in 2022. Mr. Sandin paid for his mansion with the money earned by selling home security systems to his wealthy neighbors, security systems that will keep them all safe during the annual “Purge.” A 12 hour-period where absolutely all crime is legal, and is keeping unemployment and poverty at an all-time low. A correlation never properly explained in the film’s 85 minute run time.

        There are four inhabitants in the Sandin house. Mr. Sandin, Mrs. Sandin (Lena Headey), 18-year-old rebel Zoey (Adelaide Kane) and the one character whose death I wished for since the trailer, Charlie (Max Burkholder).  Everything is going well until a bloodied man comes running up the street, screaming for help. Impulsive compassion overcomes Charlie as he disarms the security system, letting the stranger into his home. Not long after, a masked group of preppy, homicidal maniacs, show up to the house. This marauding band of lunatics claim that if the stranger is not brought to them alive in an hour, they will breach the house and kill everyone.

        The Purge attempted to shine a light on large-scale social issues, things such as how members of high society believe to be less affected by the tragedies of the poor, or how the government may bring out the worst in people at will, but a budget of $3,000,000 and bland screenwriting can only get you so far. Narrowing down this film, one is left with a predictable, yet poorly executed, plot. Key plot elements were seemingly left on the cutting room floor in favor of cliché jump scares and  unexplainable situations. This paired with otherwise lazy screenwriting leads to an unintentionally over-all hilarious movie.

        I am certain that Director and Writer James DeMonaco could make a great film, but when it comes to “The Purge”, he owes the audiences a little bit of fear and a little bit of suspense, because it did not deliver.

       Superb acting by Ethan Hawke, proves that incredible actors can remain incredible even in average movies and can make a pitiful film watchable.

       The aussie Lena Headey, best known for playing the diabolical Cersei from Game of Thrones, was acceptable. However, her portrayal of fear did not seem genuine in some parts, and her role as a mother whose children are about to get murdered did not feel intense enough. As for the younger actors, Adelaide Kane was acceptable, with time she will gain experience and become a better actress. However, 15 year-old Max Burkholder was not ready for a role of this magnitude, making his character aggravating and immature.

        Overall, “The Purge” wasn’t terrible, it was just forgettable. I had high hopes for this film, this review did not have to be this way, but as soon as the end-credits rolled up, a single tear of disappointment streamed down my cheek. I give this film a C-.

Regardless of the impressive concept, The Purge disappoints.