Cinema review: The Purge (15)

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WHAT would you do if all crimes were legalised for 12 hours?

According to sci-fi thriller The Purge, every normal and decent person out there would use the opportunity to became a murderous lunatic.

The film, from writer and director James DeMonaco, has a fantastic concept and it could have been a really interesting insight into human psychology and behaviour.

But instead, it was simply a poorly-acted killing spree.

The flick is set around a decade into our future, when unemployment and crime rates are at an all-time low in America.

The economy is booming and life is peaceful, but just for 364 days a year.

The other day sees the Annual Purge. Introduced by the government, it decriminalises everything, even murder, for 12 hours.

James Sandin (Ethan Hawke) has made a fortune selling security systems to his neighbours, and thanks to that very system, his family believes they are safe when they go into lockdown.

However, his sympathetic son, Charlie (Max Burkholder) unwittingly opens their home and offers sanctuary to a homeless man who is being stalked by a group of would-be killers.

The gang leader offers James an ultimatum - surrender the man or they’ll break in and kill everyone.

It leaves the family, which also includes wife Mary (Lena Headey) and daughter Zoey (Adelaide Kane) to fight for their survival.

The film works under the idea that given the chance to commit a crime without any consequences, practically everyone would happily and rather easily become a murderer.

Although that could be the case for some people, I’d like to have a little more faith in the human race than that.

The flick quickly became ridiculous, and the acting skills of some of the supporting cast left much to be desired.

It was a promising concept that delivered disappointing results.

The Purge is out now. See it at Boldon Cineworld.

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki