THE FIRST PURGE (2018) Movie Review

I've made no qualms about stating in the past how I have enjoyed the previous incarnations of The Purge film franchise, and yet one more time I've found myself surprised by a film I've expected nothing from.

The First Purge is directed by Gerard McMurray (Burning Sands, Fruitvale Station) and stars Y'lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Joivan Wade, Mugga, Patch Darragh, Marisa Tomei and more in a prequel, setting the tone for how the premise of The Purge came about, and how the citizens took to the idea, and how a few factions of the government set things in motion to make sure that their pet project succeeded in the public's eye.

Unlike the previous Purges, where the event was nationwide, yet focused on one neighborhood, this time around, the event takes place in a small test region, keeping the focus on that neighborhood, Staten Island.

The film doesn't really cover any kind of new ground in action, revenge or kill porn films but it takes the moment to focus on a different demographics of Purge victims and some of the actions they have to take to defend themselves or dodge those who partake in the premise of the government sponsored Purge.

But it's gut wrenching to see how far white supremacists will go to make their points, and diseheartening to see the potential of how easy our government is not only pro-rich but most steadfastly anti-poor while the news media can be so easily complicit in the entire thing as it throws all its eggs in one Podus' basket. (Sound familiar?)

We have a film that takes the grandiose media coverage of The Hunger Games and mixes it up with a kind of Clockwork Orange brutality. All while taking the focus on the government's part from The Purge: Election Year and exposes it to exist from the very beginning of it all.

The culmination of the second act, into the third act brings together the victims and the participants of the Purge to face off against the federally-backed KKK-like death squad sent in to make the Purge look good, but they didn't count on the talents, skills and perserverance of the citizens of Staten Island and the pace picks up to the anticpated excitement that this franchise it seemingly capable of.


I never felt like The Purge film franchise was a must see kind of movie. Yet it's like a guilty pleasure that does not disappoint, like a trust-worthy B-movie. With guns. Lots of guns.

The standard fan thinks it's a 5.1/10 on IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes critics gave it a 54%, but I'm going to give it a popcorn 6 rating. It can be fun but nothing serious and though I didn't catch it the theaters, it's fun popcorn time on TV.

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