To push the crime rate below one percent for the rest of the year, the New Founding Fathers of America 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 others, the contagion will explode from the trial-city borders and spread across the nation.
Director: Gerard McMurray
Cast: Y'Lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Joivan Wade, Luna Lauren Velez, Kristen Solis, Marisa Tomei
July 4, 2018
Genres: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Rated R for strong disturbing violence throughout, pervasive language, some sexuality and drug use
Runtime: 1h 37min
The First Purge, the 4th film in the horror franchise, is a horror sequel that’ far better than it deserves to be. Series writer/wreator James DeMonaco’s clunky script and characterizations, which have typified the entire franchise, is here again delivering a horror film that about as subtle as a jackhammer. It’s never shy about letting you know what its thinking or above pointing out specifically what it’s talking about. Still, there’s a strange effectiveness about this entry. Director Gerard McMurray delivers a visually impressive horror thriller that’s engaging enough to make you overlook some of the story’s failings. The visual story playing and bloody action sequences are incredibly well done, making for visceral experience. The cast carries themselves well even with the paper thin caricatures they’re given. The immensely talented Y'Lan Noel, known mostly for HBO’s Insecure, gives a noteworthy performance that’s sure to make some people think of a 90’s era Wesley Snipes. It’s not a deep character but he makes an impression none the less. The rest of the supporting cast, nearly all people of color, is made up of character actors from across the TV spectrum. The only recognizable white face is Marisa Tomei, who’s clearly slumming it, with the rest of the Caucasian actors coming from scary white people casting. The Purge franchise has always reminded me of late 70s early 80s sci-fi horror films, with big ambitious, ideas in a schlocky package. The First Purge feels like an amalgam of those films blended with a healthy dose of blacksploitation, yet it somehow feels timelier than the original film did 4 years ago.