The Purge: Six Years Later and What the Future Holds for the Franchise
A look back at how 12 hours of lawless behavior became a worldwide hit.
On June 7th, 2013, fans were both intrigued and shocked when James DeMonaco’s The Purge was released in theaters. Surprisingly, the meager $3 million production would gross over $89 million, paving the way for four sequels and a TV series. Recently, Universal and Blumhouse Productions announced that a fifth installment in the franchise can be expected during the summer of 2020.
The Purge, based in the year 2022, boasts that crime and unemployment is at an all-time low, thanks to the annual Purge night. For 12 hours, citizens can savagely commit all crimes, including murder, without any fear of consequences. The film focuses on an affluent family that supports the Purge and all that it stands for, but they choose to bunker down for the night in their high-tech security protected home in a gated community.
With the commencement of the purge drawing near, the family retreat to a room equipped with closed circuit televisions that capture the perimeter of their home. Upon arming their security system, which is comprised of metal sliding garage door blinds that cover all entrances and windows, a siren can be heard broadcasting over one of the televisions. A voice announces that it is 7:00 PM, official start of the annual purge, in which citizens are encouraged to go out and "release the beast," for it is their right to do so. The emergency broadcast system reiterates the rules and reminders for those who will be participating.
As the family members proceed to wait out the violent night doing their own thing, the youngest child observes on the security monitors an injured man running down the street, yelling for assistance. Disregarding the consequences of his actions, he disarms the home’s security system and runs to help the stranger. It’s at that point chaos erupts and they find themselves as participants in the purge, albeit as victims rather than assailants.
With the arrival of a group of mask-wearing, weapon-toting purgers, the violence ensues. The family tries to outlast the attackers and, before long, key characters are killed. Just when the family appears to be at the mercy of the assailants, some of their neighbors show up to save them, but in an unexpected turn of events, they too turn on the remaining family members.
To their rescue is the man they allowed into their home, who ultimately set the night’s deadly events into motion in the first place. As night turns to day, the final minutes of the purge tick down. Finally, a siren echoes in the distance to signal the end of the purge and the wounded neighbors leave the destroyed home. The film ends with the sound of sirens and the surviving family members observing the damage to their home and yard.
The movie’s concept was simple. The premise encourages citizens who wish to commit crimes to simply wait until purge night to avoid prosecution. The filmmakers successfully executed that script and the end result was a successful franchise. It’s not until the sequels that we come to learn that the purge is put in place by government officials (The New Founding Fathers of America) to essentially eradicate the poor and lower-class citizens.
While the franchise is not for everyone, some seeing it as just another home invasion movie or another reason to use copious amounts of violence and blood in a movie, the Purge franchise has earned a loyal following.
The sequels, The Purge: Anarchy (2014), The Purge: Election Year (2016) and The First Purge (2018), have all continued with the formula of different classes of individuals dealing with a dystopian America. Each subsequent film has earned more than its predecessor, which could be an indicator that as long as the films continue to do well, we could see future releases.
It may be attributed to the success of the films that last year USA Network released The Purge TV series. The ten episodes continued where the movies left off with violence, survival, and twists that kept viewers watching. Late last Fall, they announced that a deal was signed that would see a second season of the show. If you missed our episode reviews for Season 1, you can check them out right here.
What does the future hold for The Purge franchise? Well, last month, word came from Blumhouse Productions and Purge creator James DeMonaco that fans of the franchise can expect a new film next summer. Could this, in fact, be the last Purge film? We will just need to wait and see.
Until then, you can read our review of The First Purge and stay tuned to Dead Entertainment for news on upcoming Season 2 details as well as the progress of the upcoming next installment of the franchise.