A group of psychotic marauders continue to slaughter innocent people
long after the end of the annual Purge, sparking nationwide rebellion.
The Forever Purge (2021)
Directed by Everardo Gout
Written by James DeMonaco
Starring Josh Lucas, Ana de la Reguera, Tenoch Huerta,
Cassidy Freeman, Leven Rambin, Will Patton, Alejandro Edda
Sequel to 2016's The Purge: Election Year
Here we are with the supposed final installment of the long running hit horror franchise The Purge. You know, final until the inevitable remake or new attempt to revitalize it comes around. Anyway, my quick take on this franchise as a whole. The first film was a disappointment due to completely wasting its intriguing concept. Luckily, they would correct with the second installment and never look back. The correction, in turn, made this series much more fun for me. At least until the fourth film, when they decided to make it a prequel and take the usually somewhat broad political messaging and ram it down your throat. Still had fun with it, but not as much as the second and third films. Cut to now when we finally are seeing the release of the fifth installment. Being curious on how they would wrap this all up, I was very interested in seeing this.
Of all the films in this franchise, I applaud this one for having the most interesting plot. The idea of people not caring anymore about the rules and wanting to Purge forever is terrifying. Easily makes for the scariest entry yet. In regard to final installments, this is one of the more satisfying conclusions I’ve seen to a horror franchise. The ending is equal parts nihilistic and hopeful, creating something which will sit with you long after the credits roll. But this does bring me to something I wasn’t a fan of, the undoing of the third film’s ending. Not only is it done unceremoniously, but based off the plot of this installment, they easily could have left it intact. Think about, there’s enough hatred broiling under the surface after years of the Purge being outlawed and the country finally implodes. Still works and didn’t need to undo a prior entry’s ending to achieve it. Now, I understand this was delayed and politics have in real life have unfortunately matched this series. But this one still rams it down your throat like the prior film.
For the most part, I had fun with this film. It was a surprisingly well-done conclusion with an ending which genuinely made me question things in our country now. And the film had tons of cool, brutal moments. But it also didn’t need to undo another installments conclusion since the plot would have worked fine anyway with the ending and the politics are just becoming too on the nose at this point. If this is truly it for the franchise, let’s hope it doesn’t come back in real life.
I don't think anyone expected 2013's The Purge to jumpstart a five-film strong franchise that has grossed nearly $500 million and spawned a brief TV series. But here we are, at the franchise's logical conclusion. Turns out allowing Americans to murder, rape, and steal their greasy black guts out once a year was a bad idea. Who knew? I don't like how the reappearance of the annual Purge is explained away briefly in one bit of narration at the film's start. Turns out President Roan fucked up the country again, and the New Founding Fathers of America returned to power and immediately brought the Purge back. So, all of Election Year was completely pointless. Thankfully, the movie that follows is pretty good, with the Purgers refusing to stop after the sirens and all hell breaking loose all across the country.
Our fifth adventure takes place in Texas this time, with an illegal immigrant couple named Juan (Huerta) and Adela (de la Reguera) holing up with a rich ranching family led by Dylan Tucker (Lucas) and his pregnant wife Cassidy (Freeman). After the Purge ends, the purging doesn't. Rednecks, racists, and other wackadoodles have decided to take their country back from foreigners, liberals, and minorities. It's like what would've happened on January 6 had the QAnon people been somewhat smart. In fact, I'd say this film was heavily inspired by the events of that day, had the film not originally been slated to come out last July. Weird. Regardless, the tension is heightened up higher than ever before as the Tucker family and their Mexican allies try to cross the border into Mexico, as the U.S. is now a lawless wasteland of death and destruction. The name of the game is irony.
Does The Forever Purge hit the nail on the head a lot harder than previous films? Yes. Do I really care? Not one bit. I expected social commentary and political controversy when I chose to watch the film. All five of these films are built on those themes. This film focuses on the racism and classism that the concept of the Purge is built on, and how anything built on a foundation of hatred is destined to crumble. The only question is when.