Dumb Things In The Purge That Everyone Just Ignored

The 2013 horror film The Purge, based on the idea that for twelve hours out of the year, our future society can legally steal, kill, destroy and do whatever they want, became a major hit and spawned a horror franchise all its own. But that doesn't mean it's perfect. Consider that ...

The idea of a Purge is ridiculous

First off, the entire concept behind this franchise is absolutely insane. From a sociological, political and psychological standpoint, it's pure bonkers. Sure, it's the jumping-off point that makes this thing tick, but it's one hell of a leap of faith.

In the context of this world, nothing really makes sense. If people are all just seething rage monsters waiting a few hours to come back and kill you, or just condone the right to come back and kill you, it makes this entire world fall apart. It's hard to imagine a government surviving in this way, but in The Purge they've actually managed to use it to (pardon the phrase) make America great, with low crime and a high employment rate. You'd think the billions of dollars of property damage would hurt the economy, no?

Why wait until right before The Purge starts to lock down?

It's Purge night, so Ethan Hawkes' James Sandin comes home, has dinner, argues with his kids, and waits until literally four minutes until the start of the Purge to actually pull the trigger and activate his security system. What? Why? If people can legally come and kill you, wouldn't you make it a priority to get that thing turned on a few hours in advance, and get all your kids into a safe room to boot? What if the system malfunctions? You want to wait until you're only three minutes from doom to troubleshoot the problem?

How did Zoey's boyfriend sneak back in?

We're told James Sandin is an ace salesman for a security system company, but his daughter's boyfriend makes short work of it all and sneaks right back in the house. He probably came in through her window? Maybe, but c'mon — it's the day of the Purge. You're telling us a man who sells security systems doesn't think to lock his doors? And he can't keep his daughter's shady boyfriend out of the house on the one day when you actually take advantage of that fancy security system? There's dumb, and then there's boneheadedly dumb.

The boyfriend thinks killing her dad is a good idea?

There are boneheaded plot points, and then there are boneheaded plot points. Zoey's boyfriend brings a gun in with him, with the goal of shooting Sandin dead that night, presumably because he doesn't agree with him dating his daughter because of an age gap. Needless to say, this is a terrible plan, even for a Purge night. She obviously doesn't want her dad dead, since she tries to stop him, and you'd think killing your girlfriend's parent in general might be a deal-breaker. Why not just propose running away together? Or actually try to talk to him? Or literally anything other than murdering your girlfriend's father?

How does the kid have access to the security codes?

Aside from the attempted murder from Zoe's short-lived boyfriend, the real trouble starts when young Max opens up the security door to let in the bloody stranger running around asking for refuge outside. But, again, Sandin sells these security systems. Why on Earth does his pre-teen son know the security code to get this thing open in the first place? If anything, some of the blame falls on James for not doing a better job of keeping his password protected. That's Internet Safety 101, bro.

How is Ethan Hawke such a badass?

Yes, Ethan Hawke is a legit B-list action star, and he's kicked a whole lot of butt, in a whole lot of movies, in a whole lot of ways. But, how does he manage to take out almost a half-dozen armed attackers in this movie? We're told he's just an average joe, middle management salesman. Sure, he's obviously fit (all that paper-pushing builds up muscle over time), but there's no indication he actually knows how to fight — not until he takes on three attackers at once and comes off looking like the second coming of Rambo. Yes, it's a great action scene — and it's no surprise to see Hawke kick butt — but his character handles himself a little too perfectly in that set piece.

Well, you know, at least until he gets stabbed in the gut. It's tough to be a badass when your stomach's falling out.

Why on Earth do they let their kid keep a camera on a burned-up baby doll?

We understand that Max is obviously dealing with some emotional and ethical issues related to the Purge, but does that mean he has to drive around a remote control car with a literal burned-up baby doll's head attached to it? What parent would let their kid actually do this without putting them in therapy immediately?

This scene's seemingly meant to show that Max is a little different, but it comes off as just too weird to actually fit in this movie. Which is saying something, since we're talking about a film framed around a national holiday devoted to murder.

How did the bad guys know the homeless guy was at the Sandin's house?

This is a timeline thing that really doesn't add up. We see the gang coming down the road looking for the bloody stranger, then they start knocking on the Sandins' door, claiming a bunch of their neighbors had told them they saw him go inside the Sandins' home. But, only a minute or so has actually passed in that time — we literally just saw them walking down the street 60 seconds ago. How did they question all these neighbors and deduce the guy's whereabouts in that short period of time? Did they round everyone up Negan-style? Also, how did the neighbors even realize they let him in — they're apparently off having parties, and going hunting?

Instead of high security, why not just leave the country?

We're told the wealthy of the Purge world typically hunker down for the night behind their fancy security systems, while the poor, lower-class citizens take each other out. But, if you're rich enough to buy this crazy expensive security system (as the Sandins apparently are), why not just take an international vacation on that day to avoid the chaos altogether? The Purge is a US holiday — there are 200+ other countries to duck and cover in for a night.

Besides, as the Sandins' situation showed, no security system is foolproof. So why risk it at all, especially when you clearly have the money to hit sunny Barbados and wait this whole ridiculous day out?

So all it takes is a truck and a chain to take out this security system?

This is just mind-boggling. When the gang threatens to get inside, James admits to Mary that the security system has been known to fail around 1 percent of the time. Well, you'd think it'd be more than that, because apparently all it takes to neutralize this huge, expensive security set-up is a pickup truck and a chain.

Seriously — the kids cut the power to the house, then use their truck to yank the gates off the doors. And that's all! This doesn't seem like the hardest security system to overcome, Purge or no Purge.

People just go back to their normal lives after this?

This is a world-building question, but hear us out. We're told crime is down and the economy is doing great because of the Purge. But, we've never actually seen much of the aftermath. You'd have to imagine the property damage and clean-up takes weeks — if not months — to complete. Not to mention the emotional and physical injuries people certainly must deal with after Purge Night. Like, are we supposed to believe Mary just goes back to making idle small talk with her neighbor after they tried to murder her children in cold blood? C'mon.

The layout of the Sandins' house makes no sense

This is either a case of clunky editing, or the Sandins' home exists outside of what we normally perceive as "time and space." It's pointed out, early in the film, that the family recently added a new wing to their home, but since we see it from the outside — the place isn't some sprawling, acres-wide mansion. It's big, but not football-stadium big

Yet when the action starts, it's almost impossible to keep up with what's happening, and where, almost like we're suddenly in three different houses. Zoey randomly disappears to a different part of the house for a while, and when the gang gets in and attacks the family, there are literally gunshots going off that no one else seems to hear while stalking around the house. And yet we already know the house isn't that big! Is it built with TARDIS technology? Is there an inter-dimensional portal? Did the writers just get lazy? Or should we just stop asking questions, lest our brains blow up?

Why tie up the stranger?

When the Sandins get the drop on the stranger, they manage to knock him out. But, instead of just dragging the unconscious man outside, James says they have to tie him up first — which wastes tons of valuable time while the gang of killer hooligans are waiting outside with a ticking clock.

Yes, it gave them the time to reconsider that decision and eventually decide to stay and fight. But at the time, James is planning to toss the guy out and let him die. So, why waste any time to try and find rope to tie him up when he's already unconscious? Just chuck him out and then fight. It's not like you'd get in trouble for letting someone die on your property. It's the Purge!

Wouldn't most people just hide from a Purge?

The concept of a Purge assumes people are just dying to go out and mow people down ... while also risking getting mowed down themselves. Like, in the security camera footage at the start of the film (and in some shots in the future sequels), we see people just randomly hanging out on Purge night. They're working at their jobs, or sitting around on the street looking at their phones, just itching for 7 PM to arrive so the killing can commence.

And that's ... just ludicrous, right? Unless they're armed to the teeth and out for blood with an axe to grind (with an actual axe), why on Earth would anyone choose to go out that night? You'd have to imagine most people would just hide in their basement all night. The urge for violence might be strong in some, but the notion of self-preservation is way stronger in most.

So the rich neighbors decide to come out because of dumb luck?

The big finale of the film features a great twist, as the Sandins' neighbors come over to save the day — only to reveal they're really there to kill them, because they believe James ripped them off on their security systems.

It's a nice twist, but it's hard to believe these rich folks would leave the protection of their ivory tower and risk death by trying to kill the Sandins. Remember, the gang of killers was still prowling the house when they burst in. The richers easily could've been killed, so after spending hundreds of thousands on ace security systems, they just step out into the murderous night on a whim? No way — realistically, they would just hired some random servant to visit the Sandins, knife and gun in hand. After all, they're rich and can do these things.