The Purge and Election Year are two of my top horror movies of recent years and even though I did not think I needed to know how The Purge got started, as soon as I saw the Trump baiting first trailer and then the information that the iconic Marisa Tomei would be starring, I knew that The First Purge was on my must see list.
This is very much a social commentary on the current state of America, sure the leaders have different names and different parties but there is no doubt who this film is aiming its social pistol at. Luckily, it does not overdo it (HELLO DISTRICT 9) and leaves you not feeling lectured at, just warned about where things might be heading.
So here we are, the first ever Purge, the rules are the same, 12 hours, all crimes including murder are legal (although here we see obscenity laws cleverly scoffed at too) and we learn the meaning of the blue flowers that everyone puts outside their houses on later Purge days and we also see that those taking part, in order to make the debut a success, are being offered money to kill and wear contact lenses to film the action for use in future party propaganda. Yet once again, the politicians and sociologists have misunderstood human nature and whilst sure there are those high as kites with an appetite for destruction, even here in the poorest part of town, they are preaching togetherness not murder, understanding, not literal stabbing in the back.
This feels like the least violent of the Purge quadrilogy (that is one of my fave words ever!) but it makes up for it in atmosphere and darkness, there are sections where you rely only on what you hear and your imagination comes up with much worse than the film makers could ever reveal.
The First Purge is a story of greed and manipulation, but also on the other side, a story of a humanity that when offered 30 pieces of silver, would rather give Jesus shelter than shoot him in the eye and for 90 minutes, this gives you more faith in a world that seems to get closer and closer to this celluloid hell every day. Recommended.