The film's premise and moral could have worked if the purge was just instituted because the government is stupid and neglectful, and during the ensuing riots, small businesses and apartments were the hardest hit. But if you are a group of sadistic psychopaths with enough control over the government and media to implement the purge, you can do a whole lot worse, more effeciently, and in a way that also benefits you directly (the purge wouldn't help the economy, and even if it did, a psychopath wouldn't care). You could demand tribute from weaker countries and threaten nuclear action if others intervene. You could reinstate convict leasing (glorified slavery used to supress blacks and poor people after the Civil War). You could raise taxes on the lower classes and remove them for your party and its allies. You could even start a second holocaust on the group of your choosing and give yourself another century of "porn". Point is, the New Founding Fathers are Stupid Evil.
It's clear that the writers of these films aren't all that well versed in economics, history, or crime, but the supposed rise of the New Founding Fathers is more or less a case of Critical Research Failure. "There was an economic collapse" is not a blank check in terms of what kind of government you want to have, both in universe and out. The problem with an uber-eletist group rising to power after an economic collapse is that economic collapses usually trigger hatred for those in both political and economic power. Yes, the idea in that Germany, Italy, Spain and (earlier) Russia become authoritatrian, to say the least, after economic collapses, but those movements were all to some degree based around a power-to-the-downtrodden message. Any political party during a depression would have a very hard time drumming up hatred for the homeless or poor because the homeless and poor are going to be doing the most voting during such times, and they're neither gonna be to happy about the corporate fatcats who fired them taking power, nor about tons of crime happening, legal or no.
Taking the premise at its face value, the legal repercussions of the purge are ridiculously impossible. For several months at least, you would be arresting people for their crimes and they still might have to stand trial, during which time they have to prove that their crime took place within the "legal" time, and ALSO that they didn't premeditate their crime before the beginning of the purge, which in terms of laws as we understand them also opens them to prosecution. The police, the prison system, and the courts would get YEARS of backlog from each purge, which would grow exponentially worse with every purge until there would be no point in even having a legal system. The only way I can see of the court system keeping pace with this Sisyphusian nightmare would be to send out a hit squad to legally murder all witnesses and claimants from previous years during the purge, and that starts to sound like letting wasps loose to control the spider population and then releasing bloodthirsty vipers to cut down on your sudden wasp infestation.
In terms of premeditation: it's only illegal to premeditate something that's a crime. Thinking "I'm going to murder someone WHILE ITS LEGAL" shouldn't be a problem.
As to proving it happened after the Purge, that shouldn't be too difficult. Once the Purge ends, the police go back out, and presumably arrest anyone still committing a crime. If they see someone with a bloody weapon (but they didn't see the murder), they may investigate it or they might not. The only people who would be arrested are those the police saw committing illegal acts while it was illegal.
It's not as simple as "the police go out" and "investigate it". If the police could be everywhere at once and determine the time of death of every murder perfectly like that, there'd be very little crime to begin with. That said, do the NFFA and their presumably uber-corrupt and apathetic police really care exactly when a crime happens? If they say a crime happened during the Purge, it's just another poor person dead and/or crime that won't be committed any other time during the year, and they don't have waste resources investigating it. Even for private citizens, would it really be that much of a problem? Sure, if you have a lot on enemies, but also a very good security system at home, it might be worth it to take the day of the Purge off from work, but the Sandins are shown closing down a few hours early (which is still too close for most people's comfort, but it'd ruin the atmosphere and theme if it wasn't an otherwise normal day for them), and after the Purge, if you just wait in your home a few hours after the horns, you should be "safe".
if it's legal to murder people during the Purge, then presumably it's also legal to destroy the evidence that the murder might have been premeditated, no?
Are all crimes actually legal? In the trailer we're shown a brief shot of one of the family's neighbors sharpening some instrument of torture and/or murder, so it's not against the rules to prepare for The Purge ahead of time to get the most out of the 12 hours. So what's going to stop someone from amassing a huge criminal army to take over the country the second The Purge starts? Or hijacking a nuclear submarine and blowing the whole country up? Or killing the President? It's unlikely, sure, but certainly not impossible.
What's to stop the arsonsts from setting fire to half the national forests, or the sadists from breaking into a zoo and torturing and killing all the animals? Are companies going to dump all their tons of chemicals into lakes and rivers during that night?
The NFF are supposed to be ultra-right wingers. Odds are, the animals in zoos have long since been made into coats, and wood in national parks into houses, and you can dump chemicals in the ocean all year round.
It seems there's no rule about PREPARING to defend yourself during the Purge, so there's nothing stopping a zoo or military installation for REALLY preparing for it.
Pretty much. In the movie it mentions that there are regulations on the types of firearms you can use as well as the level of government officials you can target, so at the very least "killing the President" and "blowing up the country with a nuke" are right out. What's more, the main character makes a living selling home security systems so people can protect themselves from the purge so I highly doubt the military and zoos aren't equally ready.
Actually, the regulations concerning what firearms are allowed might as well not exist. Sure, rocket launchers aren't allowed, but since the police won't be doing anything until the purge is over there's still nobody who's going to stop you from using the rocket launcher.
Rocket launchers aren't exactly easy to acquire compared to other forms of weapons, though, so it makes it a lot harder to acquire and a lot easier to tell when someone has (since their use is also distinctive); if rocket launchers are listed as a prohibition even during the Purge, then possibly the authorities make an exception if someone manages to get their hands on one.
As of the second film, it seems like a huge amount of the crime is committed by the government itself, with several NFFA death squads traveling the streets. Even without the police, the few laws that are still in force wouldn't be too hard to enforce, since the government has a large pseudo-military presence roving through the city.
My guess is that the "all crimes are legal" thing is a bit of a smokescreen; as we see it, the Purge has clear class-warfare elements in that it basically seems to be a bit of an excuse for those in power to pick on and torment those without power without any kind of punishment or reprisal. So while it might be legal to go around hunting down the homeless and impoverished (because — in the mindset of this society's elite, at least — they're scum and deserve to be picked off) or to target your neighbour out of envy (because no one in the elite really gives a shit about that), there's probably all kind of secret loopholes and exceptions which mean that any crime which seriously threatens the existing power structure — attacking the government, the extremely wealthy, etc. — gets curb-stomped quickly.
I'm more curious if sex crimes are included in that "all crimes are legal" and how that works. Can a pedophile abuse children once a year? Can a father rape his daughter once a year and she has to live with him the rest of the time? No matter how psychologically scarring that is?
Short answer: yes. Rape and other sex crimes would be legal in this world. Note the lady in the first part of the credits lying on the ground, who looks like she's just been gang-raped.
Fridge Horror: If a rapist impregnates his victim(s) during the purge, can he even be held liable for child support?
Yes. As horrible as it sounds, in that case it was legal and everything, so he has to pay for the child.
Or maybe the rapist can claim custody of the child, since and liberal-pussy orginizations like child services were no doubt abolished by the NFF, and can advertise them to pedophiles every purge night.
What's the rules on kidnapping or theft? I can understand getting to keep what you steal (although the concept of someone explaining to police that the stolen property in their house was legally stolen is amusing), but do you get to "keep" who you kidnap? Or do you need to return them before the 12 hours is up?
More importantly, how does car registration work? If you steal a car during the purge is there a form you have to fill out to reregister it?
Detaining someone beyond the time limit would probably be prosecuted. Of course, if they can't boot you out before the clock runs down, they may have to kill you so you can't complain about their sloppy timing...
Presumably, theft is legal during the Purge, but you may not retain rights to anything that you take afterward. Given that the Purge is theoretically intended to release violent urges and appears to actually be intended to kill off "undesirable" elements of society, there would be no reason to make the retention of stolen property legal after it ended. Recovering it would probably fall to the owner, though.
I guess depends on the crime. If you kidnap a woman to rape her then you have to let her free after 12 hours, same if you kidnap someone to torture him/her. But in those cases I guess the wiser thing is to kill them anyway cause next year they can legally seek revenge on you. If you kidnap someone for ransom, well, it makes no sense cause probably the family won't be able to pay during that period.
On whether or not you can keep someone you kidnapped during Purge Night: it's possible the person you kidnapped may be presumed dead with all the killing that goes on. Bob could kidnap Alice that night and the next day when she didn't show up for work everyone will assume someone killed her during the Purge. Sure, Bob would be in hot water if the cops ever raided his home and found Alice tied up in his basement, but that would require Bob to do something stupid that draws scrutiny to him.
Just how exactly is this rule enforced? Are we to believe that suddenly all criminals, people who by definition do not follow rules, are content to commit all their crimes on a scheduled night once a year, and the rest of the 364 days they wait calmly and patiently? Does any of this make sense?
The point is that its not enforced. Every other day, a criminal would be caught and sentenced as per the law. The one night, though, there are no police to stop them. It does not need enforcing.
What I meant was, how did giving criminals a chance to commit their crimes on a a certain night somehow reduce the crime rate to its lowest ever (and somehow reduce the unemployment rate as well; I guess the home security system industry is hiring everyone)? It must either because in the future, we have a new method of enforcing crime or the vast majority of the people who would commit crimes are cooperating by following this one rule for some reason. The latter is absurd, because criminals are not the sort of people who are patient or follow rules; that why they are criminals.
Its not just criminals that would take advantage of it; if you do someone wrong, even if you legally get away with it, come the Purge, there's nothing stopping them from taking their revenge on you or hiring someone to. That probably adds to it, as a vigilante can go nuts during the Purge and dispense all the justice he wants.
"Off on a technicality" is a lot less common than you clearly think it is, so vigilantes would have very few specific targets, and would probably be indistinguishable from the Neo-Nazis and KKK who are no doubt out on Purge night ethnically cleansing. And if fear of death or retribution was a deterrent in this universe, no one would go purging at all.
For all we know, prisons practice the Purge internally also. How many inmates will be left alive if the guards just lock the outer doors, unlock all the cells, and bunk off for a twelve-hour coffee break?
Actually, prisons are so highly organized by gangs, that such a scenario would likely eliminate only prisoners who couldn't get into one. Most likely the whole night would be a standoff.
Gangs are usually competing against each other for territory, influence and power, though; it's hardly unlikely that in such a scenario prisons would erupt in mass-scale gang warfare as grudges boil over and more powerful gangs seize an opportunity to take less powerful gangs out of the picture (or less power gangs attempt to weaken more powerful gangs) without risking any further punishment for it.
That doesn't change the fact that criminals are cowardly, and only form gangs to have a better chance of survival. If joining a prison gang or starting a fight on Purge night meant chucking yourself into the meat grinder, none of them would do it, especially if they know it's what the authority they hate wants them to do. But then again, who says it's up to the prisoners? Why not just have the guards shoot them all in their cells?
There's also the Unfortunate Implications discussed by the movie that the poor, the elderly, the mentally ill and those in general who lack the resources to protect themselves from the Purge are its disproportionate targets. So those who are most likely to be the perpetrators and victims of crime are mercilessly eliminated.
The rich commit plenty of crimes as well, and killing every single poor, elderly, and mentally disabled person in America would have a much more widespread effects than simply reducing crime. You're all overthinking this movie. The idea is that all crime is committed during the Purge, end of story.
I can buy Sandin not counting on a group of well-armed, well-funded crazy people deliberately breaking in as a reason for his security system to fail. But why in God's name wouldn't he have a backup generator for the rest of the house?
There are no laws. But police and emergency services are suspended? How exactly is that enforced? If it isn't nothing stops police from going out and shooting up people.
Most police would probably be more concerned with protecting their own families than anyone else.
I'm not sure I understand the question. Are you asking what prevents the police from participating in the purge, or asking what prevents them from trying to protect others, regardless? If it's the latter, they'd probably be punished for breaking orders. If it's the former, well, what the first guy said.
Punished... by law? After all, those orders are only there by virtue of the law, and if the law is suspended for 12 hours, they're free to go protecting anyway. They're even free to break into their own police station and steal all the weapons specifically for that purpose.
We only that that the Purge protects people from arrest and prosecution. A cop may participate in the Purge while being immune to criminal prosecution, but not be immune from getting fired.
If emergency services are suspended, does that mean that anyone unlucky enough to suffer a heart attack or a house fire or whose town gets hit by a hurricane on the day of the Purge is screwed?
Yes, since the Purge is meant to purge the U.S. Basically, it's meant to kill off as many people as it can and "thin the herd", so to speak.
Does this movie simply assume that all Humans Are Bastards? Just like there's nothing stopping anybody from going on a murderous rampage, there's also nothing stopping anybody from building up their house into a fortress, herding their family inside, and waiting it out. I'm sure there's a higher number of people doing this than there are people who go outside and start killing/stealing (if only because there's a high chance of being killed yourself).
Yes. The film is highly pretentious, and implies that families like the Sandin's were more or less the exception, or at least not a large majority. Employing that trope is a great way to seem edgy and smart without actually having to do anything. Plus, such a worldview is almost as common among left-wing ideologies like the film is pushing as it is for faccism. Even given what's said below about percentages, the premise requires that every rich or powerful person be a sadistic, elitist psychopath, and every middle class person completely abandon any sense of intelligence or morality just because their TV's tell them "it works".
No, it doesn't, it's simply a question of scale. Say you live in a city of 50,000 people (not particularly large by today's standards). Lets say that 95% of people barricade their homes, and only 5% go out looking for people to kill. That means there are now 2,500 people looking for something to kill - that's pretty terrifying.
Just wanted to add that you're pretty accurate there. 5 percent is around the rate of people with anti-social behavior.
Anti-social behavior is not the same as murderousness. Most jerks and shut-ins would not willing to up and kill people simply because no one will stop them.
Yes, anti-social does not equal murder inclined. 5% vastly overestimates the amount of homicides in the industrial world, the murder rate is more like 1 in 100,000 or 0.001%. And of most of those murders are spur of the moment passion things, someone flies into a rage and grabs a hammer-like killings, not premeditated, cold, calculated murders. Those are even a smaller fraction, so it doesn't really make sense for the Purge to meaningfully reduce violent crime rates in any fashion.
Is that in the industrialized world as a whole, or America in particular?
Depends on how you define 'industrialized', but yeah, the homicide rate for most first- and second-world countries is between 1 and 10 per 100,000, tending towards the lower end of the scale. So in the 50,000-sized city above, you'd be looking at between 1 and 5 killers, all else being equal. But since the movie is clearly not set in normal reality, who knows.
However, keep in mind that such a rate is in part a consequence of an effective law enforcement system. There are plenty of people who don't commit crimes only because they know it's against the law (and it might not even be the fear of getting caught that prevents them from doing that - just the habit of obeying the rules). So the rate must be much higher when you're legally allowed (in fact, even encouraged) to do anything you wish. Besides, there are many people who look up to their self-picked role models (parents, friends, etc), so they may follow the latter ones in their criminal activities even if they're not inclined to the crime themselves; even more, some people might even join the murdering gangs spontaneously, without prior thinking. It actually happens all the time in the Real Life (see crowd psychology), but here the consequences must be much more aggravated: in the real life, even in the riot situation, you most often maintain some contact with both law-breaking and law-obeying people (even if the latter are personified only by some policemen a mile away) so you might make your own choice, whereas during the Purge the lawlessness will be pretty much the only thing you'll ever witness in the streets, so it might as well be taken as a norm (and the refusal to take a part in illegal activities, on the contrary, might be seen as a deviation). So 5% doesn't look as an impossible figure, given all the circumstances - especially once the people just get used to the repeated violence and no longer see it as a big deal.
Yes, but being willing to murder someone is not the same as being the emotionless death squads the NFF want people to be. As Cinemasins pointed out, even most psyhcopaths are probably only interested in killing people they know personally, have wronged them, or stand to gain from killing, like one's boss, coworkers, spouse, or romantic rival, but those people can probably afford good security systems. You'd get around that by burning their house down and shooting them if they try to run out, but that would both burn down the whole neighborhood (not good for anybody), and be far more likely to create anti-purge sentiment among the public (not good for the NFF). Yes, there's the government propaganda telling people it's a night to kill the poor, but "all crime is legal" and "purge your anger" is just an invitation to do be doing anything but. The anti-poor sentiment would also die down once they ran out of homeless to kill and dead homeless kids were being posted all over the internet. In my head cannon, almost everybody acting as a death squad on Purge night, body armor and 18-wheeler or not, is a government death squad paid for every lower-income person that dies over the night. They introduced them after the first few purges turned into riots instead of massacres.
How the heck does having crime legal for one night bring down crime rates and unemployment? That makes no sense whatsoever. If anything, it would increase the problems a country has to face—There would be higher crime because of things like revenge kills for misdeeds done during the purge, illegal arms trading for preparation for the purge, and let's not forget the fact that criminals will not sit idly by twiddling their thumbs just because they get one night to let loose. And how does any of this even affect employment? How does this practice not completely destroy the governmental system? You can't tell me that everyone in the country thinks this is a good idea and isn't willing to revolt against a power that enforces this policy.
Theoretically, it eliminates many of the people that would be committing crimes or using unemployment benefits or are just general drains on society. Some would also restrain themselves to commit their crimes during The Purge, so they wouldn't count towards crime statistics. Imagine if someone felt anyone on welfare was a waste of taxes; that person might kill as many as they could and reduce the number of people on welfare. Many poor also commit crimes because they don't see any other way to achieve success or are desperate in some fashion.
Those "drains of society" are still consumers who put money back into the economy. Getting rid of the unemployed would also drive wages up and raise prices as now the pool of potential employees is smaller and overall more highly qualified, and thus more expensive.
What about things like destruction of property? It's got to be a drain having to fix up all the damaged buildings.
People out for revenge would wait for the next Purge, rather than attempting it when the law is against them.
Why? I know I couldn't wait a year if my child was murdered. Plus, on Purge night, the person who killed them will either be out purging again and very hard to find or kill, or locked safely in their house, so ambushing them on a normal day makes far more sense. And every dead person should create a family of anti-purge voters, so no wonder Senator Roan won easily.
There do seem to be some implications that the Purge doesn't work as well as it's touted, and that a lot of what we hear about the Purge's positive effects is propaganda.
It doesn't. The government is obviously lying to keep up the facade.
If they purge the prisons on Purge Night, then any prison sentence becomes a death sentence if it extends into that period. That would have the effect of getting rid of a lot of the criminal element with impulse control problems. It would also mean that avoiding jail time for even small offenses would become very important- encouraging the smarter criminals to do most of their crime on that one night.
Based on early speculation that the Purge is used largely as an excuse to Kill the Poor, crime and unemployment go down because the groups most likely to be criminals or economically impoverished are being systematically exterminated. And since the Purge is national policy, anyone who tries to revolt against it becomes a criminal themselves...
Plus, everyone who's complaining about the crime rates being higher because of all of the "Crimes" committed during the Purge doesn't seem to understand that since they aren't considered crimes during that 12 hour period, they're not going to be included in the Crime Stats. As long as you do your "Revenge Kill" that night, it's still not illegal. Or, alternatively, wait until the next Purge to get your vengeance without consequence.
Upper class people are just as likely to be criminals as the poor. Although, despite the higher damage they do, white collar crimes aren't punished as severely or as frequently caught—Furthermore, poor people are more likely to be victims of crime, but the purge is specifically removing them from the equation. ...So from a statistical standpoint that makes some sense. But being labeled as criminals wouldn't stop people who feel that the Purge is a horrifying practice and needs to be ended (it would just cause a civil war). The fact that they apparently have set up a tourism industry around it suggests that other countries are aware of this too, and I doubt there isn't anyone worldwide who thinks the US needs to be invaded and given a stern talking to.
There'd be plenty who wouldn't care, at least not enough to use force to stop it. Among those that wouldn't care (assuming current trends are the same as they are in the film) are most of the countries that have a large enough military force to unilaterally act or be the leader of a multi-national force. Those that might care (European countries plus Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and possibly Japan and South Korea) do not have large military forces or at least not large enough to withdraw troops from, large scale foreign deployment capabilities, and take quite a bit of convincing to send troops anywhere. I just can't see them, or at least enough of their politicians, having enough political fortitude to engage in a war that will cost them much for no real gain.
What about financial crimes? What's to stop an accountant, banker, or hedge fund manager from using Purge Night to dump all their clients' funds into their own personal account? It would seem that the complete undermining of all financial responsibility one night a year would pose a far greater problem for societal cohesion than the bouts of random violence.
Most likely because that would result in several thousand people gunning for them on the next Purge night.
Which is why Step Two in such a scheme would be to use the money they've swiped to move out of the country. Multiply that by a few hundred accountants who get that idea every year, and you're talking a lot of funds drained out of the economy...
My guess: all the hedge fund managers put it into their contracts that everything has to be locked down on that night. If its found that they even made it POSSIBLE for them to move money around during the Purge, they committed fraud by not honoring the contract, the fraud was committed BEFORE the purge, thus they can be prosecuted.
in addition, we only know that the Purge grants immunity from arrest and prosecution. There is no indication that there is immunity from lawsuits for acts done during the Purge, whether it be fraud, assault, or wrongful death.
Allowing lawsuits for things done during the purge would just turn courtrooms in the months and years afterwards into a gargantuan mess. All law, contract or no, ceases during the purge, and while it's possible that the internet gets shut down during the night (never explicitly stated though, and in Election Year we hear that TV still works), there'd be nothing stopping hackers from destroying the economy in one night. In the world of the Purge though, economics and crime simply work differently, so nobody ever does anything like that, and if they did, it would have no impact.
If they are killing off the poor, then who are they getting to clean their toilets, pick their crops and do other tasks that the wealthy aren't likely to do? I didn't see any robots (the kids toy not counting.) It's the immigration problem writ large.
Meta-answer: plenty of theoritical societies (most notably Galt's Gulch, as deconstructed in Bioshock) don't account for things like that. In-universe answer: The NFFA are characterized as phychopaths, who, contrary to what some media may tell you, are not intelectual and societal ubersmech. They tend to be selfish to a fault, and lack long term planning skills. All they know is that they like seeing people die, but don't like paying taxes. The Purge solves both problems. In my head cannon as well, the NFFA is made up of CEO's with either overseas interests (who will now be left free of U.S. competition), or companies that benefit directly from the Purge, but don't require tons of cheap labor, like gun manufacturers, insurance companies, and security system vendors. Eventually America will probably collapse, but when that happens, they can just blame someone else for it and leave the country with their accumulated wealth.
They're presumably not killing all the poor off in one twelve-hour stretch; even if the rich people are going around hunting all the poor people, there's a lot more poor people than rich people in the United States, and all the poor people presumably aren't just standing around patiently waiting for a rich person to come and bump them off. Even after the mayhem of the Purge, there's still going to be plenty of poor people survive the night ready to pick up where everything left off the next day.
Yes, if there are 100 million poor, and 5 million of them are unemployed, you 'need' to kill 5 million poor people. then you've got the right number of people remaining to do the jobs that are available. And you've eliminated poor unemployment.
Well then janitorial duties would actually become high paying jobs, as more and more people die, the need to fill those positions explodes. After all, janitorial duties are outright VITAL in any circumstance, especially right after a devastating riot when you need your place of work returned to OSHA standards as fast as possible or face losing up to millions of dollars.
So if someone's a green card holder living in the US, is it still legal to kill them? They're not a US citizen.
I'm assuming that part of getting a green card is accepting that they must follow the rules and laws of the country. It likely would be in this world. Of course, that assumes foreigners trying to move to America or that any that aren't rich are there.
You could go to your embassy. But otherwise, saying "I'm a foreigner" won't save your life normally illegal or not.
Maybe they explained this in the movie, but what government would condone this kind of idea? Not only have other tropers mentioned the economic damage above, but we're supposed to believe that the entire United States just threw up it's collective hands and said, "Pass this law that condones any crime for a set period"? No politician would vote for this in their right minds, no district would even think this was a good idea, and the Supreme Court would strike it down as unconstitutional the very day it passed via two-thirds, as not even Nixon would sign this into law. Added to this, we're only seeing one side of the coin; wealthy family in a neighborhood filled with green-eyed neighbors. What about neighborhoods where they've actually organized against the Purge, small militias and watches that enforce their own rules until the 12 hour limit ends? If all crime is legal, then setting up these watches for the Purge is also allowable.
They keep referencing the "New Founding Fathers," which implies that the entire US and probably the rest of the world has changed in a very major way. I imagine it's a post-apocalyptic/dystopian world, where this sort of thing can be approved, because the alternative is even worse.
Since the original "Founding Fathers" wrote the Constitution, this could mean that the "New Founding Fathers" could have attained this title by rewriting it, creating The Purge as a constitutional right.
Basically, its strongly implied that The New Founding Fathers are an incredibly corrupt and evil oligarchy of elitists with a state-controlled personality cult surrounding them who use the Purge as a smokescreen to Kill the Poor for fun and profit and maintain an iron grip on the populace. The obvious implication is that anyone who opposes them is arrested or killed, and even if they aren't, nothing prevents The New Founding Fathers from eliminating their critics on Purge night legally (this does, in fact, become the very plot of the 3rd movie). And as its demonstrated in the second movie, heavily-armed government backed militias do take part in the Purge and are much more formidable than anyone else out on the streets at the time, so the odds of you out-fighting them are slim-to-nil.
It's essentially a "what-if" story. It's a worst case scenario, and/or an extreme or over-exaggerated version of what might happen in reality. IMHO, that means that it doesn't really need to be realistic, just internally consistent.
In short, its a terrible metaphor that collapses under even the most basic of scrutiny and what ifs. In real life, no government would condone violence and destruction on the theoretical scale that is possible in america. Especially the rich and powerful, who would be directly affected BY HALF THE CITY BURNING DOWN along with all their factories and economic assets that would ruin them in a single night.
Why would any of the rich people have a lock in? If you've got the money and aren't going to participate in the Purge, it would make much more sense to lock your house up as best you can with the security system, hide your valuables, and take your family on a trip to another country that is not (currently) practicing the Purge.
Yeah, that's what this troper is thinking too. Why don't the Sandins and other wealthy families go out of the U.S. every year before it happens, lock the house like you said, and then don't return home until after it's done?Since it occurs on the same day every year,this is a foolproof measure to survive it every year, even moreso than a security system.
Honestly, it seems a lot easier to sit in a secured house and wait the Purge out then to try to fly to another country, something that a whole lot of other people will be trying to do. The Sandins had been doing just that for years, and were getting along just fine, until their son undid the lockdown and let a stranger into the house.
What if they're not allowed to? If the NFF mandates that everyone must participate in the Purge, what if it's illegal to be outside of the US during that day?
On a day when there are no laws, why would that law matter?
Flights are almost certainly grounded during the purge itself. So the "crime" would be leaving the US before the purge, with the intention of being away during the purge.
A lot of this seems to assume that countries outside of the United States are safer. If the U.S. falls to a despotic regime of right-wing extremists like the New Founding Fathers, though, that implies some pretty awful things that probably don't just apply to one nation. Particularly with the implication on the New Founding Fathers' website that people are voluntarily traveling to the U.S. knowing that they might die as a result, there's the distinct possibility that everywhere else is either the same as the United States and willing to punish anyone who tries to leave the country, or that everywhere else has become so bad that people are horrified to leave even on Purge Night.
It isn't. The government is obviously lying to keep up the facade. The requirements for all the world to turn so poorly would mean that the version of america we see is not possible (IE it would look and sound even more dystopian) and the metaphor of the story would be impossible.
Why...just, WHY did they let the neighbors go at the end when it's obvious to anybody that the neighbors will just try again? Hell, what's stopping them from just saying 'screw the rules' breaking into their home and killing them, purge or not? They know how to breach their security now so that's not even a guarantee and they outnumber the Landons! Letting them leave the house alive is practically asking them to try again.
Maybe the Sandins let them go, because since they now know this, they will move to a different location as soon as possible.
Or the neighbors know that the Sandins will be ready the next time they try.
On an emotional level, the Sandins are traumatized, shell shocked and tired of the bloodshed. They just can't bring themselves to kill anyone else if there's no immediate threat. Not ruthlessly logical, perhaps, but traumatized, shell shocked people who are tired of bloodshed rarely operate according to strict and ruthless logic.
So what is stopping a paramilitary organization to provide collective security? I can imagine that for one day the neighborhood watch would get a couple of shotguns and star patrolling the streets ready to shot anyone trying to do something nasty. Itís not like the absence of cops would create an absence of people wanting a collective system of security.
Well nothing's stopping them, I suppose, but maybe in this particular neighborhood (where people apparently just care about social status and expressions of wealth) there aren't many (or ANY) people willing to put themselves at that kind of risk. And, of course, if you did form a group of neighborhood protectors, everyone would be aware of its existence (because they'd be looking for people to join, and because people probably check the rich neighborhood first to steal stuff), so people participating in the purge would know to kill the members of that organization off first to weaken the neighborhood, if that makes sense.
Trust is surely a factor, too. How can you be sure that the people you recruit to patrol your neighborhood with weapons aren't secretly planning to loot the place themselves? There's no contract law during the Purge, either; you can't exactly sue the neighborhood watch if its members decide to betray their responsibilities.
Where in the movie does it state that contract law ceases to exist during the Purge?
Laws against breaching it are not enforced if it's done during Purge Night. A law that isn't enforced effectively doesn't exist.
That's easy to get around. The contract can specifically state that money has to be repayed / penalty clauses will be enforced, if either party doesn't fulfill it's obligations during the purge. The transgressions won't be illegal, but they won't get to keep the money they were payed.
Or the contract can stipulate a big fat payment after Purge Night, contingent on the employees' fulfilling their duties so the employers are alive to pay them.
Nothing is stopping communities from organizing and providing protection. While the government controlled death squads would pose a problem, even a few casualties will rapidly make these death squads impossible to maintain, as any time they try to go out, anyone with a sense of self preservation would either evade them or shoot them on sight from their prepared in advance defensive positions. And defending in favorable terrain is one of the few situations where a Civilian can withstand trained infantry in battle.
Why are the rich kids so stupid as to try to break into a well-secured private home to get at a single homeless person rather than leaving to cruise around for another target? They can't be sure how many people are in the house, they don't know how well armed they are, and the residents would obviously know the terrain better than the invaders. That just screams unnecessary risk.
Perhaps you answered your own question. Maybe they were just being stupid, and none of this occurred to them.
Maybe they were intoxicated.
Because they were batshit insane. These people went out specifically to fulfill what they believed to be a social obligation to kill poor people. They fixated on this one homeless dude, and when he was denied to them, they flipped out.
Most of them were stupid, or high. Not thinking rationally. The leader seemed a lot clearer-headed, he was just convinced of his own invulnerability.
Also they mentioned vengeance: The homeless man killed one of their friends in self-defense. That's why they want him so bad.
For the Evulz. Killing other homeless people is fun, but easy; killing a homeless person who is hiding in a highly-secure private residence is a challenge. The leader of the gang even says as much to Mr Sandin- "Thank you", for making this Purge night extra-special.
How come the Sandins didn't just lie, and say the guy ran out the back? Or barring that, make a big production of pretending to kill the homeless guy themselves? Have him scream and plead, fire off a couple shots into the floor, then silence. "Hey, get out of here now, he's done for." As others have said, the Big Bad could have just gone on his way and found another target.
Because the guy would demand a body, and or just kill them anyways for sport.
How can there possibly be rules saying that a certain kind of weapon isn't allowed? Let's say somebody decides to use a rocket launcher to kill the neighbours. Sure, that's against the law since that weapon is too powerful, but since the police aren't going to stop anybody rocket-launchers might as well be legal; heck, for all intents and purposes they are legal since you can use them without being stopped by the police.
Nobody would stop you during the Purge, but you could still be identified and charged with criminal use of the weapon on the morning afterwards.
It also doesn't preclude a military response. Emergency services may be suspended, but you can bet the nearest military base is going to take action if someone starts taking out entire buildings.
Thanks. It really bugged me that they didn't take into account the fact that somebody might still use a rocket launcher to go through with a plan that would have been impossible with the police, but this makes it make a little more sense.
The military can't do anything, in order to reach the scene, they would have to wade through the rioting and destruction killing hundreds in the process as they themselves are attacked. In all due honesty, nothing is stopping you from using it, and even after the purge ends, it will be next to impossible for people to find out the one anonymous crime in the thousands that happen. Also what happens if there is a gas main explosion, or something not using class 4 weapons? Do they go out anyways to check it out? Much easier and safer to just write off it as that.
The military could fly there no trouble, and the purgers would be getting out of the way very quickly with the US Army heading for them, just because itís legal to mess with them doesnít mean itís a good idea. Besides as we see in later movies the government has a lot of death squads out and about, presumably they would deal with it.
Aside from nuclear and biological weapons (which are hard to aquire for some countries, much less private citizens) and grenade launchers, that would probably be useful for vehichle-to-vehichle combat, weapons Class 5 and above are probably more trouble than they're worth with the law in place. As stated above, without emergency services for 12 hours, there's little you can't destroy for a fraction of the cost and without risking being publicly hanged with gasoline and a box of matches.
I was talking about this with a friend but during the said 12 hours why is everyone in America fixated on murdering one another when they can just do other stuff that is illegal during the 12 hours such as public urination, streaking, buying smokes and liquors for children, drunk driving, dating girls younger than 21, doing drugs in public, selling drugs in public, picking up a prostitute, engaging in prostitution, and removing tags off of mattresses. Then again if they did then the movie would be a comedy... however the only illegal thing I'd do during the 12 hours would be public urination because it's legal as long as the 12 hours are in effect.
Probably because doing those things would make you vulnerable to the people who decide to go the "let's kill people!" route. Shops that could sell contraband or restricted items might find it safer to lock up and prevent looters, for example. Plus there's packs of rich kids going around murdering the homeless; that's hardly a good time to be working as a street walker (a dangerous enough profession with the laws in place), or wandering around drunk.
I was always under the assumption that the first Purge was mostly this. The next four probably got progressively worse when people warmed up to the concept, and revenge killings became more common.
It bugs me how the gang was running around freely. Why don't groups of killers/looters turn on each other? If there's a group of rich kids going around killing the homeless, surely it's not much of a stretch that the other end of the spectrum might want to engage in class warfare too (especially when the neighbours turn out to have exactly that motive for wanting to kill the protagonists).
All three films show the gangs roaming the streets out on Purge night fire on everyone they see, including other heavily armed death squads, even though that's stupid for obvious reasons, and nobody would go out like that again after seeing the survival rate. The class warfare purpose of the Purge is apparently hidden to all but the NFF and their allies, and the majority seem to think that chucking yourself into the meat grinder is the actual point of the night, so while the middle class murders each other and the upper class mail orders individual murder victims, the poor save up year round for the cheapest guns and forms legal resistance movements, which is the plot of the sequels.
That's the basic problem with most science fiction movies like this. The filmmakers aren't interested in realistically exploring the idea, they're just trying to shove a message down your throat and are hiding behind the sci-fi/horror genre because they figure you'll be too entertained to notice it. Yes, in reality, it wouldn't be a bunch of rich people running around murdering the poor with impunity. If the 1992 L.A. riots are anything to go on, all the rich people would be locked up tighter than Fort Knox and the poor would be attacking each other.
"Poor, and therefore defenseless" is an fallacy that many overthrown governments, and apparently, the screenwriter, have used. In California, a state notorious for itís gun control laws, without a court record a gun license can be gotten with $20, an internet connection, ID, a mailing adress and a little patience. And thatís assuming you donít get your weapon from someone else or illegally, both of which are trivially easy. And in terms of pricing, an extremly reliable and versatile pump-shotgun or easily concealable handgun can be gotten for less than $200; not a purchase you make casually if youíre poor, but easily doable if youíve had any kind of job recently, as itís literally less than one dollar a day. Even if gun vendors jack up prices, which is very unlikely, and assuming inevitable gun thefts and probable foriegn funding donít keep the poor well-armed, $1000 and even $2000 can still be done with a little forward planning. And government death squads are literally kicking down poor apartment doors and slaughtering everyone inside, children included, so thereís no shortage of motivation to start saving and forming militias with your neighbors. There entire idea of the Purge is just begging for a revolution; it's poor screenwriting that it took so long in-universe.
Forget buying guns. Just set up a bunch of lethal booby traps, get under cover, and wait for a few of the psychos who do have guns to wander into your traps. Then strip the bodies and take their guns. Wash, rinse, repeat until you've got all the weapons you need.
Ok so the only rules of the Purge are that government officials of "ranking 10 or higher" must remain unharmed and usage of weaponry above "Class 4" (such as Weapons Of Mass Destruction) is forbidden. Well if emergency services like the Police, Firefighters, and Ambulances are shut down for the duration of the Purge then who makes sure that no one attacks a government official or uses WMDs for the duration of the Purge if there are no cops around?
Even today the President and other top members of the government have access to secured locations with military protection. In the world of The Purge it's not far-fetched to presume that they would have their own much better secured bunkers to hide out for 12 hours. It's still illegal to target them, but good luck trying.
In the Sequel, there is a warning heard when the resistance uses flashbang grenades - apparently they are considered "Class 4" explosives.
What do you think insurance is like in this world? Either you make it so the policy lapses on the purge or you charge extra for that coverage to deal with the money you lose from all the damaged property.
To quote Cody from Alternate History hub utterly shredding the idea of this even being possible, "Insurance, is a nightmare."
Actually, Election Year states that insurance companies benefit the most from the Purge, because everyone has to insure absolutely everything, and the companies can charge whatever they want.
Emergency services shut down. This seems to include hospitals. So what happens to people already INSIDE? Are they left to their own devices? If not, how do you get the personnel to show up on that day, risking their own lives?
Most likely the employees pull double shifts (16 hours), coming in a couple hours before the Purge and leaving a couple hours after. As for security, hospitals probably hire enough guards/mercenaries to deter the crazy fools and the not crazy ones realize that destroying a hospital they might well need after the Purge is a stupid idea.
As there aren't any laws on Purge Night, there won't be anything to stop medical workers from continuing to help people if they want. Possibly they hole up inside the locked-down hospitals and look after the people who are already there, perhaps even admitting Purge-victims who make it to the site under their own power, aren't being chased by anyone, and are willing to disarm before entry.
Hippocratic oath, and general doctor honor would mean that the doctors would do what they can to help those already inside. Also they're government buildings or privately funded by megacorps, meaning they're well defended investments.
The NFF probably believe that if you can't afford your own clinic in your house, you deserve to be purged, and the hospital staff are required to execute everyone still within their walls once the Purge commences, or maybe hold auctions to allow other people to come in and kill the babies.
What percentage of the nation's economy would go just into repairing the damage, physical and otherwise, done during the purge?
Cody from Alternate history Hub goes into detail. Including explaining that the damage would be so severe it would destroy the economy outright.
Just how good is the security system actually promised to be? Note that James mentions outright that the gang could tunnel underneath the house or gas them out. But for the gang to gas the family out requires them to open the house to let the gas in. This means that James knew they could break in even with the system set; and not just "break the door down" either, since you want a small opening to prevent the gas from escaping. Yet James still sold it and the neighbors still bought it, which means either James did in fact scam them or they are complete fools. Factoring in that the power system is external, and...Just how stupid are the wealthy people buying the security system only to realize that it sucks a little while later? On top of that, just how wealthy are they that they can afford a full-lock-down home security system? People don't have that much cash to spend on such a system unless they were saving up for it or are the filthy rich among the filthy rich. Which then means they got angry for him selling them either what they wanted or what they couldn't care less about. And, in my book, this would support them being stupid, right?
I guess I ought to clarify: the system blatantly doesn't cover all the holes which could be used for entrance; this is proven to us when the one window is shot at to let the gang members in. It also blatantly doesn't cover the floor, which is still a floor and not reinforced with metal. You don't need to be smart to see that anyone who wanted to could find either an unprotected opening or dig their way in, and I'm assuming construction vehicles exist in this universe so anyone determined enough could use them to dig.
Also, I do acknowledge that someone may say "but it's proving that the Purge doesn't work since it's making them more violent." Then is the world at large so filled with complete fools that despite countless people giving the same story (since this surely isn't the first time something like this had happened in the film's universe) of petty gossip being turned into fights to the death with no one batting an eyelid?
More or less, it works just like any other security system. Sure, it can be bypassed, but why bother with the extra effort when the next house over does not have a security system. And, much like today's security system, since it's seldom tested, it's assumed to work a lot better than it actually does.
Exactly. The promise is "Random punks walking past won't be able to break into your house easily." That's still worth a lot. People are at significant risk of random strangers trying to break into their homes. But they're not at a significant risk of facing determined strangers who will put hours of effort into breaking in. Events like the one in the film must be rare.
Considering this is the guy who is a top seller for the company who makes the damn things, the fact he DOESN'T have it is all the more striking.
Considering just how deadly the Purge can be, it makes me wonder just why the home security systems didn't have active countermeasures? It would have been quite funny for the Polite Leader and the gang to get vitrified by the security system the moment he pushed the doorbell. It would be like Home Alone from Hell.
Because this movie is trying to emulate other home invasion films like The Strangers, where the characters didn't have the advance warning the Sandins did. It'd also probably be a strain on the film's incredibly tight budget.
That would be monumentally more expensive.
Surviving determined nutjobs seems worth the expense.
Cheap version: small hatches that can be easily opened from inside, just large enough to push the barrel of your shotgun through. Not having hatches like that is a pretty dumb oversight (imho). But dumb oversights are very realistic and believable things.
Considering this is the guy who is a top seller for the company who makes the damn things, the fact he DOESN'T have it is all the more striking. Why have the cheapo version when the company would protect its assets with everything it has as a proof of concept for their top salesmen to pitch?
How do Fire/EMS people handle the purge? Do the firefighters just sit in the firehouse all night waiting for 7AM to go run around and put out all the fires? Maybe sometimes they just go put out fires anyway because there are no laws so stealing a fire engine is legal?
Some of them might steal a fire engine and put out anyway. of course, while the Purge immunizes them from prosecution, there is no indication that it would immunize them from termination.
The fireman from Fahrenheit 451 style. They put out fires, and anyone who tries to fuck with them is lit on fire in return.
Why would you bother with theft, murder, or anything else dangerous? If all crime is legal, wouldn't it make more sense to have a party that reaches new levels of decadence with, like, every hooker/all the drugs currently in America? I'd be throwing a rave and pirating enough films to prevent a sequel.
The problem with that is you still have the murderous psychos that you must defend yourself against. A rave would thus be a bad idea. Besides, violent action is the point of the purge.
It's likely that there are a few people who, say, hire a bunch of call-girls to come around and spend the entire twelve hours doing loads of drugs and having loads of sex, or something — but unless they want to become a victim of the rampaging psychos filling the streets they're probably smart enough to do it inside a well-secured house. Pirating movies is also not something you really need to be hitting the streets for assuming you have an internet connection. So these things probably do happen, we just don't see them because they're not the sort of crimes that a horror-action movie like this is built around.
Also where are you selling those pirated movies? You can do it during the purge since you may die, and afterwards its a crime to sell pirated items.
Okay, seriously. The whole concept of the Purge, even cutting the usual slack fiction gets, is ridiculous because HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY. This film makes the classic logical fallacy of 'Any human is capable of anything' and 'Some humans are capable of the most atrocious things' to conclude 'Every human has a monster inside them and many would glory in the opportunity to let it run free', and the idea being that society would be a lot healthier if everyone had a chance to 'let the freak flag fly'. There are many kinds of anger, many kinds of grudges, and many kinds of darkness in the human mind, and not only do all of them not lead to 'Remove the rules, remove humanity and become a beast that glories in horrible deeds' end result, only a select few of them do. A lot of people, even if they THINK they'd want to do something bad if they were freed of all responsibility, would find themselves unable to when the chips were down. The only thing the Purge would do is abandon the majority of the whims of the most deranged, broken, and screwed up people, none of whom likely contribute anything to all the good stuff the Purge has supposedly caused. It's beyond insulting and a heartlessly cynical concept of the human race presented as an absolute truth, the equivalent of nihilism as masturbation.
Perhaps, but the whole set-up of The Purge is basically a Hand Wave to facilitate an action movie, and any message the movie presents has to be viewed on those terms. Yes, it's a bit of a grim, nihilistic viewpoint on human nature, but the movie's basically a homage to 1970s/1980s cult B-movie horror-action movies, not many of which were exactly optimistic either. Plus, some of this is a bit unfair; the movie clearly has a rather grim and pessimistic outlook on human nature but the idea that it's suggesting that this society is in any way healthy seems to be missing the point somewhat; if anything, the movie is clearly suggesting that this society is, at the very least, incredibly dysfunctional.
As the original poster of this complaint, James De Monaco, the scriptwriter and director, seems to have realized his error, and the sequel reveals several key new facts that show that a lot of what the first film suggested was, in fact, a lie.
See above. It's not a matter of what percentage of the population is going around looking for warm bodies to stab new orifices into, it's how many people like that are going around.
Problem here is more artistic. The movie does a bad job selling us the idea and making a credible atmosphere, as The Nostalgia Critic correctly pointed in his review of the movie. When I watched I never felt like I was seeing a world where people really was gonna prefer the Purge to whatever they had before or that there was a society crazy enough to live under that system and maintain it. I heard the sequel is better at that but I hasnít see it. That said, youíre right and wrong at the same time. We have cases in real life of places where societies collapse and people has no longer laws that prevent crime or authorities enforcing them (think for example in cases like post-Katrina New Orleans, post-Earthquake Haiti or some areas rule by criminals like Ciudad Juarez), in some cases people did collaborate and tried to protect each others, in othersÖ well does Former Yugoslavia ring any bells?
The government uses death squads and hired thugs to try and get the ball rolling, the second movies shows that only a very small minority of people actually participate, and there is certainly a counter culture around the purge who tires to do the opposite and defend people. Not to mention the NFF are actively lying about the effectiveness of the Purge.
Would children be targeted during the purge? What if it happened during school?
Presumably some children are targeted during the purge (the Sandins' are), but as for school the Purge explicitly is shown to happen overnight.
One aspect poorly mentioned is arson. The most deadly action someone could take would be to set fire to neighborhoods. With no fire trucks available, it becomes trivially easy to burn down whole swaths of cities and suburbia. People could not just hide in their homes to survive, they would need to actively engage those nearby.
Who's to say that sort of thing doesn't happen? I'd imagine that the kind of places most likely to be impacted and devastated by such arson are impoverished areas where landlords are less concerned about fire safety standards, and it would be seen as a way of "purging" society of undesirables in one fell swoop.
Actually cities and economic centers would be hardest hit. Cody From Alternate History Hub explains that this is what will cause the purge to stop being used by he government. While it is a metaphor for the rich to kill the poor, it also backfires by hurting the rich in the one way it can (Beyond killing them) namely burning down all their property.
What prevents people from forming groups to protect themselves from those who wish to cause them harm? Granted, a vigilante mob can be just as dangerous as a marauding hoard of killers, rapists, and thieves, but at least they would help keep their neighborhood/streets safe from death and bloodshed.
Who's to say some don't? It's obviously not happening in the Sandin neighborhood, and the poor would still be disadvantaged against a better-armed adversary who practices the same mentality.
As of the sequel this is happening... although for some ungodly reason it seems to have taken them 9 years to figure out they could...
Where is it said that this is, indeed, the first such group formed?
Not exactly a headscratcher, but a potential general answer to many of them; it seems to me that a lot of the "The Purge wouldn't solve [X] / doesn't account for [Y]!" headscratchers on this page can probably be resolved by the simple fact that we only really have one source that says that the Purge encompasses every type of crime or does any meaningful kind of good at all, and that's the heavily-implied-to-be-vaguely-totalitarian-at-least government. Let's face it; a government that's willing to legalise the en-mass hunting and murder of large parts of the citizenry for one night a year out of what largely seems to be class snobbery is probably not going to be above lying about how effective it is or completely honest about any loopholes that might exist to prevent the kind of crimes they still don't want to happen.
Why would Eva pick, of all days, Purge day to ask her boss for a raise? Even if she clearly didn't intend it, it comes with an implied threat, and there's always the risk that the woman wouldn't survive the night anyway.
Because thinking about his own mortality might convince her boss that being generous towards an employee might swing a bit of luck / karma / divine favor his way, on the most dangerous night of the year...?
In the first movie, once they'd decided to fight rather than turn the stranger over, knowing that the strange had already killed a member of the gang, why did they not ask him for help? It seems rather obvious. I've heard this justified by saying "well, he might have turned on them," but they were clearly at a Godzilla Threshold in that regard.
Why is America still heavily populated? People would be moving to places like Canada, Mexico and Anywhere they could reach? Even if it's illegal, once out of america's jurisdiction, they could go pretty far off the radar. Trying to find a man in Canadian Wilderness can be very difficult.
The people may just not have the resources to do that. IRL, people live in violent slums, polluted hellholes, or even active war zones because they simply cannot afford to leave.
There's the obvious question of whether the rest of the world might be worse. Apparently, the United States has decided to open its borders to people who know they might be purged, and they come into the country anyway. The New Founding Fathers control over the U.S. suggests that something very significant has happened on the local political scene, and there's no reason to think that whatever it is isn't the result of some kind of frightening global realignment.
Because the Plot Marches on, and the death toll is heavily exaggerated, since only a very small proportion of the population actually participates, and most importantly the film.... Has no sense of reality what so ever. And its also government propaganda that we're making these theories off of.
Why does no one wear body armor? This should be an essential whether you're roaming the streets on a killing spree or locked up trying to survive the night?
The Government operated killing squads are seriously suited up. Doesn't really seem to help them, though. That being said, body armor would seem like a good investment, however they may be in high demand and price that the poor don't really have access to them, and the rich folk just hide or hire guns for them.
After 7 a.m., does law enforcement carefully collect every single body and determine the time of death of each and every one? Has technology advanced to the point where a medical examiner can determine time of death to the minute? If not, what's to stop someone from shooting or stabbing someone at 7:05 a.m. or even 8 a.m.?
From the look of things, a ridiculous amount of cameras.
Not enough as a simple mask can save you from being properly identified. Nothing will stop you from doing it except personal honor, while some of the more fanatic psychos may oblige, anyone else committed to it won't. Since most of the murder and stuff is done by Government sponsored thugs and death squads it makes the matter more easy to control.
What about criminal practices that cannot be completed within the time frame of twelve hours, like operating a drug ring, a pyramid scheme, or human trafficking? Not all crime is committed For the Evulz; some is committed because people think Evil Pays Better — they have something to gain from being dishonest or threatening. Yet, apparently, no crime is committed outside of this twelve hours. If the film intended for the crime-has-been-eliminated claim to be untrue propaganda, we would have seen hints of that, some doubt expressed by a character, some sketchy statement about illegal activity outside of this night. The crime-has-been-eliminated claim is not presented as untrue propaganda but as true.
It is presented as true by in-universe propaganda, and repeated by gullible people who think that you don't need to know how it works; it just does. But the moment you hear that this whole thing was the idea of a government called The New Founding Fathers (who at the end are shown to be people ordinary citizens actually pray to), that alone should clue you in that you shouldn't believe everything they say, no matter how slick the advertising or sophisticated the excuses. Just because it's presented as true doesn't mean we are supposed to believe it; the movie doesn't need to spell out that this is propaganda for it to be so, since the mere implication that America is now ruled by a sinister oligarchy should be enough to realize that.
Anyone who says that all the positive effects of the Purge are government propaganda is ignoring the film's themes, and its sequels. The only thing to suggest that such claims are propaganda is that they make no sense (which the movie on a whole isn't very good at) and that the government is called the New Founding Fathers (which is just a satire on how conservatives so readily liken themselves to the Founding Fathers). The idea of the movie is that the Purge does indeed fix the economy and reduce all crime, but that it's not worth it. The sequels also show that America is still a democracy with free speech, and has even characters who don't support the purge and should know better, like Senator Roan, acknowledging it's positive effects. The screenwriter probably just thought he was being clever enough by pointing out that the poor are statistically more likely to commit crime, and didn't think about the one's the OP described. The idea is that if you have a financial motive to commit a crime, you're poor, and killed on Purge night (even though the rich commit plenty of financial crimes to, and poor does not equal homeless and unable to buy a gun), and if you want to murder someone, you wait until the purge to do it. End of story.
So Zoey's boyfriend Henry believes that James is standing in the way of their relationship because he doesn't approve. Fair enough. So does Henry try to reason with James? No, he tries killing James on the night of the Purge. Ok, even if Henry had succeeded and he didn't get arrested due to the Purge laws... what next, dumbass? Do you really think that Zoey's going to want to go out with you after you've KILLED HER FATHER?! What an fool.
This seems like a case of a couple juggling the foolBall to be honest. The boyfriend tells Zoey he wants to talk to her father on Purge night. There is absolutely nothing in the world so important it can't wait twelve more hours. So it's entirely plausible he thought that her invitation to come over amounted to permission to kill her father. And maybe it was all the way up until she actually realized he would do it. It would honestly be far from the craziest things teens in love have done.
The screenwriter probably though to himself "Who wants to kill who? Boyfriends their girlfriends dads!" and thought the scene through about as well as the rest of the movie. That said, A. one of the ideas of the Purge is that by morning, everything is forgiven. and B. the daughter was siding with Henry after her father shot him, so maybe her relationship with her father really was that bad.
If the underlying motive behind the Purge is class warfare, why isn't theft the most popular crime instead of murder? Why don't the lower and middle classes go around looting, pillaging, and plundering the upper classes, taking their money and valuables? Given how easy it is to defeat the security systems the wealthy use... The legal system is designed to protect property as well as life, but, apparently, on a night when anything goes, nobody thinks to use it to their advantage and get rich, just to have fun killing and vandalizing, from which they gain nothing. Why destroy everything in your path instead of taking everything in your path? If you envy your wealthy neighbors, why kill them instead of taking whatever you want from them or destroying it so they can't have it? What do you gain from killing the man who designed the security systems that have kept you safe? Emotional catharsis, but what good's that gonna do you next year when your system needs an upgrade or has a short and no one's around to fix it? There's evil and petty, and then there's evil, petty, and irrational/stupid. Anyone who would take advantage of this night only to have fun and not for practical gain is not only evil but irrational and stupid. The redundant message of the movie that is "this system is wrong," but why hasn't it occurred to anyone that Purgers are not only doing things that are wrong but using this opportunity (to commit acts of evil with no repercussions) irrationally? (Unless they agree with Ayn Rand that evil is irrationality... not a good person whose philosophies to invoke in a story about class warfare.)
Because no one wants to get killed because they're outside trying to rob a liquor store or something. It's real easy to get shot in the back by a random sociopath while you're trying to pick a lock.
You try stealing a factory, or an intangible bank account. That's where the 1%'s wealth is in.
It's also really easy to be shot in the back by a random sociopath while being a random sociopath shooting people in the back. Alternate History though, explains that the death squads introduced in the sequel actually supress most rioting by firing on any crowd gathering. Corporate espionage, hackers, planned heists, and the death squads looting themselves are probably big problems to though. Just one more reason the economy has to run on magic.
For that matter, in this story supposedly about class warfare, the primary victims we spend the most time watching and fearing for are... a wealthy white family. If you want to show how evilly the wealthy treat the poor, wouldn't it make more sense to make the homeless African-American guy the main character and take the audience on his journey of persecution by the wealthy? The primary conflict we see is the wealthy versus the wealthy (the crazy teens and then the neighbors versus the family) — each an interesting conflict, it could be argued, but neither is a class conflict.
Welcome to The Purge:Anarchy.
Who finds killing innocent people so much fun that they're willing to risk their own life to do so? Going on a twelve-hour killing spree of the homeless might be your idea of fun, but since you know everyone you meet has carte blanche to kill you... Who would consider it worth the risk? Yes, there are some like Pete from northern Virginia who have a specific goal in mind that they're willing to risk their life for, but risking your life for the joy of wanton destruction and chaos? Do people who find that fun have no self-preservation instinct of their own?
Well, such people are psychopaths and sadists so...yes. The fun of killing and the thrill of the hunt outweighs the danger involved; or, the danger involved is what makes it extra-thrilling in the first place. These are very much NOT people in their right mind, after all. Besides, it's not like that in real life people don't do crazy, dangerous stuff all the time, even when that doesn't have anything to do with murder or being murdered. And other people might just resent the idea of more or less being forced to stay inside their homes for 12 hours straight (which might not be safer anyway).
Not quite, actually psychopaths are extremely keen to self-preservation and no matter how sadistic they can be, theyíll never risk their own lives or security for any reason. You have to see psychopaths as pure selfishness they only care for themselves. So, or the guys in the movie are not really psychopaths, just crazy people, or the writers know nothing about psychology/criminology (and yes, this troper is a psychologist).
As to why an orgy of violence breaks out so fast, mob mentality is a powerful thing. Especially with the masks everyone wears, there's going to be a very strong feeling of 'everyone else is doing this, so there's nothing wrong with me doing it too, and there will never be repercussions'. It's the same thing that happens with riots and whatnot, completely reasonable people see all the madness around them, and go 'hey why not'. Their minds aren't treating the consequences as real.
Why would Pete from Northern Virginia or anyone go on the radio and announce who you're planning to kill? You've just immensely shrunk your chances of succeeding.
1. Rule of Funny 2. Like most of the movie, a concept wasn't thought through.
Why wear masks when what you're doing isn't illegal?
A. To scare people. B. Legal or not, there's an issue of revenge.
Exactly. With only two movies and little back story we don't know much about purges but I suspect that there are a lot of revenge killings and a year is a long time to plot.
To continue killing people after 7 AM so the cameras don't ID you. Also film trick to dehumanize the psychos and make the more scary.
Actually, the Purgers are intentionally dehumanizing themselves with the masks. When they know there aren't repercussions, and their actions can't be traced back to them, it's a lot easier to drop their earlier morality. Without the masks, the Purge night would probably be a lot quieter. It's much easier to do horrible things when you feel like you're just going with the crowd.
Whether propaganda or true, why don't the statistics mention that they've also apparently cured all mental illness? Hard to believe that people who kill because they hear voices in their head and such would wait until the one night they know they have permission to kill.
In Real Life, the mentally ill are many times more likely to be the victims of violence rather than the perpetrators. They've probably only "cured" Hollywood Schizophrenia (what you're talking about) in the sense of having purged a huge majority of all mentally ill people.
Who in their right mind would EVER go to a "Purge Party"? It's the one night a year someone can legally commit homicide, so what guarantee do you have that your host/hostess won't try to kill you with poisoned refreshments or something equally treacherous?
Because you're paying a shittone of money to them. If they pull something like that, they're out of business and a target for the next Purge.
You wouldn't its government propaganda.
For any government that allowed anything like The Purge, the next day would very likely consist of putting out a lot of fires, literal fires in many cases. Sure, any building that has a state-of-the art automated fire suppression system might be alright the next morning, but if someone decides to "purge" by torching your house/apartment building, you may be screwed; since odds are you can't afford such. Assuming you aren't killed as a result that night, it will probably be a while before a firetruck gets to you, oh, and have fun contacting your insurance company and sorting the whole bloody mess out. Need I also mention that a fire isn't always content to just burn down one building? Yeah, fire likes to spread itself around; anything combustible that can be reached by a spark or ember is fair game to go up in flames...
In Anarchy if Big Daddy is trying to kill the poor because they (apparently) aren't targeting each other enough, why does he gun down people who are obviously enroute to kill others (the first couple he guns down)?
'cuz he's a jerks
It's pretty clear from how he treats the girls that this is not just business to him. Also, we can't be certain those people were out to murder, for all we know they were out to join Carmelo.
Is Carmelo and his resistance somewhat supporting the Founding Fathers' ideas by attacking during the Purge? Seems to me that it would be more effective to suddenly attack some time after the Purge. The Founding Fathers imply there is little violence (and therefore preparation against) the rest of the year. The wealthy wouldn't be hiding in their bunkers or vacationing, and the military would not be as mobilized as say, the week before the Purge. In addition the fighters would not have to worry about being harassed by rogue groups of psychos. Chances are they could do a lot more damage by hiding out, looting for useful resources and otherwise preparing DURING the Purge to begin their assault on a particular date. I assume they'd have more communication leeway for plotting with less chance of their plan being foiled by government surveillance, since the government operations appear to change during the night.
He's explicitly trying to turn the Purge back upon the wealthy who thought they could control and exploit it. Doing it on Purge night is his point. And it's also worth noting that if he hadn't been flinging around flashbang grenades, his little mini-revolution would have been entirely legal.
The government may be using the flashbangs as an excuse to counter his revolution.
A lot of these question could be explained if we knew how the The Purge law was written. For example while Civilian law is basically suspended Military law probably isn't leaving the Government well protected. While Emergency Services aren't responding to average 911 calls they may well be still protecting City and State property. Since the goal of The Purge is explicitly stated to be to lower crime and help the economy the law is probably designed to do just that meaning that Bankers, Stock Brokers, ect can't run off with all their clients money.
Where did the Polite Leader and his gang attach the chains to pull off the Sandin's barricades? The barricades were smooth single pieces of steel, there was no place to attach them.
Hollywood magic. They sell it on Amazon now.
Why did the Polite Leader turn the power off to the Sandins's house? Wouldn't that make it much harder for them to find the homeless guy? Even if he was just being a dick and wanted an excuse to kill the family, he still keeps them off when he's the one invading the house. Doesn't make any sense.
It scares and intimidates the people inside, who since they have not given up the homeless man have now "volunteered" themselves onto the kill list. The gang are used to hunting at night; the family is used to waiting the night out behind closed doors, so darkness is more of a hindrance to the family that to the gang. It is scarier, and these guys are obviously sadistic. It might make it harder to find one particular person, but it makes it easier to pick a group of people off one by one.
Extending the legal protection only to the highest officials looks like a stupid thing. What's the incentive for supporting a government that can't even protect its own employees? And obviously any government would just collapse without the rank and file of clerks and bureaucrats. In fact, The Purge eliminates a rational reason to lead a respectable life, since everything you've earned during the years of hard and decent labor might be perfectly legally taken from you in just twelve hours by some thugs. Sooner or later you'll just realize that you actually have no alternative to giving in the reign of chaos - but, what must be more important for the New Founding Fathers, you have absolutely no reason not to support an anti-government rebellion as well.
I've seen a lot of HS' about what happens to hospital/police/fire department during the night of the purge, my thought is that the buildings themselves probably count as "class 10" or something, or they are just not targeted, seeing as they are essential services, even purgers might need them seeing as just because you are roaming around kill crazy, you can still get injured by better equipped Purgers, and explosives and flammables are probably considered "class 4 weapons" so arson is probably one of the few things you are not allowed to do, due to its monumental damage potential, seeing as its mostly just focused on one group/family we don't get to hear much about the actual rules because by now they are well established, probably advertised over the month to ensure everyone understands what they can and cannot do, later sequels might go more in depth to explain the actual rules of the purge hopefully.
So basically, the way to fix the problem with "a night where all crime is legal" is to explain that not all crime is legal. And no, the sequels do not add any additional rules. Plus, even if arson was illegal, nobody would follow that rule because gasoline and matches are all you need, and setting a place on fire to kill someone is much easier than breaking into it. And if the purging psychos were smart enough to not burn down hospitals because they might need medical attention, they'd be smart enough not to go purging at all.
Why don't people just go on vacation to avoid the purge?
We don't really know if there is anywhere to vacation to. An above post mentions that despite the purge America still has an influx of immigrants so the rest of the world may just be broken. Barring that people who can afford to go on vacation probably do.
This could be propaganda by the government. All we know is that after economic collapse in 2014 the New Founding Fathers come along and somehow magically fix the problem and instates the Purge. Since the Metaphor is the rich kill the poor, it could be the New Founding Fathers were behind it all along.
With only a limited amount of time in the purge, WHY is polite Big Bad taking his time waiting to get into the house to take out ONE guy? Why are all of his friends perfectly patient about waiting, too? There's plenty of fun to be had out there!
Honor Before Reason.
The sequel implies that they paid good money to kill The Stranger until he escaped and killed one of them, so killing him is personal. And if they go anywhere else, they'll be killed by the much better armed death squads.
How does America still have an economy? The costs for rebuilding after each Purge would be horrific, and companies would have to hire private armies to protect their inventory, and so would have less capital to expand and to hire people, and less incentive to stay in a country when they have to spend millions to get the safety that other countries grant for free. There would also be problems with hiring, as a lot of decent employees would kill each other off during the Purge. And all in all, why the hell would anyone bother building anything when there's a very good chance that it will just get destroyed during the Purge?
Magic and plot convenience. In real life there would be no economy.
What's stopping a madman and his army of loyal soldiers from taking over our country, or world? This guy could create an organization similar to Cobra (GI Joe). Imagine this madman had scientists and inventors on his payroll. With the country/world under his control, he can make his own laws. If he wanted to, he could make the 12 hour "legalize crime" law permanent just to watch cities fall apart.
We don't know enough about the world to make any speculation on that. There probably isn't anything stopping a guy from forming an organization outside of the fact that forming it would likely be illegal three hundred sixty four days and twelve hours a year and they have a lot of cameras. Additionally as bad as the purge is, we are told that the world is virtually crime free outside that one night so life is probably pretty good on average. Finally Cobra would never legalize crime 24/7 nor would virtually any group. They aren't anarchists. The first thing you do upon forming a country is declare a monopoly on violence. Anybody with the strength to conquer America would either leave the Purge in place modified enough to prevent however they took over from repeating itself or eliminate the purge all together.
Taking over a country takes a lot longer than 12 hour sans the Government may decide to just break their own laws (I mean they do it for less all the time) and put down the rebellion/invasion.
If all crimes are legal, how about High Treason and Espionage? A foreign power could equip a horde of mooks to just charge the Pentagon or Langley and send in a commando team to pick through the wreckage for any intelligence to sell. Heck a citizen could do that and sell all data before the twelve hours are up. Or a charismatic and ambitious military commander could literally lead a coup during that time and its technically legal so long as he incarcerates rather than kills the president.
Because the government is sadistic pricks, not idiots. They'd likely react the matter as an act of war and respond in kind with their disorganized, poorly armed and motivated, and poorly equipped military since all their fund go into repairing their economy every year after the city leveling fires every year.
Why would anyone live in a wooden house with lots of windows as if it were still good old suburban America? Wouldn't most houses of the wealthy look like bunkers or fortresses with solid stone walls, slits for windows and heavy steel gates for doors?
Plot Convenience. Otherwise the corporation that the guy works for as their top seller may deliberately be trying to kill them.
How is it that the international community has done nothing to condemn the Purge. Its understandable if the purge happened once or twice and the US gets away with it, but not as long as the film tells us. At best, the US Economy would tank with countries putting embargos on US goods and services. At the worst, there would be a coalition of nations that would invade the US with the goal of stopping the purge.
Geez, (wo)man. Even nowadays even not the most powerful states can get away with systematic 24/7 mass killings of different kinds for some time, given the right circumstances. To assume that in the obviously dystopian future anyone would go after a possibly still nuclear America just because of some twelve hours every year is plain ridiculous. And any verbal condemnation that may take place is obviously not broadcast by the New Founding Fathers, so we have no way to learn of it.
It's not at all ridiculous. America can't get away with the open and systematic slaughter of its people *because* they're wealthy, prominent, and powerful. An annual murder/anarchy holiday would be devastating for both local and foreign business, which is to say nothing of countries getting nervous when a group of government elites in a first world, industrialized, globalized, democratic nation allows its people to get murdered en masse. The sanctions and embargos would cripple the US economy, impossible supposed benefits of the Purge be damned.
They're wealthy so they decided to invent a Purge. Right. And the people still migrate to the US in that future, so it's entirely possible that the things are no better in the countries you're talking about. It's quite obvious that the priorities have drastically shifted - otherwise the mere thought of Purge would never have entered anyone's mind - and even today there's actually nothing besides a certain system of values to make all the other countries care about all that stuff in America as long as it's not imposed on themselves. In any case, we've already established that the Purge itself doesn't really work as planned, so we might as well suppose that hypothetic sanctions weren't taken into account either.
We have no information beyond there was an economic collapse in 2014 and the New Founding Fathers got into power and made an amendment to the constitution. WE have no indication the rest of the world was affected to the same degree or to have gone to shit as badly as America, except for Government propaganda. However Even with the crippling damage the nation suffers every year thanks to the purge, America has two oceans on either side, a large population, and Canada doesn't have the resources or will to have their people be subjected to the "Purge" and Mexico is a laughing stock of a nation. Oh and the US navy is bigger than everyone else combined.
This troper has seen the Rick and Morty episode based on this movie. The rich people finally got their comeuppance in the end. This makes me wonder why some of the poor people didn't decide to go after the wealthy people responsible for the Purge law. You could say the rich people are in well guarded places, but what if some angry guy and his gang of freedom fighters decide to equip themselves with rocket launchers and bombs? Are the rich people so arrogant and cocky that they think people won't try to go after them?
Given that no weapons above a certain class are allowed and the purge is limited to just a few hours the kind of siege necessary to even get what is supposed to be an upper middle class family out of their bunker is a huge undertaking. The truly rich most likely have better defenses that you couldn't siege in a single night no matter how good you were.
Did the main characters move out of that neighborhood, away from those crazy neighbors? It would be humorous if they continue to invite them over for tea after finding out they tried to kill them.
I think most of these questions can be answered by... the screenwriter, James Demonaco, wasnít ready to write this movie, or at least not for it to be a big hit that millions of people would watch and therefore scrutinize. Coming up with an idea for a War On Straw dystopia is easy, but creating a believable world with power dynamics and economics that stand up to even basic scrutiny is very hard. In his haste to send a message about poverty while imitating The Strangers and other home-invasion films, he took the gross oversimplifications of ďconservatives want to kill the poorĒ and ďpeople on welfare are drains on societyĒ at face value and presented them as fact. None of the questions about the crimes thatís be committed during the purge or the damage the ones weíre shown happening would do both to the country and the ruling classís PR ever occurred to him, and at the time they didnít need to because ďa night where all crime is legalĒ is too good of a pitch for either producers or audiences to turn down. He took some of the criticisms to heart for the sequels, but couldnít respond to all without completely nullifying the first film and the themes it introduced. This franchise was meant to generate discussion, but since it fails as a social commentary, itís best to just enjoy these as stupid horror and action, regardless of what they want to be.
It's ironic that the first film in the franchise is little more than a home invasion thriller, as committing burglary or home invasion on Purge Night would be a monumentally bad idea. Don't understand what I mean? Chew on this: the rule about "all crime is legal" is a double edged sword; you are breaking into someone's home on the one night of the year that the homeowner(s) can deal with you as they see fit with no concern for whether or not their actions conform to the legal definition of self-defense. Best case scenario, they kill you the instant they catch you in their house. Worst case scenario, the sky's the limit as to what nastiness they can subject you to before they get around to finishing you off.
What if someone stole city/government property during Purge Night? For example, what if Bob was crazy enough to break into the police motor pool that night and managed to drive off in a police cruiser? Would the police department be demanding it back the next morning, even though Bob legally stole it during the Purge? What about all the items that were in the cruiser when Bob stole it? (possibly a shotgun and some other weapons included among them?