The Seventh Victim vs The Purge


Finally got around to watching the movie The Purge.  This movie was on my want to see list because of the dystopian aspect.  I’m kind of an iffy horror fan.  I’m not a fan of slasher films but I do like the tales of  H. P. Lovecraft, monster movies, and the Alien franchise.

Once the movie started getting into the background and history of the annual purge of the movie’s dystopia, I kept thinking, “I know this story”.  As the purge scenes of the films’s name got going, I recognized many elements of the Robert Sheckley short story,”The Seventh Victim“. 

This got me thinking that I can’t be the only person to see this.  Unfortunately, I was surprised that an internet search of The Purge and “The Seventh Victim” only turned up one link making this connection, part a reddit discussion about a movie plagiarism lawsuit.  All of the other links were lists of dystopian stories where murder was legal and happened to contain both stories on the list.

Is it plagiarism?  I’m not going to say yes, because I don’t think it was intentional.  Though I do keep seeing a trend of new scifi, fantasy, and horror movies lifting concepts, plots, and general world elements of older texts without giving credit to the older works.  As I mention above, I don’t think it’s a case of new authors always intentionally borrowing from older authors.  However, I am disappointed by the number of storytellers who get defensive instead of acknowledging the possible influence of the older work on the newer one. 
 
While The Purge makes an interesting movie, I think Sheckley’s story covers the idea much better and handles the story ending plot twist more shockingly.
 
Clipart stolen from Clipartmax.