"The First Purge" Movie Review
Most people reading this probably already know what the Purge films are all about but just in case you are a newcomer, here's the jist. The Purge is an annual event where, for 12 hours on one specific day, all crime is legal. The series pretty much started as a standard horror film. While each one has had creepy moments and have definitely left their marks, The First Purge is the one that has the most meaning.
As far as horror films go, the series is really not that frightening on the surface. What makes these films frightening is that, with the state the country is in, it's very possible that these films could come true. I'll avoid dipping into politics and world views, as much as I'd like to get a discussion started, and just focus on reviewing the film.
The First Purge chronicles the origins of the Purge and answers some questions that the series raised. While the answers to said questions have been implied, they've never been 100% confirmed until now. As all mythos state, every hero must have a villain and every villain a hero. So while the film focused on how the Purge started, it also chronicled how the revolution against the NFFA began. It's interesting to me how, in one night, both evil and hope was born.
The story was far better than any of the other films. The other three focused on people caught in the middle and used their fear to strike fear in the audience. This one, however, focused more so on humanity and morality rather than fear. Did it have its creepy moments? Oh, absolutely. Skeletor was the very essence of scary creepiness. But he's only a small part of a much bigger picture. Every experiment has its guinea pig and he was just the NFFA's first guinea pig. The real threat and the real scare factor laid in front of everyone's faces, hidden in plain sight: the NFFA itself.
The thing I loved most about the film was how it showed that, while there are some people more prone to violence, most people at heart are actually good and have morals. Towards the beginning of the experiment, the NFFA was distraught that most of Staten Island was having a block party rather than engaging in criminal activities. The people decided they didn't want to participate. They just wanted to have fun and be free. Now, I can't go much further without spoiling the film's events but just think of The Purge as an adult Hunger Games and all of America is the arena.
In conclusion, I did like the film and the message it was sending, and it was a good set up for the upcoming TV series, but I felt that overall it wasn't as strong as the first film. Maybe that's because the bulk of the films feel like repeats with only a little bit of story. Or maybe it's because the first film was new and fresh and horrifying and now it's become another rehash series. Either way, I still enjoy the series and look forward to what the TV show has to offer. I give The First Purge a 3 out of 4.
© 2018 Nathan Jasper