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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

The Purge trailer: murder most legal

Ooo, I’m intrigued. A concept of anthropological science fiction. Would letting people blow off criminal steam in a limited situation actually make society better overall? (I would guess not, for many reasons that I’ll save for my review, if applicable.) My big fear here is that the film won’t really wrangle with them at all. But we’ll see…


US/Canada release date: Jun 7 2013 | UK release date: May 31 2013
official site | IMDb
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  • Isabelle May

    This is similar to a concept I’ve had bouncing through my head for a while. I don’t think it’d work because research tends to show that feelings of anger tend to perpetuate themselves when given free reign…

  • Gee

    It would NEVER work. People commit crimes for many reasons. Is the crazy guy who feels compelled to kill going to wait a year to fulfill his desires? Is the white-collar criminal who sees a chance to make a couple million if he acts now going to pass it up? Is the insanely jealous person who catches their spouse cheating going to count to ten, move on, and wait? Is the drug addict who needs money to feed their addiction going to go cold turkey until the next Purge?
    This is too stupid.

  • teenygozer

    I immediately thought of Star Trek’s “Return of the Archons”, wherein the machine intelligence “Landru” programmed the people to endure what looked like a bout of criminal insanity during the Red Hour. Mostly people just seemed to run around a bit and maybe light a few buildings on fire (due to NBC’s standards & practices against too much screen violence), but we did see a young woman return from the Red Hour sobbing hysterically and looking more than a bit shocky. This looks like an updated and much more terrifying visual depiction of a society gone mad.

  • Yeah, research would indicate that ‘blowing off steam’ is not actually a thing that works. And especially not as a regulated, scheduled activity.

  • I’m a little curious now if this might be a satirical jab at other activities excused as “blowing off steam”, such as pornography , violent media, griefing, etc.

  • mdm

    It’s the stupidest fucking premise in a supposedly-serious movie I have seen in a very. Long. Time. It is also the absolute laziest. The whole premise is a plot device. It’ll nothing more than a home-invasion movie where the writers are so bad they couldn’t think of a way around the question “Why don’t they just call the cops?” Can’t just cut the hardline anymore, after all…

    Where are the citizens’ militias banded together to protect their neighbourhood? Emergency services are shut down–does that include hospitals?

    It’s based on several common misconceptions about sociology. This isn’t “presume that there’s a way to travel faster than light”. This is “presume humans aren’t actually humans.” One is way more important to the other for suspension of disbelief.

  • RogerBW

    It starts off looking potentially interesting, but then it descends quickly into generic horror. I suspect this will be as true of the film as of the trailer.

  • Yes I do think it is something that deserves more media attention and with a little help of those in film to promote it.

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