“For the next 12 hours, all crime, including murder, will be legal.”
Warning full spoilers for The First Purge below, do not read if you don’t want to know what happens in film The First Purge.
The now familiar announcement for the commencement of the annual “Purge” should more accurately be saying: “For the next 12 hours, all crime, including government-sponsored genocide, will be legal…”
When horror fans were first introduced to The Purge, the event was already an American institution. We had a well-educated white man from an affluent family (Ethan Hawkes’ James Sandin) explain that, while they personally didn’t “purge” it was a good thing for society. When The Purge: Anarchy hit theaters in 2014, we saw the personal trauma “purging” caused. But by the time we saw The Purge: Election Year, we began to suspect that something was rotten in Denmark… er, America.
The First Purge, which just hit US theaters today, takes us back to the very beginning, back to when “The Purge” was simply referred to as “The Experiment”. Though it was contained to Staten Island, we meet the initial architects of “The Purge”, and the administrators who perpetuated it.
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.
We recently published an article exploring the science behind “purging”; we asked the question: Would “purging” actually work? According to experts, the answer is “No”. In the case of The Purge franchise, we’re willing to suspend our disbelief for a thrilling good time. The First Purge reveals, however, that even in James DeMonaco’s fictional dystopia, “purging” is a scam!
Related Article: Would THE PURGE Be Good for You? The Science of Catharsis Explored
The First Purge is a conspiracy theorists worst nightmare; an example of gaslighting on a national level. We’ve been told that people want to “purge”; it’s revealed people needed to be paid in order to participate. We’ve been told “purging” is an equal-opportunity catharsis; it’s revealed that poor and minority communities are specifically targeted. We’ve been told that humans have a primal need for violence; it’s revealed that killing is difficult and average people need to be manipulated into killing. The First Purge is an example of manufactured consent at its most despicable.
So if the New Foundling Fathers have known from the get-go that “purging” is bunk, what’s the point of it all? What is “The Purge”? It comes down to 2 words: Population control. The First Purge leaves no room for misinterpretation: “Purging” is a way for the ruling elite to eliminate the poor and working poor as opposed to supporting them through social welfare. The 2% want it all.
The next chapter of The Purge will take place on small screens when a 10-episode series hits USA this September. Peep the trailer and synopsis below.
Based on the hit movie franchise from Blumhouse productions, THE PURGE revolves around a 12-hour period when all crime, including murder, is legal. Set in a dystopian America ruled by a totalitarian political party, the series follows several seemingly unrelated characters living in a small city. Tying them all together is a mysterious savior who’s impeccably equipped for everything the night throws at them. As the clock winds down with their fates hanging in the balance, each character is forced to reckon with their pasts as they discover how far they will go to survive the night.
Related Article: Franchise Mastermind James DeMonaco Will Return to Director’s Chair for THE PURGE 5?