we’ve done. We have survived the purge!
The horror-movie series about a dystopian America in which it’s legal that you want to kill anyone for one night a year ends with the fifth entry, “The Forever Purge.” I hope that’s true, but don’t be surprised if we get “The Purge VI: The Purge Awakens” in a few years.
Running Time: 103 Minutes. Rated R (Strong/bloody violence, and language across.) in theaters.
Since the Bloody franchise’s debut in 2013, it has become the “Handmaid’s Tale” for the dim. The premise: America has reached its boiling point of crime and social strife, so a rebel political party called the New American Founding Fathers establishes a 12-hour period per year in which it is perfectly legal to commit any crime, including murder. And they say that Washington, DC, can’t do anything.
That idea was funny once, maybe even twice, but by the fifth outing the sutra has given way to preaching and prophecy.
“The Forever Purge” begins, as did its predecessors, with a newsreel explaining the state of the union. This time the issue is about illegal immigration and the border wall. As one anchor says, “One must ask – is the American Dream still alive?” “United States of Hate,” says another. And finally, “the new founding fathers restore the purge,” someone says, before a demon chorus sings, “From sea to shining sea!”
In late 2016 “The Purge: Election Year”—way to add to the discourse, folks—the deadly law was abolished. But, like Teri Hatcher every few years, it’s back in a big way.
Hoping to Survive All Night are a married couple of illegal immigrants from Mexico, Juan (Tenoche Huerta) and Adela (Ana de la Reguera), living in southern Texas. A family of ranchers that Juan works for, led by a racist patriarch (Josh Lucas), try to spend a night out at their home that has been converted into a bunker.
Twelve hours later, the siren sounds and the purification is over. Everything is hunky dory, isn’t it? wrong. The chain of murders continues in a chaotic manner. We learn that a group of extremists, I dunno, using Reddit or something have announced a “Forever Purge” until they achieve their Nazi-like dreams of a white America, then Till is an endless parade of death.
For those who oppose this strange act, the only solution is to take refuge in Mexico. And so our sort-hero heads to El Paso.
The obvious disadvantage of having nearly identical plots across the five films—the people opposed to the Purge risking their lives because of it—does the movies consistently get less horror. I’m a wimp who yells at house flies, yet “The Forever Purge” was easy to watch.
Though their way is well worn, Huerta and de la Reguera wear the hats of action stars and sympathetic moral officers. It’s always a plus when you don’t let the lead die. In some slasher flicks, the characters are so annoying that you choose to #TeamSerialKiller.
This pair is great. It is not for that overbearing political message that is no longer satirical, sophisticated or particularly sinister. It’s the perfect time to bow down, because “The Purge” has become a curse.