What Would You Do if 'The Purge' Was Real?

Rhys Wakefield in The Purge

The year is 2022, the unemployment rate is at 1% and crime is at an all-time low. You’d think that’d mean Americans are living the dream, but if you’re weak, alone, poor, or sparked some grudges over the year, you could be in big trouble. The government credits the low crime rate to an event called "The Purge." Every year on March 21st at 7pm, sirens sound, police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks are tucked away, and all hell breaks loose - because from 7pm to 7am the next morning, all crime is legal – even murder.

So it goes in The Purge, the latest from Blumhouse Productions and Platinum Dunes (read our review). While blood spills across the country, the film hones in on one family, the Sandins. They live in a pristine gated community, seemingly safe from folks feeling the need to make due on the chance to purge, thanks to James Sandin (Ethan Hawke), who actually sustains his fortune by selling security systems for this very night. Trouble is, James’ son Charlie (Max Burkholder) still has a heart on purge night, and opts to open the gates to help out an innocent victim (Edwin Hodge). When that man’s pursuers catch up to him, they are not happy their right to purge has been taken away and demand the Sandins return the target or... else.

You can judge the credibility of the scenario for yourself after catching The Purge in theaters on June 7th, but whether you buy into it or not, there’s still the fun of wondering how you’d fare, and what you might do in such a scenario. After catching an early screening of the film in New York City, some of the audience indulged in a purge plan discussion.

To my horror, there were some people who were blatantly honest about who they’d target, one person even admitting, “I watched the whole movie thinking about my teacher, constantly.” After that it wasn’t a surprise that co-workers and bosses topped a number of hit lists, but then someone opted to throw every non-New Yorker under the bus, announcing, “I’d go for the transplants who come here.” But perhaps the most disturbing answer of all was this little gem - “I would grisly torture everyone. It would be Saw 8.” Saw 8? I’d purge myself.

Unless you’re earning the big bucks and can afford a fancy security system and gun collection like the Sandins, this truly might be the smartest approach: “I’d probably raid a store for hunting stuff to protect myself.” Then again, after watching the full film, you’ll likely agree that this short and sweet response is, hands down, the best of the lot: “I’d kill children.

Considering I have no children, I’m safe on that front - but in all honesty, if The Purge ever really did exist, I’d definitely play it safe and lay low - unless someone threatened my family. But obviously that’s the lame answer, so if I opted to have a little more fun with the concept, I’d skip out on murder and indulge in another crime – robbery. Watch out Apple stores; in 2022, I’m coming for you.

What would you do if The Purge were instated? Would you keep clear of the madness or take advantage of the opportunity for a catharsis?


The Purge is now playing in theaters. It is 85 minutes long and is Rated R for strong disturbing violence and some language. Be sure to Read Our Review.

Want to discuss Spoilers and the Ending to the film? Go to our Purge Spoilers Discussion.

For an in-depth discussion of the film by the Screen Rant editors check out upcoming episodes of the SR Underground podcast.


Follow Perri on Twitter @PNemiroff

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