FACING THE BEAST
In a world where the accumulation of wealth is often seen as the pinnacle of success, there exists a sharp contrast between the haves and the have-nots. Wealth, for many, represents freedom, power, and the ability to shape one’s destiny. But what happens when this very wealth becomes a target? What happens when society’s rules are momentarily suspended, and the protective shield of wealth is stripped away?
In a nation struggling with uncontrollable crime and bursting-at-the-seams prisons, the authorities command a yearly 12-hour window where every unlawful act—even the act of taking a life—is permissible. This harrowing concept sets the stage for the cinematic tale, “The Purge.” The Sandin family, led by James (Ethan Hawke), who have reached the ultra-high net worth in luxuries and cash, are abruptly plunged into a horrifying ordeal. A trespasser, embodying the suppressed fury and jealousy of society’s underbelly, invades their haven. Confronted with this imminent danger, James, Mary (Lena Headey), and their offspring are faced with a dire choice: to embrace the beast within to protect their own or to cling to their moral compass, even if it spells their doom. Wealth is undeniably captivating. It offers a life where every whim can be indulged, every door opened, and every obstacle removed. With wealth, one can exert influence, command respect, and even bend the rules to one’s favor. The law, often seen as an impartial entity, can become a tool for the wealthy, serving as their protector and enforcer. But wealth also brings with it a sense of detachment, a belief that one is untouchable, invincible.
Yet, as “The Purge” so brutally illustrates, this invincibility is an illusion. On October 31st, 2023, as people dress up and celebrate the fantasy of Halloween, the movie serves as a clear-cut reminder of the fragility of our exploited empathy and compassion. If such a purge were real, the wealthy would undoubtedly be perfect targets, their superiority and arrogance for those who feel demeaned and abused.
The movie also raises questions about our own desires and motivations. Is there someone you secretly wish harm upon? Does the news of a celebrity receiving a lavish gift of 100 million dollars stir feelings of resentment or envy? These dark thoughts, often suppressed, come to the fore during the purge. And as Halloween approaches, it’s a time to reflect on these emotions, to recognize that we are not alone in our feelings, and to understand the deeper moral issues that give rise to such sentiments.
In the end, “The Purge” is not just a horror film; it’s a mirror held up to society, reflecting our darkest desires and the thin layer of respect that separates order from chaos. This Halloween, as you immerse yourself in the world of “The Purge,” remember to cleanse not just your surroundings but also your soul. After all, the true horror lies not in the monsters outside but in the monsters within. Happy Halloween!