YMMV / 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 exploring its 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.
    • Borders on Space Whale Aesop, since The Purge is meant to be representative of current health care debates. Uhh... okay.
  • Critical Dissonance: Somewhat subverted. While the film made money, at one point having the highest opening weekend for an original R-rated horror movie, note  both audiences and critics were left feeling like they were part of a Bait-and-Switch, with the mutual opinion that an interesting premise was squandered on a mediocre home invasion movie. However, the next film is regarded as a Surprisingly Improved Sequel.
  • Critic-Proof: 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.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The idea of there being a time of the year when murder is legalized for society's benefit originated decades earlier in a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's Rope.
  • Idiot Plot: The first film wouldn't have happened if Charlie hadn't let the stranger in his house. Later, the Sandins' decision to not turn over the stranger escalates the scenario.
  • Mary Suetopia: Of a dystopian kind. 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.
  • Memetic Mutation: The film's blanket answer to any of the logic holes in its premise: "The Purge just works." Then comes the sequel, where it's revealed the Purge doesn't work.
  • 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 amount of times one of the Sandins runs off to another part of the house, causing the remaining family members to split up to find them.
    • One of the neighbors making a last ditch effort to kill the family in the Purge's final seconds. It seriously makes you wonder just why they want to do it so much.
  • The Scrappy: Charlie and Zoe, both for defining the term Too Dumb to Live. Every action they take makes things worse.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: According to the Cracked article, The Purge is a blatant rip-off of the 1980s film Adventures in Babysitting.
  • 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.
  • What An Idiot: Henry, Zoey's boyfriend, thinks it's a great idea to remove James' Parental Marriage Veto by hiding in the family's house and killing him during the Purge. Yeah, Zoey's definitely going to want to stay in a relationship with the person who murdered her father in front of her. He also doesn't take into account that, since it's Purge Night, James will be packing, and gets shot and killed like the idiot he is.