The Purge follows a family of four as they navigate through a 12-hour timespan where there is lawlessness. The family lives in an affluent gated community and have the highest selling form of home security for the purge. They end up housing a injured black man that causes problems for them in the long run. A group of young adults end up storming the family’s house to claim their prize. The dad ends up dying and the family almost dies, but the black man saves the day. The night ends with a declaration of no more violence from the mother.
At first, I thought that the society in The Purge was only a dystopia for those 12 hours, but now I think it’s only unveiled in those 12 hours. For the rest of the year, it’s just shielded from view. Everyone that participates in The Purge willingly must have an inner battle with themselves every day to not snap and do something rash before the time comes. After you make it to that day and complete what you set out to do, how accomplished must one feel. They completed a mission and the glory from completing it in that time frame, is people talking about it for the rest of the year in private like a guilty pleasure. The need for glory or validation is one of the equalities that all men have according to Thomas Hobbes. If you’re young I could see the appeal, I mean you successively completed your first kill. At that point everyone would be doing it and the societal satisfaction is what makes it very popular. It is seen very clearly when the group of college kids was participating, they were just young people getting killed for their mistakes.
Another dystopian element in The Purge, and this goes without saying, is the violence. In this movie we don’t see as much unnecessary violence as we do in the later films, but they try to make us feel less guilty about it all the same. The parents mention to the kids that they don’t know how violent the world was before The Purge, but it my eyes it’s just as violent now. If not worse because they were still consuming the same things just condensed. Not to mention the whole idea for The Purge was for the eradication of the poor, it’s hinted in the way the young adults went after the homeless man that was labeled as filth. All in all The Purge is a movie that explores the idea of what if.