The Purge definitely ranks as one of my favourite modern dystopian films. The main reason is because the premise of it is so believable that there is no way that you can totally dismiss the concept as being too far fetched to actually happen. The best kind of dystopian films show us a reality that is possible if the wrong people get placed into positions of power. Since I have proven that we are in fact living in a dystopian society the events that take place in this film are just that much more believable.
The New Founding Fathers have declared a national holiday of crime that is to happen every year. The year that this film is taking place is 2022, just a few years after the first Purge was commenced. This day of violence supposedly rids people from wanting to commit crimes for the rest of the year. Have you always hated that little bitch who teased you all through high school? Well, you have permission to hunt her down and kill her! It will make you feel all better because the government tells you it will. The government never lies…or does it?
What I especially like about the premise of the film, and what is explored even further in the other Purge films, is that the homeless and poor working class are seen as disposable. The government wants these type of people gone since they supposedly ‘waste’ government money. Why should the government help these ‘leeches’ when they can’t even help themselves? The wealthy and ‘better’ people are urged to hunt these kind of people. As evidenced by the college students who demand their homeless ‘kill’ back when the young son of the house lets him in after he begs for help outside. This whole cultural event makes those that have money and power in society feel like they are at the top of the food chain.
What is really the most frightening aspect about this film, at least to me, is that you can’t trust anybody. Your boyfriend will try to kill your father because he wants him to stop dating you. Your neighbours will try to kill your entire family because they are jealous of your success. So, you have to basically make sure that you never piss anybody off, because when the night of The Purge arrives they may come after you. Do you really want to live in worry constantly? Is that really a healthy way to live?
These mysterious ‘Founding Fathers Of America’ use the same kind rhetoric as the Republicans in America and the Tories in the United Kingdom use to control the underclass. Does you life suck and you’re really mad about it? Don’t take it out on the government, the real entities who have caused your issues! Hey, see those poor and homeless people over there? They are the cancer affecting society and your life would be so much better if they were gone! In fact, here is a special night every year in which you can go kill whomever you want, and you won’t even get in trouble for it! Get rid of those homeless and poor people, because that would make life so much better for you!
Society, as seen in this film, is filled with people who don’t question what the government does. To show their support of Purge Night people place blue flowers outside their homes. If they don’t you get the sense that such people will be easy targets for those seeking to ‘release the beast’. So, by an extreme form of peer pressure, the government is able to make sure that everybody supports their legal night of murder.
Finally, what I would like to touch on is that it is claimed by the government that crime and unemployment are at all time lows because of Purge Night. What I’m guessing is that this isn’t the whole truth. I think it is yet another form of propaganda that the government uses to get people out there killing those pesky undesirables that the government seems to hate so much.
Could this scenario actually happen in real life? Of course it could, because when has the UK or US governments given a damn about the people in society who struggle to live?