A 12 Hour Nightmare

The film, The Purge, is set in American society where the citizens celebrate a fictional, annual holiday that allows all crime to be legal and emergency services are suspended for 12 hours. We follow the story of a wealthy family, the Sandin’s. Mr. Sandin is a wealthy businessman who operates a security system business. Before the siren goes off to alert the commencement of the annual purge, we see the the benefits of his business when he locks the house down with steel plates and security cameras throughout the home. He places them in a secluded room in the house where they are able to monitor the outside of their home, grab weapons if needed, and control the locks on the steel plates. What was supposed to be a quiet evening turned fatal when their son assisted a homeless man into their home as he called for help. A group of purgers soon attacked their home in attempt to retrieve the outsider. This caused the family to fight to death to protect each other and their beloved home.

I believe The Purge highlighted the theories of Hobbes, “3 Principals of Discord” and Young’s “Five Faces of Oppression,” more specifically with powerlessness and violence. Competition is displayed as the group of purgers are invading the Sandin’s home in order to acquire the outsiders the son let in. It was also displayed on the news broadcastings as everyone watched the survival of the fittest in real time. Distrust is shown when the Sandin’s home that they thought was safe, was breached. Glory is represented when the wealthy people of the neighborhood have to uphold this agenda of being superior, which is why no one else on the street let the man into their home. The Five Faces of Oppression were focused on as the group of purgers invaded which caused the homeless man and the Sandin’s to feel very powerless because they thought their home would keep them protected so they didn’t feel the need to worry about fighting people off, however, after enough force, the family had to quickly learn how to survive and on the spot which soon led to violence.

Overall, the film makes you consider your role in society and how if the purge actually occurred, where would you fall on the scale and what would be your plan. The Purge is just another unique way for the government to offer “justified” freedom, however, in my eyes I see it as a biased population control. You notice throughout the movie that they only targeted specific groups and specific areas which is why the Sandin’s neighborhood was so quiet. It showed how the different classes in society held power over one another and how greed is a strong drug.

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