Five Reasons You’ll Love It - October 29, 2018

The First Purge: Five Reasons You'll Love It
by James
James
by James hmv London, Bio "Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor, hmv.com

The First Purge: Five Reasons You'll Love It

After three movies in the Purge series, a fourth arriving in cinemas this week takes us right back to the beginning of the story and shows us the roots of the controversial crime-reducing experiment.

James DeMonaco is once again providing the script for the new film, with Gerard McMurray stepping into the director's chair and a brand new cast. With the film making its debut on DVD shelves on Monday (October 29th), we caught an early screening and rounded up five of the best things about The First Purge...

 

Taking the 'prequel' route gives the series a welcome refresh...

Part of the reason behind the success of the original Purge movie was combining an innovative idea with a home invasion narrative and a single location setting, helping to ratchet up the tension of the first movie in a way that had started to become diluted, especially with the third instalment The Purge: Election Year.

By replacing the recurring characters and heading back in time to the very beginning of the story, The First Purge manages to give the series a much-needed reset the gives the franchise a much better foundation for any future films and introducing some compelling new characters, especially those siding against the new government's controversial experiment.

 

There are some real rising stars in the film's all-new cast...

The new film isn't packed with big-name stars, but its cast of relative newcomers certainly make a big impression. Y'Lan Noel puts in a particularly impressive action-hero performance as Staten Island drug kingpin Dmitri, but there are other great turns here too, especially from Lex Scott Davis and Rotimi Paul, the latter delivering a brilliantly unhinged performance as the psychopathic Skeletor.

 

It's the most resonant and unsettling instalment of the series yet...

For American audiences in particular, some of the imagery here might feel a little too close to the bone in the context of recent political events like the riots at Ferguson and the rise of far-right groups, which makes the scenes involving hooded Ku Klux Klan members riding in open-backed trucks wielding machine guns all the more unnerving. By setting the story around the exploitation of poorer neighbourhoods in the purported fight against crime, The First Purge makes for a much more of a political statement than any of the earlier films, transforming the whole franchise into a cautionary tale about radical political movements.

 

The new movie sets the stage nicely for the spin-off TV series...

More so than any other film in the Purge series, The First Purge opens up opportunities for more extensive world-building by giving us a glimpse of the New Founding Fathers rise to power, putting the whole series into context and providing an ideal launchpad for the upcoming spin-off TV series due to launch in September this year.

 

There's a twist in the tale which casts the events of the other Purge movies in a whole new light...

Without wanting to give too much away, the events towards the end of The First Purge reveal a twist to the story which calls everything we've seen in the earlier films into question. In the original film, the population has largely accepted the Purge as a result of dramatically falling crime figures, but the revelation here that the government isn't exactly playing with straight dice is enough to make you wonder if the project has really been as much of a success as those in power would have you believe, cleverly providing a reason to re-examine some of the events we see further along in the story. It's fair to say that not everyone behind the experiment has noble intentions and that's brought to light in shocking fashion here.

 


The First Purge is released on DVD shelves on Monday (October 29th) – you can also pre-order your copy here in our online store.

The First Purge
The First Purge Gerard McMurray

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