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The Purge review

What would happen if one night of the year you could commit any crime you wanted?

“Things like this aren’t supposed to happen in our neighbourhood!” says Ethan Hawke as masked intruders smash into his family’s house to murder the drifter his son has let inside.

But then this is America 2022, a “nation reborn” which lets its citizens ‘purge’ themselves every year with one night of random violence.

The Hunger Games -flavoured rhetoric gives a futuristic sheen to what’s really another spin on Assault On Precinct 13 , with Hawke and wife Lena Headey debating whether or not to placate psycho preppie Rhys Wakefield or try and hold the fort Straw Dogs -style.

James DeMonaco’s blood-splattered thriller begins well before expiring slowly from multiple improbabilities.

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Freelance Writer

Neil Smith is a freelance film critic who has written for several publications, including Total Film. His bylines can be found at the BBC, Film 4 Independent, Uncut Magazine, SFX Magazine, Heat Magazine, Popcorn, and more.