By Erik Myers:
Writer/Director James DeMonaco’s Blumhouse and Platinum Dunes-produced The Purge (formerly Vigilandia), starring Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane, Edwin Hodge, Tony Oller and Rhys Wakefield, hits theaters on June 7th. The film is produced by Jason Blum of Blumhouse (Paranormal Activity, Insidious, Sinister), Platinum Dunes’ partners Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form (The Amityville Horror, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), as well as Sébastien Kurt Lemercier (Assault on Precinct 13).
“In an America wracked by crime, the government has sanctioned an annual 12-hour period in which any and all criminal activity—including murder—is legal. The police can’t be called. Hospitals suspend help. It is one night when the citizenry regulates itself without thought of punishment. On this night plagued by violence and an epidemic of crime, one family wrestles with the decision of who they will become when a stranger comes knocking.”
BD Stringer Erik Myers caught up with Blum at the Stanley Film Festival a few weeks back and they discussed the themes behind The Purge as well as the film’s take on violence. They also catch up a bit on Insidious Chapter 2. Check it out below!
Some might see this film’s concept as being far-fetched, but the notion that humans are inherently violent is accepted in some segments of society. What are your thoughts?
“The movie is a violent movie about violence. It’s hard to depict violence without violence. I think that the movie is anti-violent, I hope you don’t walk out of the movie thinking The Purge is a good idea. (laughs) If you do, we did something wrong. But I think during the movie, you might. That’s what’s fun about it. You get lured into this idea while you’re watching.
America has had a unique relationship with violence since its founding. Was that on your mind during the production?
Oh yeah. There are very common American themes all throughout the movie. That’s supposed to work on you, the viewer, and make it more relatable.
The film only makes allusions to the backstory behind The Purge. How much of those details did you want to fill in?
That was never in the scrip “I saw it last week. There’s a rough cut of it, very cool. I think it does what a sequel should do. It brings back enough of the first movie so it doesn’t feel like a totally new thing, but there’s a ton of different stuff in it. And a lot of the mythology from the first movie… you’re going to get a lot of answers in the second movie. I’m looking forward to people seeing it.”t. I think it was ideal to tell it through one family’s point-of-view as opposed to going all over and only seeing the rest of the country through their TVs and monitors, and not actually cut outside too much, except with security cameras, so you really are experiencing the Purge through one family’s point-of-view. I think it gets you more emotionally invested in the story.
How is Insidious Chapter 2 coming along?
I saw it last week. There’s a rough cut of it, very cool. I think it does what a sequel should do. It brings back enough of the first movie so it doesn’t feel like a totally new thing, but there’s a ton of different stuff in it. And a lot of the mythology from the first movie… you’re going to get a lot of answers in the second movie. I’m looking forward to people seeing it.
Besides Insidious Chapter 2, what other projects can you tell me about?
We have Paranormal Activity 5, which comes out in November. Then we have a movie called Ghosts, which comes out for Lionsgate in early January.