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Chilling vision of the future
on 18 June 2015
After meaning to for the two years since its release, I finally got round to seeing James DeMonaco’s ‘kind-of-dystopian’ horror movie - and was glad I did. Although not as horrifying as I had anticipated, the film certainly succeeds in creating tension and a creeping sense of dread – most noticeably in the scenes where Ethan Hawke’s wealthy suburban family are stalked through their palatial house by a bunch of bloodthirsty ‘purgers’.
At a mere 75 minutes long, the film is pretty lean, and the main performances are spot-on: Hawke’s edgily successful security-system salesman is resented by the neighbours who have parted with their cash to procure his company’s products, whilst his wife (Lena Headey), is clearly sensitive to the envious comments about her new extension, and doesn’t quite seem to fit in to her surroundings. Their daughter Zoey: a sexually precocious 15 year-old, is at odds with her father over her 18 year-old boyfriend, whilst her brother: IT savvy Charlie, becomes the catalyst for the ensuing events that threaten to tear the family apart. Visceral and violent, the movie is also articulate and thought-provoking – but most of all it is extremely unsettling.