[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/purge_1570.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:''[[{{Tagline}} Survive the night.]]'']]

'''''The Purge''''' is a 2013 film directed and written by James [=DeMonaco=].

TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture the US government has set up a once-a-year event named The Purge, in which people are free to commit whatever crimes they want for 12 hours. James Sandin, a well-to-do businessman who sells home security systems for people to protect themselves from the Purge, settles himself, his wife and his two children in for the night, arming the house and protecting it from any invaders...

... Until a beaten-up stranger comes running down the street begging for help. After attempting to ignore him, one of the Sandin kids shuts down the security system long enough to let the stranger in. A gang of mask-wearing goons quickly arrives at the house, demanding the Sandins turn the stranger over, or they'll break in and kill everyone, including the stranger.

''The Purge'' has been described as "half social allegory, half home-invasion thriller." It explores the morality of human nature in a world where murder is seemingly condoned by not only the law, but the majority of its citizens as well; a disturbing, very dark take on the [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture future]]. The Purge itself is treated as less of a necessary evil and more of a holiday.

A sequel, ''Film/ThePurgeAnarchy'', was released on July 18, 2014. It follows several people, including a couple as they are caught outside during the Purge when [[MyCarHatesMe their car breaks down]], and a man using the Purge as a chance to pursue revenge.
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!!Tropes
* AbortedArc: Zoey's boyfriend pretty much disappears from the plot entirely after [[spoiler:he's gunned down trying to kill James]]. Neither Zoey or the other family members ever bring it up again. But it's understandable, since they all have bigger problems to deal with.
* AdultFear: The Sandin parents have a lot to be worried about, because they're trying to set a good example for their kids by doing nothing bad during the Purge (while simultaneously reassuring them that the Purge is a good thing, and that they ''could'' participate if they wished to). That doesn't even touch on the fact that one of their kids lets in a stranger because he looked like he needed help or that a psychopathic gang is quite willing to launch a home invasion and kill everyone in it...
* AffablyEvil: The gang leader, who is even listed as ''[[LampshadeHanging Polite Leader]]''.
* AnAxeToGrind:
** The invaders brought a fair number of axes with them. Later, James uses an axe to kill one of the invaders.
** Just prior to the Purge, a neighbor is seen casually grinding a machete in his backyard.
* ArcWords: "Release the beast."
* ArtisticLicenseEconomics: The Purge is a horrible idea in real life for several reasons:
** Because of the way the Purge works, the primary targets would primarily be the homeless, poor, and basically everyone working in the service industry. In other words, '''80%''' of all employed and potential employees. This is also reflected in the stated one percent level of unemployment, which signifies a stagnating rather than booming economy. There would still be demand for employees, but very low supply, which drives wages up when businesses compete for employees, and then they are forced to raise prices of whatever they produce to pay these wages. Someone must have realized this (or read this page) when making the second film, because the unemployment number is bumped up to five percent.
** The elderly would be quite vulnerable, which in turn could have negative effects on their incentives to save. Why save your money, when someone could potentially knock you off before you enjoy retirement? On the other hand, the government would save a huge amount on retirement and medical care.
** A night with no emergency services running would see infrastructure damage of catastrophic proportions. With no fire fighters, fires would rage out of control, consuming whole blocks at the very least. Damage to crucial utilities such as water and power would go unrepaired. And that doesn't even take into account the possibility that disgruntled citizens would choose this night to wage an all-out assault on the government, consequences be damned; the Purge may have a stipulation for this possibility, but nothing stops people for arming themselves. Even if the main centers of power are protected, a lot of people with nothing to lose could cause untold damage to the country.
* AxCrazy: All of the gang, but the women seem especially psychotic, with one of them [[spoiler: tickling a pinned-down Mary moments before trying to slice her open with a machete.]]
* {{Badass}}: James, big time! He's the sole reason [[spoiler:that only he ends up dying during the attack]]. Why? Because he [[spoiler: killed almost all the would-be murderer gang except for their boss]].
* BadBoss: The gang leader kills one of his own for being rude, then uses this as an example to James of why it's in his best interest to find the homeless stranger.
* BecauseYouWereNiceToMe: [[spoiler:The stranger repays the family's decision to spare him by saving their lives at the end of the film.]]
* BigBadEnsemble: The gang, [[spoiler:Henry, and the neighbors]].
* BigBrotherIsWatching: Given that live Purge feeds are apparently ubiquitous, it would seem there are a truly absurd number of cameras all across the United States. Furthermore, there are loudspeakers which broadcast the beginning of the Purge, in addition to Emergency Broadcast Services issuing a statement across radio and television. Despite doing things differently, the New Founding Fathers are an allegory to Big Brother and the Inner Party.
* BigDamnHeroes: James gunning down an intruder before said intruder kills his son, Zoey saving her mother and brother from the gang leader and [[spoiler:the homeless man saving the family from their neighbors]].
* BitchInSheepsClothing: [[spoiler:Henry and the neighbors, especially the neighbors, who are completely two-faced]].
* BondVillainStupidity: One of the invaders follows Mary around for what has to be a good ten minutes or so, despite having a gun and the element of surprise. He doesn't even bother trying; Mary ends up running into another psycho later.
* BrokenAesop: The overall story is about the "haves" getting to kill the "have-nots", in an attempt to relate to current movements like "Occupy Wall Street". In the end, the movie is about a bunch of greedy people barging into a place where they are not wanted, attacking a (mostly) peaceful rich family because they are jealous of what they have. Ummmm...
** More like playing DevilsAdvocate as the villains were quite well off themselves, the only "class envy" in the film is rich people resenting slightly richer people, and the point being that the same forces who oppress the "have nots" would go after the "haves" too if they could get away with it.
* CampUnsafeIsntSafeAnymore: The Sandins think themselves safe when the gang threatens to invade, but James is forced to admit that the system was never designed to ward off such determined invaders and goes on to rattle off a series of vulnerabilities the security system has. Then the gang just rips the metal plating off using trucks. Several vulnerabilities indeed.
* CatharsisFactor: In-universe, the government instituted the event named the Purge for this reason.
* CavalryBetrayal: The Sandins are rescued by [[spoiler:their neighbors]]. Problem is, they only did it because ''[[TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou they want to kill the Sandins personally]]''.
* CrapsaccharineWorld: The USA in this film is portrayed as this, because everything is all well and good... except for the 12 hours of the Purge.
** One of the most disturbing aspects of the movie is how casually the Purge, a ''government-sanctioned mass murder'', is treated by the people. Early on in the movie, Grace gossips with Mary about the neighbors and gives her a batch of cookies she baked as the neighbors come up and ask Mary how she's spending her Purge night. At the same time, James casually discusses how effective the security system he sold another neighbor will be at keeping out murderers while said neighbor is walking his dog.
* CloudCuckoolander: Charlie tinkers with unusual gadgets, spends his time in crawl spaces, and checks his vitals at the dinner table. These behaviors are never explained.
* CombatPragmatist: At one point, James smashes a billiard ball into the head of one of the attackers because it's the only weapon within reach. A couple of minutes later, he grabs an axe from another attacker and turns it against him.
* CreepyChild: Charlie comes over as this, especially when asking why his parents don't go out and kill people. It certainly isn't helped by his [[RoomFullOfCrazy closet space full of crazy]] which features several drawings of people dying and PURGE written in blood-red letters. Then there's "Timmy", a cyborg doll baby attached to a tank base and fitted with a camera. Charlie didn't make much effort to fix the damage he caused filling it with that stuff.
** Ends up being subverted when he turns out to be the only family member willing to let a stranger in.
** He also seems morally disgusted with the idea of the Purge.
* CreepyDoll: Timmy
* CruelMercy: [[spoiler:Realizing there has been enough killing and to make sure the Sandins' latest assailants live with their guilt, Mary deliver this trope to her two-faced neighbors]].
* DealWithTheDevil: This Trope applies to the entire Society.
* DeathBySex: Subverted for [[spoiler: Henry]]. He is implied to have had sex with [[spoiler: Zoey]] at the start of the Purge. After this, he wants to meet her father to discuss the relationship. [[spoiler:It turns out that he actually wanted to kill his girlfriend's father. And it epicly backfires so hard on Henry at the cost of his life.]]
* DecoyProtagonist: [[spoiler:James, who is killed by the Polite Leader just before the film ends]].
* DoubleTap: James smashes one gang members' head into a pinball machine, and drives an axe into the back of another. He then shoots each of them with a shotgun, just in case. He also checks on the girl he shot earlier, but she's already dead.
* DidntThinkThisThrough: [[spoiler: Henry's]] attempt at using the Purge to "[[MurderTheHypotenuse remove]]" his lover's disapproving father from the equation. If he's successful, does he really think his girlfriend will forgive such a thing? Or that her mother will allow him to walk away unharmed after killing her husband? Did he intend on killing her too if she interfered? Or that her brother would just stand there and allow his parent/s to be killed? Would he have killed her brother too? There's basically no way he remains her boyfriend if he goes through with this. [[spoiler: Henry fails to consider her father would be armed and worse still, willingly forgoes the element of surprise. His spectacular failure ends with him killed by his intended target.]]
** However, his girlfriend does not seem to condemn his choice; see UngratefulBastard below.
* DisproportionateRetribution [[spoiler: The neighbors]] want to kill the Sandins because [[spoiler:they remodeled their house ostentatiously using the money James earned from selling them his security system. And just in case you thought they might be pissed by its failure later on, it's made clear they resent them for it before the Purge even starts.]]
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: The movie can be read, as in [[http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jonathan-kim/rethink-review-emthe-purg_b_3401505.html this article]] for example, as turning certain elements of libertarian / modern conservative ideology UpToEleven (particularly the 'every man for himself' aspects) and seeing what the consequences would be if they were actually applied. The fact that the main bad guys are a gang of preppy Young Republican types and their victim is a homeless black war veteran can't be an accident. Also [[spoiler: the neighbors want to kill the Sandins for being richer than them]]. WordOfGod says it ''is'' intentional.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:Most of the family]] lives, but they're traumatized from what happened and probably won't be the same again, plus [[spoiler:they have nobody to trust in their neighborhood after their neighbors tried to kill them]]. The ending rubs it in deeper by having news reports declaring it to be the most "successful" Purge yet, and that it will continue again next year.
* DissonantSerenity: The announcement made by the government to the people about the Purge makes it sound like it's just a minor, adjust-your-clock event. This contrasts starkly with the home invasion that occurs later on.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: While there's technically only two "installments" so far, the [[SequelHook sequel hooks]] in the second film all indicate that future additions will follow it's lead. This means that a Purge movie about wealthy people, with a cast made up almost entirely of white actors, will stick out like a sore thumb.
* EpicFail: [[spoiler: Henry]] is quickly killed by his intended target in front of his girlfriend. After going out of his way to warn him, no less.
* {{Expy}}: The [[NoNameGiven "Polite Leader"]] is one of [[Film/AClockworkOrange Alexander DeLarge]]; an impish, almost adorable little boy with exasperatingly good manners and eloquent vocabulary that would make Shakespeare proud, and a penchant for murder vandalism and even ''rape'' while wearing a mask and an angelic smile.
* EvilIsHammy: The leader of the gang, [[http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-purge-2013 described as]] "a cartoon fascist with all the nuance of [[Series/{{Batman}} an Adam West-era Batman]] villain."
* FalseUtopia: The movie is set around an US that is well-recovered... but centered around the question "What if the US government created a once-a-year 12-hour event called The Purge, which allows people to do whatever they want?"
* FictionalPoliticalParty: The annual "Purge Night" holiday was established after the rise of a political party calling itself "The New Founders of America", or NFA for short.
* FromBadToWorse: Everything started out normally for the Sandins. Then a stranger on the run ends up in their home. Finally, the psychopathic gang chasing after the stranger decides to invade their home. [[spoiler: Then, after surviving ''that'' ordeal, they find out their neighbors have banded together to try and kill them.]]
* GigglingVillain: One of the female intruders is almost always giggling.
* GreaterScopeVillain: The New Founding Fathers.
* GuysSmashGirlsShoot: [[InvertedTrope Inverted.]] The male gang members wield guns while the females use machetes and axes.
* HarmfulToMinors: Having kids exposed to something like the Purge is a bad idea. The Sandin parents try to protect their kids from this, but they fail miserably, because [[spoiler: Zoey ends up killing the gang leader to save her family]].
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: The Sandins [[spoiler:change their minds and decide to fight the gang when they're in the middle of torturing the homeless man when he won't give himself up.]]
* HollywoodPsych: The point of the Purge is to let people get all of their violence and anger out in a night of catharsis, thereby reducing crime. However, studies have shown that violent catharsis increases aggression, rather than reducing it; if anything, the Purge would increase violent crime rates (and incidence of PTSD). One of the few ''intentional'' examples since there are some implications that the Purge is ultimately having the opposite effect than the intended one throughout the film.
* HonorBeforeReason: One of the Sandin kids lets a stranger into their house because he really looks like he is in trouble. As a result of doing the morally right thing, horror ensues.
* HumansAreBastards: A strong theme in both films. The writers seem to believe that legal consequences are the only thing stopping humanity from tearing itself limb from limb.
* IWantThemAlive: The gang leader demands that the homeless man be released alive so that his gang can personally kill him. Later, when they are invading the house, he tells one of his gang members to "save" Zoe for him...
* IdiotBall: The Sandins leave the stranger tied up rather than passing him a weapon so he can help. Clearly it's in the man's best interest to help, and he does anyway upon freeing himself.
* KarmaHoudini: State-enforced with the Purge, during which almost all crime is sanctioned and emergency services are suspended. There's nothing stopping the Purge from working against the potential Houdinis.
** [[spoiler:The neighbors get off scot-free (save for one killed by the stranger) for trying to kill the Sandins, despite it being [[CruelMercy against the neighbors' will]]. The leader, Grace, gets some form of karma when she makes one last grab for the shotgun and gets a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown courtesy of Mary.]]
*** The New Founding Fathers who started the Purge never paid for the chaos this created and to ensure they get away with it, one of the few rules reads "Government officials of ranking 10 or higher must remain unharmed for the duration of the Purge" meaning that they can't even be HoistByTheirOwnPetard.
* KillThePoor: This is heavily implied to be the true purpose of the Purge, as is speculated by in a news report and put forth by the gang that hunts "homeless swine". Confirmed in the sequel.
* LargeHam: The polite gang leader, played by Rhys Wakefield, has to be seen to be believed.
* MalevolentMaskedMen: AND women, who are ironically the most brutal and sadistic of the gang. They gang wears the masks for psychological effect and to disguise themselves just in case anyone who survives them doesn't try to take revenge on them during the next Purge.
* MarketBasedTitle: The film came out under the title "American Nightmare" in France; while in French the word "purge" usually has the same meaning as in English, it is also a familiar word for a painfully bad film (or show, or game). The title change hardly helped, and if anything rather made the joke even more obvious among French critics.
* MurderIsTheBestSolution: In a scenario where every crime is temporarily made legal, almost every character outside of the main family immediately jumps to the conclusion that every social issue they have is best solved by killing the other person.
* MurderTheHypotenuse: Well, sorta. [[spoiler:Henry decides to murder James during the Purge, as James is quite opposed to Henry dating his daughter on account of being older than her (he's said to be 18).]]
* NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished: Letting a man on the run take refuge in your house is a good deed, no question. But when the psychopathic gang chasing after him decide to invade your home...
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: A scene early on in the film demonstrates a gang doing this to a person in a city. The gang that terrorizes the Sandins intends on doing this to them.
** Also what [[spoiler: Mary does to Grace at the end when Grace tries a last-ditch attempt to kill the Sandins.]]
* NoNameGiven: We find out neither the name of the stranger the Sandins saved nor the names of any of the masked gang.
* [[NonActionGuy Non Action Woman]]: Mary. Creator/LenaHeadey, known for playing very {{badass}} {{Mama Bear}}s, plays the Non-Action type for the better part of the movie, until [[spoiler:the ending after James had been killed]].
* NothingIsScarier: Until it happens.
* ObviouslyEvil: When a gang comes to your door wearing creepy masks, wielding weapons, and makes it clear that they want to kill one guy and they'll kill anybody who gets in the way, you get this trope.
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou: The Polite Leader insists the homeless man be turned alive so they can kill him.
** [[spoiler: The neighbours' real incentive for rescuing the Sandins.]]
* OpenSaysMe: The gang breaches the house by using trucks to pry the plating off then breaching the windows and doors with gunfire.
* PapaWolf: James, who singlehandedly kills four of the invading gang using a shotgun and an axe.
* PassiveAggressiveCombat: The neighbors' introduction.
* PoliceAreUseless: JustifiedTrope. One of the rules behind the Purge is that the police cannot respond to any calls for 12 hours. As a result, if you get into trouble, you're on your own.
* PowerOfTrust: Implied at the end since [[spoiler:the Sandins now know their neighbors want to kill them due to their wealth.]]
* PrecisionFStrike: Masterfully delivered by [[spoiler:Ms. Sandin]] toward the end of the movie when [[spoiler:the neighbors ask them to get it over with.]] "We are gonna play the rest of this night out in motherfucking peace. Does anyone have a problem with that?"
* PrettyLittleHeadshots
* ProperlyParanoid: James chastises his son for letting a stranger, in need of help, inside their house since he suspects someone is after him. He's right.
* ProtectThisHouse: As even with all the security improvements, the Sandin house is still invaded by the masked strangers.
* ThePurge: The trope name and the film's title are the same. The 12-hour event is called The Purge, and the intent behind it is to apparently get rid of the undesirable parts of society.
* ScrewTheRulesIMakeThem: To some extent. Part of the Purge conditions restricts weapons above Class 4 and makes government officials rated 10 or higher exempt. The former is probably to avoid too much collateral damage, and the latter, depending on what qualifies one for that rating, may simply be to ensure that there's a functioning government when things cool down. Though the fact they would be otherwise prime targets is a [[BlatantLies complete coincidence]].
* ShellShockedVeteran: Implied; the stranger wears both camo gear and a pair of dog tags.
* SlasherMovie: Having masked psychopaths who break in somebody's home just to kill someone would make this film count as this trope.
* SlasherSmile: The gang leader has a bright and chipper smile the whole time he describes killing the Sandin family.
* SoundtrackDissonance: Used during the opening credits, where patriotic music is played to surveillance footage of past Purges.
** Also in the trailer, with an a cappella version of "America The Beautiful" playing over clips of the Sandins getting the crap beaten out of them
* StepfordSmiler: The Polite Leader, the leader of the Purgers and [[spoiler: Grace, the apparent leader of the murderous neighbors]].
* SurpriseCreepy: The trailer goes for this effect. It starts out happy and idyllic, but then it shows why that is, and the reason is not a pretty sight.
* TallPoppySyndrome: Part of why [[spoiler:the neighbors]] are willing to murder the Sandins.
* TeensAreMonsters: The gang who comes after the Sandins is in their mid to late teens, with the leader clearly wearing some kind of prep school uniform.
** Also applies to [[spoiler:Henry.]]
* TeethFlying: Mary bashes [[spoiler:an evil neighbor in the face for attempting to participate in the Purge minutes before it ends, causing one or more of her teeth to fall out of her mouth.]]
* {{Thriller}}: The film has the desperate Sandins fighting against a powerful gang who outmatches them by a large margin.
* TooDumbToLive: [[spoiler: Henry]] is shot in self-defense, after warning his intended victim. Trying to kill him in the first place was pretty idiotic.
* ToThePain: "[[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything Alright, well, I guess I'll stab her first, and after that we'll take turns]]."
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: The trailer gives away the majority of the third act.
* [[UngratefulBastard Ungrateful Bitch]]: Zoey. When [[spoiler:Zoey's boyfriend Henry tries to kill her father and got shot instead]] she immediately carries him upstairs and fusses over him. She doesn't check on her father who was shot at, or her mother and brother who could've been hit by a ricocheting bullet/shrapnel and doesn't call him out on his actions or express disapproval. This is despite the fact that [[spoiler:her father provided for her, as they are wealthy and well-cared for, and is a good parent to her]].
** [[spoiler:The neighbours could qualify too. They detest the Sandins, because they feel like the Sandins are flaunting their wealth by adding an addition to their house. Never mind the fact that the large majority of said wealth was the result of the neighbors buying high-tech security systems from Jack Sandin, which are essentially the only thing keeping their families from being brutally murdered.]]
* VillainousRescue: The [[spoiler:neighbours]] save the family from the intruders because they want to kill them themselves.
* WhatTheHellHero: James Sandin doesn't hesitate to yell at his kid for letting a stranger into their house, because they don't even know who's after him. It turns out that he has a point when the psychopathic gang turns up on their doorstep...
** James himself is called out on the penetrable security system that he sells.
** And again when he is about to give the homeless guy up to the gang to save his family, even getting his wife to torture him into submission. After Zoe does it too, he listens and lets the man go.
* WhatYouAreInTheDark: Applicable to almost everyone, but [[spoiler:Zoey's boyfriend and the Sandin's neighbors are standouts.]]
* WouldHitAGirl: Both the heroes and villains, though justified for the heroes as the women are trying to kill them.
* WouldHurtAChild: The gang [[spoiler:never get a chance to. The neighbors come closer.]]
* YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle: Even after the gang is defeated, [[spoiler:the Sandins still have to contend with their EvilAllAlong neighbors.]]
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