‘The Purge’ Trailer: One Night a Year, Nothing Is Illegal

Published 2 years ago by , Updated March 16th, 2014 at 2:19 pm,

The thin line between utopia and dystopia is a favorite subject of moviemaking. In The Purge, a future United States exists in a state of economic prosperity and civil peace, but at a price: for one twelve-hour period per year, emergency services are suspended, hospitals close down, and all crime is legal – even murder. One upper-class family plans to ride out the night of The Purge from behind their armored doors and windows. However, a single impulsive act of charity exposes them to a night of chaos and bloodshed.

The Purge is written and directed by James DeMonaco (Assault on Precinct 13). The film stars Ethan Hawke (Before Midnight) and Lena Headey (Game of Thrones). The cast also includes Edwin Hodge (Cougar Town), Max Burkholder (Parenthood), and Tony Oller (Beneath the Darkness).

You can check out the poster for The Purge below:

CLICK FOR FULL SIZE The Purge Poster 280x170 The Purge Trailer: One Night a Year, Nothing Is Illegal

Though it frontloads a little bit too much detail about the film, the preview for The Purge is genuinely compelling and exciting. With a premise that could easily fall into eye-rolling ridiculousness, it’s refreshing that the movie seems to take its time setting up the idea of a single lawless night as plausible.

That said, it’s difficult to discern whether The Purge will actually make good use of its interesting setting. The actual action of the film looks more than a little familiar – harkening to home-invasion thrillers like The Strangers and Funny Games. Hopefully, The Purge will embrace the potential of its premise and expand beyond the standard template for such movies.


The Purge will invade theaters on May 31st, 2013.

Follow Kyle Hembree on Twitter @ProjectNightHam
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  1. What a cool idea for a movie. I hope the film is as good as the concept.

    • Agreed.

      • What a lame premise for a movie. Obtaining peace and prosperity through one day of utter violence?! Absolute rubbish!!

        • Disagreed.

    • Yeah, I thought so when I saw it on star trek 40 YEARS AGO!

  2. why. I am adding this to the list of movies I wanna see.

    • Actually, this looks dumb. Oogieloves had more brains compared to this.

  3. Yeah, cool idea.



    • @ secret mantra

      You’re right, there was a episode of Star Trek like that. But they did it every night until morning. This movie is just once a year. Same sort of idea though.

      • They did not do it every night, it was once a year and in the case of star trek was called festival.

  4. Sounds great.

  5. I agree with you. I hope they do make this movie take space on a grander scale. though it’s looks like it will most likely not. But the concept is very interesting and disturbing by it’s self. I don’t think they are going to capitalize on the story they could milk out of that, but instead settle for a generic family vs intruder story line.

  6. Yeah, I want this concept with a Babel or Traffic kind of storyline/cast.

    • I said Traffic. I meant Crash.


      • So a horror movie where everyone is a RACIST because RACISM is a thing that is bad because people are RACISTS and RACISM isn’t a thing we should do because RACISTS RACISM RACISM RACISM (give me an Oscar because I’m being relevant with RACISM right now).

        *I actually haven’t seen Crash, that’s just the plot that I’ve gleaned from listening to everyone talk about it.

        • If you can’t fall asleep, watch Crash. If you need to fall asleep, with eroticism, watch the other Crash with James Spader. If you want to see Crash that is actually interesting, watch the TV series Crash with Dennis Hopper. :D

        • Well you should see Crash. It’s one of the most well written set of plots intertwining, and one of the best films i’ve ever seen. I mean, if you’re going to make such a passionate accusation about the film’s objective (racism), at least view it and form your own opinion rather than pulling from what you’ve “heard people say about it”. Just a thought.

  7. The premise sounds absurd and unworkable to me. No legal system could continue to operate in the wake of such a temporary (and arbitrary) legalisation of all crime, and the psychological fallout alone would transform any society into something fractured, brooding, paranoid and deeply sinister.

    Never mind: it probably won’t have the courage of its own convictions to move outside the Panic Room setup anyway.

    • Despite the implausibility of the narrative, tis still a work of fiction. Let’s hope the audience never loses its suspension of disbelief.

  8. Interesting and looks good, hopefully it doesn’t play the stereotypes. Also if it was real, I would be out with a knocking ball to my work! Lol

  9. if something like this came to be, no one would survive the very first night! lol

  10. Sounds like everyday Chicago-lite (Detroit, or Gary Indiana, pick your fav)

  11. Return of the Archons, baby! It’ll all come down to who gets to play Landru.

  12. Absorbing and looks goodness, hopefully it doesn’t endeavour the stereotypes. Also if it was factual, I would be out with a sound shot to my production! Lol

  13. I already hate the boy lol

    • He’s clearly retarded. Cut him some slack.

  14. Interesting concept, but looks a little generic.

  15. I think it also makes a statement about morality, it all depends on the individual’s personal moral compass. Not everyone would want to commit a crime.

  16. This is why we still need The Outer Limits on TV.

  17. Gosh I have herpes :(

  18. The problem with this premise is that is assumes the only thing keeping from committing crime is the law and that, when suspended, they go hog wild and the rest of the time they just keep their rage on the back burner. The problem with this fiction is that it violates everything we know about human nature and so fails to set up even a reasonably plausible storyline. It seems to take the age-old argument that if there were no god, then there would be no objective moral values. The problem is, there is no reason to consider that people who could not live with themselves having killed the other 364 days per year would suddenly be able to because some arbitrary law says it is all OKAY for 12 hours. The concept makes no sense AT ALL.

    Further adding to the incredulity is the idea that this night of purging, in which people commit of random acts of violence, suddenly becomes a night for carrying out carefully constructed plans for revenge. Consider the following contradictions because they violate the principle that fiction gets to tell one big lie and then everything else must follow logically from that.
    1. The man being hunted is a target, thus the people have a motivation for killing him. If they did not, why would they not just return to their wanton acts of violence elsewhere and forget about this guy? Why waste time getting into a veritable fortress unless you have good reason?
    2. The mob is reasonable enough to plot and plan to kill this guy, but not reasonable enough to simply let the family harboring him live. Even if they broke in successfully and killed this guy, whey would they bother killing everyone else? This now makes it seem as though they don’t care who they kill, which makes no sense if they are pursuing this single individual.
    3. If the mob fears the man they chase or needs to kill him to protect themselves the rest of the year, we are again left with the problem of violating the first premise, which is that crime is low the rest of the year. It seems they have very little to fear from this man, so if they cannot kill him this year, they can just wait till the next year.
    4. How is it that the fortress protects this family year after year until suddenly a mob decides to come on in? Suddenly the weaknesses are exploited? Once again, it makes no sense.

    There are too many logical gaps for this to be enjoyable.

    • Your comment was much more entertaining than this movie could ever hope to be. Good job, LJ. I look forward to the inevitable sequels.

    • You talk about how no one would ever accept that sort of lifestyle. Remember in the 1700′s, racisim and slavery where commen place and most people did not give a crap. I feel like if this was brought in slowley, humans would put up with it and eventually it would be “the norm”.

      • well said,all way through history not just 1700′s slavery was common place there’s still countries today that have slaves in a different way’s (exp,child-slave’s,sex -slave’s an so on),so why is it so unlikely people could turn to this kinda of option when push this way,where are all kinda slaves to economics,where 1% of the world population control’s 40% of worlds wealth.just a another rat in the race!!!!!

    • Is it real

    • I am sorry, but your entire critique is just idiotic and riddled with flaws.

      “only thing keeping from committing crime is the law”

      No it doesn’t assume this. If it did, the little 1 night a year thing wouldn’t make any sense. The point of having it as 1 night a year, is to compress all crime into that one night. People have no reason to commit crimes the rest of the year (unless desperate), because they know there is a single night where they have 100% chance of getting away with it.

      “could not live with themselves, the other 364″ It has nothing to do with not being able to live with yourself. It has to do with, why kill someone now when you know you can wait till “blah blah blah” and have 100% chance of getting away with it.

      Furthermore, there are people who do not have a reason to go out murdering; the main characters of this show obviously…


      “Not reasonable enough to let the family harboring him live”. They are, they gave them a choice; release the man, or they will kill them all… “This makes it seem as though they don’t care who they kill”— They don’t, they just want this specific person dead. If you were harboring a fugitive from the Cartel or Mafia, do you really think they would let you live; just because you aren’t the original intended target? We don’t know why yet, but it can be assumed that he’s probably some sort of politition working against this “one night a year”.

      “How is it that this fortress” No one has a reason to try so hard to break in. When it comes to random violence, people go for easier targets. The family doesn’t seem like one with many enemies; so they just haven’t had anyone attack them specifically…


      Sorry, but you should be ashamed of your comment. Not only did you completely try to over analyze a movie; you failed to even get real inconsistencies.

  19. Interesting concept

  20. Looks pretty dumb, once a year HAHA. Saw trailer on youtube and even that was so horrible. Good try on the story though. Letting a random dude in your secured home – yea right! He must’ve murdered those people’s family who are chasing him or he must own a sh*t ton of money and drugs to them. Pretty pathetic, I look forward to seeing all those people who waste their money in that theatre.

  21. Added to my list of “gonna see its”.

  22. Is this real cause my sister is dramatized because she thinks its real and because thats the day of her birthday

    • Yeah dude and your sister is next! Gonna be a bloody birthday

      • lmao omg some people are stupid!!!!

    • No Oscar, it’s fiction. Tell your sister not to be afraid, and if you and “your sister” have to ask if it’s real, you probably shouldn’t be discussing it.

  23. Is it true

  24. This is a movie to watch…love the idea in this movie!! “THE PURGE”!!!!!

  25. I’m very concerned that this film is going to portray rape and other violence against women that will yet again be protected for the sake of ‘film’ and ‘art’. It looks like a great thriller, but I’m trying to find any information of any triggering rape scenes.

    • Ever considered that victims of rape would be sensitive to “triggering” rape scenes? Seems like you’re the one who needs to “get a grip”.

      • I think this movie shows what happens when the wrong ideas are passed. Government passed this new law in order to lower crime but all it takes is one night like this to screw up your life.

    • Lmfao!! Priceless and probably the truth

  26. this is like “ten til noon.”

  27. I think the film lacks philosophical richness to the same extent that it seems to excel in action and suspense. Here’s my questions about “The Purge” http://roadstoliberty.com/the-purge-trailer-movie-disinfo/

  28. The reason for the premise doesn’t fit well. If the US was an over populated metropolis with too many people that needed to be culled, this would be a more plausible plot in my opinion.

    Hey if you don’t commit crime all year we will give you a free day! Are people who are convicted of crimes not during the purge still allowed to participate? I hope not, that wouldn’t be fair to the rest of the people who had to wait all year :(

  29. Just to reiterate I don’t think anyone who commits a crime throughout the rest of the year ( Not during the purge ) should be able to participate in the purge. That wouldn’t be fair to the rest of the people who waited all year to murder and rape :(

    • I think you sufficiently made your point in the first comment. I also think you are creepy for being “concerned” about who is allowed to “murder and rape,”since 1) it’s a fictional horror movie, not a documentary and 2)Rape and Murder aren’t like milk and cookies, so if you’re envious that those with priors already had a turn (waaah), then your post is creepy and your need to reiterate specifically rape and murder is exponentially creepier,