Few horror franchises are as timely and relevant as The Purge. While launched as a home-invasion horror, the series would go on to shine a stark light on many modern sociopolitical issues. It is eventually revealed that the death and violence of “Purge Night” disproportionately affect marginalized communities.
Written and directed by James DeMonaco, The Purge was released on this day in 2013. If it’s been a while, or if you’ve never explored the film for yourself, check out the trailer and synopsis below.
In an America ravaged by crime and overcrowded prisons, the government sanctions an annual 12-hour period during which all criminal activity — including murder — is legal. James Sandin (Ethan Hawke) and his family face the ultimate test when an intruder drags the vicious outside world into their home. James, Mary (Lena Headey) and their two children struggle to survive the night while trying not to turn into monsters like the ones they are striving to avoid.
The Purge would spawn three sequels with a fourth in post-production, and a TV series that was canceled after two seasons.
According to director James DeMonaco, the famous road-rage incident awakening the idea for The Purge happened like this: He and his wife were driving on the freeway when a drunk driver cut them off nearly killing them. After both cars stopped, the other driver’s lack of remorse enraged DeMonaco enough to engage in a fistfight and police eventually had to get involved. After the incident was over, DeMonaco’s wife turned to him and commented how great it would be to have one free murder a year. He felt bad admitting this because she’s normally a “sweet woman”. (Source)