YMMV: The Purge

    open/close all folders 

     The Purge 
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: A lot of people found the "all crime is legal for one night" idea too hard to swallow and couldn't suspend their disbelief. Many seemed to find the idea outright offensive for how stupid they found it.
  • Broken Base: Very unusual that it applies to the FIRST entry in a series, but some fans hate this film for not exploiting it's premise, others think it did what it could with the budget it had.
  • Captain Obvious Aesop: Something like The Purge would be a bad thing. Uh, thanks for that.
  • Critical Dissonance: Critics lambasted the film for being a Cliché Storm filled with cheap scares and social commentary that is never fully developed. It still opened at #1 and recouped its cheap budget many times over.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: The "Polite Stranger", played by Rhys Wakefield, is widely regarded to be the most enjoyable character to watch in the entire film, due to his over-the-top and polite attitude, the fact 95% of his dialogue is pure, unadulterated Narm Charm and his surprisingly large amount of screentime. As a result, many people feel disappointed when the neighbours turn out to be the real final villains.
  • Memetic Mutation: The film's blanket answer to any of the logic holes in its premise: "The Purge just works."
  • Moral Event Horizon: Everyone that's tried to killed the Sandins has crossed this at one time or another.
  • Narm: EVERY moment "Polite Stranger" appears, from his cheesy gleeful grinning every time he makes a threat to the Sandins to him kissing James's forehead after stabbing him. (This "trying-way-too-hard-to-be-scary" attitude, depending on how seriously you're taking the movie, can either be annoying or hilarious and endearing.)
    • The sheer number of times a villain is killed by someone showing up behind them and pumping them full of lead just as they're about to kill one of the family members.
  • The Scrappy: Charlie and Zoe, both for defining the term Too Dumb to Live. Every action they take makes things worse
  • Straw Dystopia: Taking the Does This Remind You of Anything? entry on the main page into account, the new America seems to be a strawman version of what the filmmakers thought conservatives and libertarians would like to turn the country into.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The general consensus is that an intriguing concept (all crime is legal for twelve hours as a way to create social order) is barely explored, and the plot is a basic Home Invasion thriller with The Purge being just an excuse as to why the family can't call the cops. You get some glimpses into the Purge at large through very brief news reports. For example as many as 200 people are reported to have engaged in a mass free-for-all purging in their town centre.
    Are hackers and black marketers doing all their work during the purge? Do small tier retail stores no longer exist because only big retailers can afford the private armies necessary to keep their inventory safe? Would this not be the perfect moment for a foreign army or a terrorist cell to attack the United States? Is Las Vegas taking odds on everything? Are scientists getting together to conduct all of the banned research they can in the twelve hours? And yet amidst all these questions it opens up for exploration, the film only chooses to focus on one: What happens... When an army of masked psychopaths attacks your home.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • The gang is wearing masks that resemble human faces, but the masks invoke a feeling of wrongness to them. The poster itself presents what looks like a horrifying Slasher Smile.
    • Outside of the masks, the one neighbor who looks to have a botox-paralyzed face is pretty inhuman-looking on her own.

  • Anvilicious: The movie is downright relentless with spreading its "Rich people oppress the poor with Government help" Aesop.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: The Murder Squad leader "Big Daddy". Was he obsessed with tracking down Eva and Cali because he hated poor minorities, he had a twisted desire to rape and kill them, or because along with Leo they escaped him once and learned the truth about the government murder squads sent kill people in low income areas?
  • Author's Saving Throw: DeMonaco clearly took a lot of the criticisms of the first film to heart, resulting in a film that gives far more of what people wanted to see from the premise.
    • Also, the movie attempts to address some of the Fridge Logic the basic premise of The Purge is accused of having, such as strongly implying that the Purge actually doesn't work and is ultimately just a Government Conspiracy to keep the rich in power and Kill the Poor for fun and profit, to the point where state-sanctioned death squads roam around massacring people to keep up the statistics because the majority of citizens hide from the Purge rather than participate in it. It also says that the REALLY important people- the super-rich and those with political power- are exempt from the Purge and it is still illegal to kill them, thus explaining how such a government can expect to function. The original arguably at least suggests some of this though, since even there it is strongly implied that the United States is run by a shadowy dictatorship / oligarchy called The New Founding Fathers, and nothing is ever definitively said about how or if the Purge works other than "it just does" beyond suspicious state-backed propaganda.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: The biker with the "GOD" mask. He left quite a visual impression.
  • Genius Bonus: At first glance, the religious fanatic massacring people on the bridge in "Anarchy" calling herself "The Left Hand of God" seems like a zealot ascribing a position of holiness and righteousness to themselves, but in the Bible, the left hand of God is actually a position of disgrace and evil, where the wicked are made to stand on judgment day.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Carmelo Johns. It helps that he's the Big Good.
  • The Scrappy: Liz definitely wasn't a popular character. She often screams at the worst times over the dumbest reasons, alerting other purgers to the group's location. This gets worse towards the ending, when she becomes a fully-fledged Faux Action Girl.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel/Even Better Sequel: Which of these it qualifies as depends on who you ask (see Broken Base in the first film's entry on This Very Wiki). The original had a 38% on Rotten Tomatoes, Anarchy has 58%. Anarchy also went out of its way to show many aspects of The Purge the original glossed over.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Subverted. After the first was criticized for this, the sequel went for an exploration of what it's like to be caught in the middle of it all, as well as moving the class war elements behind the implementation of the Purge to the foreground.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Leaning this way as the reviews and reception for this movie are more favorable than the previous one. It helps that they actually manage to showcase The Purge in action instead of using the premise as an excuse to do a home invasion movie like the first film.
  • Values Dissonance: While not hugely so, the first Purge movie came out while there was still terror that the economy wasn't really recovering, giving it some added fear. In the few months before the release of the sequel the unemployment rate plunged to only 6.1% (just slightly above healthy, and 1.1% above the rate described in the movie), making the movie feel even more unrealistic than it already did.