The Forever Purge
The Forever Purge (2021) movie review
The Forever Purge is the fifth feature film in the Purge franchise that began in 2013. Despite middling reviews, the Purge franchise has managed a rather large gross thanks to its minimal budgets and perfect release dates. Now we have The Forever Purge, which is set in Texas during what appears to be a typical annual Purge night across America. Except this time, a large group of Purge participants across the country have decided that when night is up, the Purge will continue…
Before we begin, I want to give a personal note to the guy sitting two seats to my right who got some sort of sick kick (“F— Yeah!” and the like) or laugh every time someone violently died on screen (including innocent people):
You are the scum of the Earth.
Anyway… This series is easily the fast food of the horror franchises right now. Each one presents a genuinely intriguing concept in a new way, remembering to include social and political commentary that is honestly on the level of a Facebook feed. Regardless, being popcorn flicks, these films get a B for effort from me. That said, each one has managed to push the believability of its own genre a little too far, and The Forever Purge is no exception.
Now as far as believability goes, The Forever Purge does feel the most grounded of the series. (Especially if you buy into the idea that 1/3 or more of the people living in America are so sociologically disturbed that they would feel the need to wear masks and build traps just to kill people.) While there are a few silly inclusions, the choice of sadism for the Purge crowd seemed to be guns, which is befitting of the Texas setting. And would I believe the film’s Mad Max-like premise if I could also believe the point I made previously about everyone being crazy? Darn right I would. And honestly, it’s a little scary to think about…
As a horror film, The Forever Purge (or any of this series after the first film) doesn’t really serve as your typical scare-fest. Sure there’s intense situations and masks and a few jumpscares, but for the most-part, the horror comes from the situation itself. This is where the series is hit or miss for me. The inclusion of themes dealing with racism however make the story feel even more impactful, as the last few years have shown us that this film SHOULD feel more like fiction, but is instead simply an exaggeration… That’s genuinely frightening. (And the film is using that fear to make money, so I’m not praising the themes, just the ability to carry a story here.)
Another thing that worked was the cast. Tenoch Huerta, Ana de la Reguera, Josh Lucas, Cassidy Freeman, and the rest all do a solid job selling the film for me. Josh Lucas and Ana de la Reguera both delivered performances that helped elevate their surprisingly compelling characters to a level that, currently, feels higher than the others in the series. (Who knows, I may wake up tomorrow and forget this film exists though.) Of course one thing that also helps is a goal oriented story. Of course each film has a goal, but typically there’s a time limit attached to it. In The Forever Purge, we get no such relief at dawn…
That said, the quality of this film does diminish from the surprisingly sturdy foundation. It’s not a particularly well shot film, not is it very fluid. The editing it choppy, and the camerawork is a bit off, but not intentionally off enough to evoke a firsthand feel like we were there. (See the Bourne series for more.) The score was pretty decent, and the production design was certainly convincing, but I ended up asking the same questions about the utter insanity of the characters who need to wear a mask and makeup to go to a place and immediately take off said mask to the people know who you are…
So look, if you don’t hate the Purge movies and want something to see this weekend, Forever Purge may have the silliest title, but it’s probably a lot better than Boss Baby 2 (2021). It still falls into the slightly unbelievably category that the rest of the series does, and lacks the depth that the other four also lack. That said, people come to these films for an oddly healthy blend of violence and social commentary- and I guess you probably can’t get that too many places… So yeah, it’s not actually a bad movie. Would I watch it again? Ah probably not. I haven’t felt the need to go back and rewatch any of these films. But did I have a decent time? Actually yeah! 6/10.
So The Purge Ever After? Did you see it yet? What did you think? And what is your favorite in this series so far? Be sure to leave a like or a comment below and let us know! And if you liked this review and you want to read more like it, let us know below what we should talk about next!
-review by Ryan Prince