So it’s way past Halloween, but I was asked by The National Student to write an article on a fright night organised by the PR team for the second instalment in The Purge movie series.
Because TNS is for students, my article is edited, I guess for suspense, so I thought I’d post my original article on my own blog, so I didn’t sound quite so pathetic at the end…
The Purge: Anarchy
Having just watched both The Purge and the newly released on DVD The Purge: Anarchy back to back a couple of weeks ago, I couldn’t quite shake off the hypothetical questions of what I would do if put in the situation of being victim to an annual purge. The Purge being an event that occurs every year from 7:00 PM on March 21st to 7:00 AM on March 22nd and during that time, any known crime (i.e. murder, rape, breaking and entering, etc.) is legal. You can steal, rape, break and enter or even murder. Whilst this is occurring, all of the emergency services are closed. You can choose to stay indoors and wait it out, but in a dystopian society where there are no rules, there is no safe option.
As a celebration of the release on DVD (Monday 17th November) of The Purge: Anarchy, I was invited to take part in a promo event for the release and join the annual purge. My morbid fascination at all-time high, I recruited two friends to join me (being vague with details as to not frighten them away) and on Friday 14th November, we made our way to Limehouse Town Hall in East London.
I had no expectations, I had been given scarce information from the PR team running the event, and unfortunately due to work commitments, arrived late to Limehouse Town Hall in East London. We were greeted by a hall of people just like us, all gazing up toward a balcony where a woman was shouting orders of how to stay as safe as possible, which basically encouraged you to run as fast as you could. We signed an agreement and given orange coloured bands and told to stand near our team, at which point the lights went down and I was ferociously trying to tweet my presence, a news report flashed up on a projected screen about anarchy on the streets at the start of the annual purge and before we knew it, the alarm sounded.
What ensued was utter chaos. I lost not only my two friends, but the rest of my team and was thrust out of one of the side doors by a crush of people as they attempted to get out of the way of the purgers who had made themselves known inside. Once outside of the building, I spotted both of my friends and we made a dash for it, coincidentally bumping into the rest of our team whilst we were chased by purgers in masks. It was only then that I realised that this game was going to be a long one and one of complete endurance. I managed to speak to one of our team mates who filled me in on the rules of the evening. Weapons over class 4 were not allowed (in the film this means knives and guns are acceptable, explosives are not), which meant we were given nerf guns, super soakers and foam bricks which were hidden at the different checkpoints. We were not allowed to take any form of transportation, unless told to, and we had to keep as many team members as possible until the final checkpoint.
We hastily made our way to the first checkpoint, being followed and jumped at from every other turning. Upon arriving, we had to barricade ourselves in as purgers waited for us outside, and search the building for extra weapons and ammunition, all the while being given cryptic clues to the next checkpoint by a scared citizen in an equally scary mask. Carefully combing and peeping around every street corner, we found our directions to the next checkpoint, where we were attacked by a big group of purgers, losing most of our team. Me and my friends luckily managed to escape, tagging onto another team, but it was plain to see that numbers were slowly dwindling. The next checkpoint consisted of a car wash, where there was someone being taken hostage. The brave individuals of our adopted team fought with their weapons whilst my friends and I were ushered into a car with the promise of being taken to the next checkpoint. However, with no weapons on us, we weren’t exactly desirable to fighting off purgers, so were subsequently ordered to exit the car. Being lost in the middle of a cold, damp East London, with 60 minutes’ walk to the next checkpoint in South London, we saw no way of getting through the Rotherhithe tunnel. After half an hour of wandering the dark, damp streets, we took off our arm bands and made the conscious journey to go home to our warm and safe purge free houses.
I found out what happened in the end of the event, and apparently after walking through the Rotherhithe tunnel, the other side was the last checkpoint and place of safety where anyone who got thus far would have survived the annual purge. I have never been so tired, terrified and adrenaline pumped in my life. It’s nice to know that I think I would probably have survived the purge, but only down to the bravery of other team mates and my surprisingly quick feet. Let’s just say I’m glad I don’t live in a society where the annual purge is a real occurrence because I would 100% be dead within 10 minutes.