The new thriller
Base of operations is the gated community residence of Purge-cheerleading security system entrepreneur James Sandin (
But it's almost astonishing how little genuine tension exists in the ensuing siege scenario, considering DeMonaco's familiarity with John Carpenter's unnerving classic "Assault on Precinct 13," the clichéd remake of which he wrote. Society may willfully crumble for 12 hours in this speculative world, but so does DeMonaco's premise in a humdrum series of unlit-hallway explorations, cheap scares and violent showdowns. Starved by the easy genre machinations suggested by its own concept, "The Purge" is an emptying experience indeed.
MPAA rating: R for strong disturbing violence and some language.
Running time: 1 hour, 28 minutes.
Playing: In wide release.