For the fourth installment in Blumhouse’s inventive and savagely satirical exploitation action series, we’re going back to where it all began, to witness the ultra-right wing New Founding Fathers of America inaugurate the night of sanctioned violence and horror that is the signature of the franchise’s near future dystopia.
Or, as they say in the official synopsis: “Behind every tradition lies a revolution. Next Independence Day, witness the rise of our country’s 12 hours of annual lawlessness. Welcome to the movement that began as a simple experiment: The First Purge.
“To push the crime rate below one percent for the rest of the year, the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA) test a sociological theory that vents aggression for one night in one isolated community. But when the violence of oppressors meets the rage of the marginalized, the contagion will explode from the trial-city borders and spread across the nation.
“Coming off the most successful film in the series, The Purge: Election Year, creator James DeMonaco (writer/director of The Purge, The Purge: Anarchy and The Purge: Election Year) returns alongside the producers of this worldwide phenomenon: Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum (Insidious series, Get Out, Split), Platinum Dunes partners Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Ouija series, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), and DeMonaco’s longtime production partner, Sébastien K. Lemercier (Assault on Precinct 13, Four Lovers).”
What’s great about the Purge series is how they keep closing the distance between allegory and reality as they march on, pivoting quickly to react to current topics of discourse. Riffing on the iconic MAGA red cap for The First Purge teaser poster was a playful bit of business, a cheeky thumbing of the nose. But now we’re seeing a right wing American government sending paramilitary troops into black neighbourhoods to assuage middle class paranoia – in the wake of Black Lives Matter, that has teeth.
Which doesn’t mean we’re not going to get our usual dose of gleeful violence and mayhem – there’s going to be plenty of splatter, but this splatter matters. But we gotta wait a little bit – while the Americans are getting The First Purge on July 4 (baller move, that), Australians can see it theatrically from August 2.