“Purge” threats sweep the nation


The blockbuster thriller “The Purge” (2013) captivated viewers with the craziness of an alternative government in America. The film, which grew wildly popular in the past year, centers on the idea that once a year, for a time period of twelve hours, all crimes, including murder, are legal and will go unpunished while all political movement and emergency services are disabled. However, when the film’s sequel “The Purge: Anarchy” was released this summer of 2014, viewers were no longer merely captivated, but motivated to turn the idea into a reality.

What started as parodies and pranks across social media quickly developed into something larger and potentially much more threatening. Reports of possible “purges”, resembling the ones in the films, have surfaced in cities across the U.S. most pressingly in Oklahoma, Louisville, Albany, Phoenix, Atlanta, Detroit and the states of California, Texas, Colorado and Washington, all supposed to occur near the end of August. Fliers announcing the Purge’s date, time, and locations have circulated the web for a few weeks now. Many of these threats in past weeks have proved to be bluffs, but while many residents of these cities are not worried because the idea of a Purge in reality is ludicrous, others are frightened by the possibility of killings and crime sprees. Police forces thoroughly investigated the fliers and have assured that the chances of this Purge are highly unlikely.

“I forwarded all of the information that I have to our intel analyst to have a look at it, see what they can come up with,” Captain Tom Easley of the Norman Police Department said in an interview with KOCO 5 News, stating that “it’s always better to be cautious and safe than it is to be sorry.”

Whether these threats of Purges turn out to be hoaxes or not, what’s really put into question is the moviegoers of this nation’s ability to differ between reality and fantasy. The Purge series are horror-thriller films intended to excite the audience, no different from Insidious or Shutter Island, and it is inconceivable that there are people who could believe that they can get away with wrecking havoc in this country without any legal consequences. Though the perpetrators of these fliers might’ve intended for this real-life purge to have a mob mentality effect and become successful, the extremely plausible chance that there’ll be only a few followers (all of whom will be caught and persecuted) will only prove how unintelligent it is to try imitating a Hollywood dystopian horror film.