An ethical theory called utilitarianism, which is associated with two philosophers Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, is a theory is based off the idea that utilitarianism is focuses on the consequences of moral actions, in which the action must bring pleasure and the greatest good for the great number of people. Bentham viewed the theory as a tool to help bring to light to preferred actions, using the It’s the year 2022, America is a nation that’s re-invented itself, with a new government and founding fathers, whom encourage an event called the purge, which at the siren all crime despite the severity is legal for a 12-hour period, with emergency services unavailable. The purge is considered a successful way to reduce the number of crime, and un-employment rates in America. The movie focuses on a suburban family of four; James the father, Mary the mother, Zoey the daughter, and Charlie the son. It begins with the family preparing for purge, they place their house on lock down .
They themselves are not participating, but turn on their safety system to protect themselves from attackers, shortly after the purge begins at the sound of the siren and an emergency message broadcasting on the family’s television screen. They watch the event unfold in the comforts of their own home, and go back to doing their activities. The youngest child Charlie notices a loud scream coming from outside the house, he sees a bloody man running from the street and past their neighbour’s house through the security camera. In a split second he decides to deactivate the security alarm allowing the man to enter the house.
Chaos occurs, and the man is able to hide in the family’s house. Soon after a group of teenaged masked killers arrive at the family’s house, the group is lead by an individual who refers to himself as ‘Polite Leader”, he demands the family to give up the man who has entered their house since he was their purge, he gives them an ultimatum; to return the man or they would enter the families home by force and kill them all. James who is terrified for his family decides to give up the man, since he knew his security system couldn’t withstand forced entry. The man in house reveals himself and tells James to release him to the purges outside, but the family makes a collective decision to fight along side the man, since they would be participating in the purge if they released him.
The masked teenagers begin to taunt the family and eventually break into the house. The house becomes a blood bath, but the family remain safe with James killing each member, but things take a turn for the worst when the leader wounds James, leaving him defenceless. Suddenly the eldest child Zoey shots the leader which kills him instantly.
The family begin to embrace each other, but suddenly the neighbours enter the house, Mary the mother begins to thank them, but they reveal that they saved them to make the family their purge, they reveal their evil vendetta because of their wealth. The man saves the family by threating to kill all the neighbours if they don’t let the family go, they release the family, and instead of killing the neighbours Mary decides to spare them and make them wait until the purge ends. The movie ends with the siren indicating the end of the purge and medical vehicles arrive at the house, it is also revealed at the end of the movie during the credits that the purge was the most successful, having the most death rates The movie, “The Purge” captures the image of a believable futuristic society, in which citizens are allowed to commit any crime regardless of the severity for a 12-hour period. The purge is portrayed as a sensible for the citizens of America, since it appears to be effective in reducing crime for America during the remaining days of the year. However with all crime being legal, there is the possibility of individuals having discriminatory motives for committing violent acts, for example the purge is a way for the rich to remove non-contributing members in society.
The interesting ethical concepts presented in the movie leaves viewers to question, would a person’s behavior change, and would they be less virtuous if their actions were not criminal or publicized? In this way, the movie becomes a work of philosophy examining the ideas of Utilitarianism, and the existence of moral choice.