The First Purge Halloween Horror Nights

Universal Studios has brought its horror franchise The Purge to Halloween Horror Nights before, but now the movie is about to come to life on the West Coast in a whole new way. The First Purge is getting its own maze at this year’s Halloween Horror Nights in Hollywood. Check out a video below and learn about how the maze will “reimagine the movie’s premise.” Read More »

The First Purge Director Interview

As America celebrates its best history over July 4th, the Purge movies propose its worst future. In the first three movies, The Purge is already an annual tradition, the one night a year where all crime is legal. This year’s The First Purge shows how it all began.

The First Purge took place on Staten Island as an experiment to see if this would satiate the public for the rest of the year. Caught up in the experiment are neighborhood drug dealer Dmitri (Y’Lan Noel), protestor Nya (Lex Scott Davis), her brother Isaiah (Joivan Wade) and the psychotic Skeletor (Rotimi Paul), some participants wearing camera lenses so the New Founding Fathers can record the purging.

The Purge creator James DeMonaco still scripted The First Purge but Gerard McMurray directed. The First Purge is his followup to the Sundance entry Burning Sands, about college hazing. McMurray spoke with /Film by phone this week. The First Purge is now in theaters.

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Indiana Jones and The Crystal Skull

In this edition of sequel bits:

  • Don’t expect to see Super Size Me 2 anytime soon (even though one of the film’s subjects would like you to).
  • J.A. Bayona reveals why he dropped out of World War Z 2.
  • Terry Crews says he won’t be in Expendables 4 due to threats from the film’s producer.
  • Natalie Portman is down for a V for Vendetta sequel.
  • Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy announce It Chapter 2 production.
  • A new poster for The First Purge.
  • The Sicario 2 director reveals why he didn’t consult with Sicario director Denis Villeneuve.
  • Jon Kasdan confirms he’s writing Indiana Jones 5.
  • Platinum Dunes insists they want to make more Friday the 13th films.
  • Jumanji 3 will probably begin filming next year.

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the first purge

The Purge movies are the unruly branch on the otherwise upright “social horror” filmic family tree. Exploitation movies to their very core, with each installment the futuristic franchise (that’s built on the idea that, for one night in America, all crime is legal) has widened in scope, beginning with a home invasion on the titular devil’s evening (The Purge), then taking us to the city streets amidst government sanctioned chaos (Anarchy), and finally letting us see the corrupt political mechanisms (Election Year) that believe it will be psychologically beneficial for the citizens who participate, but even more lucrative for the companies who try and exploit it for financial gain (insurance, medical, etc.).

It’s an angry, ever-expanding pulp treatise on the crass customs of class and capitalism – “Wokesploitation” that beats you over the head with its sociological messaging without a hint of subtlety, and one of this writer’s absolute favorite running series in modern schlock.

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Evolution of The Purge

The greatest trick The Purge (2013) ever pulled was convincing us at first that it is your run-of-the-mill home invasion thriller, directing us to think that the protagonists are the typical wealthy white family in the suburbs and the villains are the hoodlums in the streets who’ve waited all year to terrorize them without consequences. Sure, there is a moment early in the film which establishes that the Sandin family — led by mom Mary (Lena Headey) and dad James Sandin (Ethan Hawke) — may not be the most liked in the neighborhood, but we’re generally still supposed to root for them. Especially when on the night of the annual Purge, when all crime is legal for 12 hours, they intentionally choose not to participate.

But as the movie progresses, we learn that things are not so black and white — at least not when it comes to the morality of our protagonists versus that of the street thugs. Because the annual Purge — a law established by the nation’s political New Founding Fathers (NFFA) in efforts to dissolve crime by murdering the poor and weak and elevating the rich, privileged, and usually white — has allowed the affluent Sandins the choice to simply lock up their home with the most expensive security system around and remain oblivious to the terror outside. As James even says early in the film, if their family was still poor, they’d definitely participate “because it does work.”

That’s what’s so great about The Purge; it challenges our perceptions of right and wrong and how that’s impacted by a broken yet highly functional society — one not unlike our own.

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The First Purge featurette

For the fourth entry in the ongoing The Purge horror franchise, Universal Pictures is taking us back to the very beginning to show how all crime became legal in the United States for one night every year. Check out The First Purge featurette below, which also doubles as a warning for the audience to make sure this doesn’t happen in the real world.
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The First Purge Review

When I saw The Purge: Anarchy in 2014, it shook me so badly that I genuinely feared I was going to be “purged” while walking back to my friend’s car in the movie theater parking lot. The franchise, which posits a future in which all crime is legal for 12 hours out of every year for reasons that have slowly been spun into clarity, had me hooked. Its approach to horror — socially and politically conscious horror, as it were — was effective, and if the third installment in the series, 2016’s The Purge: Election Year was a bit more blunt in its political underpinnings, it made up for it in how it spun the American political climate into a Grand Guignol spectacle. As such, I had high hopes for The First Purge.

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the first purge trailer

The First Purge trailer is here, offering up an intense glimpse of how America’s one long night of lawlessness began. This fourth entry in the Purge franchise serves as a prequel, and has the added bonus of featuring Marisa Tomei! Watch The First Purge trailer below.

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sequel bits

In this edition of Sequel Bits:

  • Edge of Tomorrow 2 script in the works, Emily Blunt may have scheduling conflicts
  • New hints about the songs and story of Frozen 2
  • Sterling K. Brown shares a video from the set of The Predator
  • Jeff Goldblum hints at special Jurassic World 3 cameos
  • The First Purge is more “personal” than the last films
  • Steven S. DeKnight already has ideas for a Pacific Rim 3 story
  • John Cena wants to join the Fast and Furious franchise

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Sequel Bits the first purge

In this edition of sequel bits:

  • The First Purge teaser capitalizes on how terrifying America is right now.
  • M. Night Shyamalan has screened some Glass footage, and people are happy.
  • Stephen Lang confirms Don’t Breathe 2 (again).
  • Stephen Lang also offers an update on Avatar 2.
  • Tom Cruise is kind of a jerk on the set of Mission: Impossible – Fallout.
  • Michael B. Jordan is excited for the new Creed 2 director.
  • Polymath Hailee Steinfeld might also sing as well as star in Bumblebee.
  • Want to hear the plot of Goosebumps 2? Sure you do!
  • A new lego set for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
  • A first look at Tremors 6.

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