'The Purge': grab your mask and let's talk spoilers
Our review of The Purge is up, but if you've already seen the movie and would like to go into a little more detail about what happens inside the Sandin house you've come to the right place.
Warning: spoilers ahead!
Obviously my biggest frustration with The Purge is that it's a movie of half-measures. The set-up is legitimately ingenious, and it's what had me excited about seeing the film from the time the first trailer debuted. But that clever premise falls away the minute Charlie opens the garage door.
Because, um, why did you do that again Charlie? Yes, he has some sort of vague moral quandary when it comes to The Purge itself, but he's obviously a smart kid, and letting a stranger into your home on a night when killing is on the mind of literally everyone is A Bad Idea. Yes, the character is young, and in horror movies logic isn't necessarily the most important ingredient, but it's still a bizarre moment that's never really explained. That's to say nothing of Zoey's boyfriend, who brandishes a gun and tries to kill Ethan Hawke — because that's obviously the best way to woo your girlfriend.
I was expecting that twist to be the set-up of some major attack against the family — the boyfriend-as-mole serving as the opening salvo — but the film just sloughs him off. Is it part of Hawke's larger struggle with his own sense of morality? It certainly seems that's what was intended, but when somebody opens fire on you in your own home without provocation there's not a lot of grey area.
The one place the film surprised me was in killing off Hawke's character. I never saw that coming. There's nothing better than being surprised in this kind of movie, and it was a gutsy move — especially coming on the tail of an action sequence that had the audience I saw the film with hooting and hollering. I wish I could say the same about the ending. The intervention of the neighbors and the final act of the drifter are both givens, particularly when the movie makes such a point of how much Arija Bareikis' Grace dislikes Mary in the opening.
I'm secretly hoping for a Desperate Housewives-style spin-off based on Mary's life in the neighborhood following the film's events. Going for a jog when the couple that tried to kill you runs out to grab groceries? Awkward....