The Purge

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The Purge
The Purge-logo.png
Created byJames DeMonaco
Original workThe Purge (2013)
Owned byUniversal Pictures
Films and television
Film(s)
Television series

The Purge is an American media franchise centered on a series of dystopian action horror films distributed by Universal Pictures and produced by Blumhouse Productions and Platinum Dunes, mainly created by James DeMonaco. The films present a near-future dystopian America which celebrates an annual national holiday known as the Purge, in which all crimes, including murder are legal for a 12-hour period.

The franchise began in 2013 with The Purge, directed by the franchise creator DeMonaco, who also directed two of the sequels and wrote the screenplays for all, including the yet-unnamed Purge 5 which, he has hinted in interviews, could be the end of the franchise.[1] In addition to films, the franchise has spawned a television series which first premiered on September 4, 2018, which DeMonaco wrote its pilot episode.

The franchise has received a generally mixed critical reception, mainly for the screenwriting and clichéd stories, but was praised for the concept, acting, style and action sequences. The franchise has grossed overall over $447 million against a combined production budget of $35 million.

Overview[edit]

The films and the television series, which were created and developed by James DeMonaco are presenting a near-future dystopian America which celebrates an annual national holiday known as the Purge, in which all crimes, including murder are legal for a 12-hour period, while others are fighting for their lives.

Films[edit]

Film U.S. release date Director(s) Screenwriter(s) Producer(s)
The Purge June 7, 2013 (2013-06-07) James DeMonaco James DeMonaco Jason Blum, Michael Bay, Andrew Form, Brad Fuller, Sebastien Lemercier
The Purge: Anarchy July 18, 2014 (2014-07-18)
The Purge: Election Year July 1, 2016 (2016-07-01)
The First Purge July 4, 2018 (2018-07-04) Gerard McMurray Jason Blum, Michael Bay, Andrew Form, Brad Fuller, Sebastien Lemercier, James DeMonaco
The Purge 5 July 10, 2020 (2020-07-10) Everardo Gout[2] Jason Blum, Michael Bay, Andrew Form, Brad Fuller, Sebastien Lemercier

The Purge (2013)[edit]

The Purge stars Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane, Edwin Hodge, Tony Oller, Rhys Wakefield and Arija Bareikis.

The film follows the experience of the Sandin family on Purge night of the year 2022. The family of four lives in an affluent Los Angeles neighborhood and, along with their neighbors, show their patriotism and support for the national holiday by displaying blue flowers on their front stoops. The Sandins bunker down into their home to wait out the ensuing violence of the next twelve hours caused by revelers "purging" their unproductive emotions of hate, jealousy, and rage in a flurry of state-sanctioned mayhem, destruction, and murder. Citizens rationalize the suffering, which critics call socio-economically unbalanced, by citing the country's unprecedented peace, prosperity, and wealth.

The Sandin home, protected by an ostensibly high-quality security system sold far and wide by the family's father and head of household, becomes the target of a masked group of young holiday "Purgers" whose economically disadvantaged and severely wounded victim, referred to as homeless by the leader, escapes and is given refuge by the youngest child of the Sandin family. Frustrated by the interruption of their ritual sacrifice, the sadistic gang leader unmasks himself and threatens the entire family with murder if they don't surrender the man within the hour, or whenever reinforcements arrive with the equipment they need to bust through the barricades. After initially trying to capture the man and leave him to suffer his fate with the purgers, the family decides to help the man whose pain is no longer remote and can't be ignored, thus opening themselves up to accusations of unpatriotism. The purgers manage to break in and brutal fighting ensues with casualties on both sides. Losing their advantage, the family is about to be killed until they are "saved" by their neighbors, who blast away the remaining purgers to then announce that the Sandins' lives are their neighbors' to take. Facing execution by former friends, the stranger, who managed to escape most of the fighting, helps the Sandins by disarming the jealous neighbors. Faced with the choice of killing their neighbors, which in this world would be well within their rights, the family decides to hold them hostage until Purge night is over, further highlighting their unwilllingnessless to participate in the killing holiday.

Despite mixed reviews, the film grossed $89.3 million during its run, far surpassing its $3 million budget. The film was turned into a scare zone in 2014 for Universal Parks & Resorts annual Halloween Horror Nights due to its success.

The Purge: Anarchy (2014)[edit]

The Purge: Anarchy, released worldwide on July 18, 2014,[3] stars Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford, Kiele Sanchez, Zoë Soul and Michael K. Williams while Edwin Hodge reprises his role of "The Stranger" from the first movie.[4] Unlike the first Purge film, which was set entirely in one house during the carnage, Anarchy takes viewers out to the Los Angeles area and shows more of what happens to the surroundings during the Purge.

Off-duty Los Angeles Police Department sergeant Leo Barnes purges to avenge his son's death and becomes the protector of a married couple whose car breaks down on the Purge's commencement and a working-class mother and daughter who are kidnapped from their home. The wounded stranger from the first film is the partner of Carmelo Johns, leader of an anti-Purge resistance group that hacks into TV programs to broadcast messages challenging the system, stating that the Purge does not cleanse aggression, but rather eliminates the poor.

The film was met with generally mixed reviews, though many critics agreed it was a large improvement over the first film, and was a box office success, grossing $111.9 million compared to its $9 million budget.

The Purge: Election Year (2016)[edit]

The third film was released on July 1, 2016[5] in which Frank Grillo and Edwin Hodge reprise their roles from the previous film, and are joined by Elizabeth Mitchell, who plays Senator Charlie Roan. On October 6, it was announced that Derin Jacob would be back for the third film to write and direct, while producers Sébastien K. Lemercier, Blumhouse Productions' Jason Blum, and Platinum Dunes partners Michael Bay, Brad Fuller, and Andrew Form would also be back. Shooting began on September 16 in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.[6]

LAPD sergeant Leo Barnes is the chief of security for U.S. Senator and leading U.S. presidential candidate Charlie Roan, who vows to end the Purge, having witnessed the death of her family 18 years ago, during the events of the first film. In a bid to prevent this from happening, The New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA) takes the unprecedented step of abolishing the protection afforded to government officials of ranking 10, allowing the U.S. public to target all government officials for the first time since the purge's creation. After a betrayal within the government targets her for death minutes after the Purge's commencement, Barnes must protect Roan while on the run for safety until they meet and form an alliance with some of her supporters; two shopkeepers, an EMT, and an anti-Purge rebel team headed by the wounded Stranger from the first two films, whose real name is Dante Bishop. The group are also aided by the notorious Crips gang to avoid an NFFA-loyal neo-Nazi/white supremacist paramilitary team from capturing the senator. Meanwhile, the NFFA candidate and Roan's rival, Minister Edwidge Owens, who has been set up as a candidate to maintain the status quo, leads the NFFA in committing more acts of violence during Purge night as rebels try to protect more citizens.

The film received mixed reviews from critics and went on to gross over $118 million worldwide against a budget of $10 million, becoming the second highest-grossing film of the series.

The First Purge (2018)[edit]

In September 2016, James DeMonaco, who wrote and directed every film in the series thus far, stated that the fourth film would be a prequel to the trilogy. The film shows how the United States got to the point of accepting the Purge.[7]

In February 2017, DeMonaco announced that a fourth installment was in development. DeMonaco returned to write the script, while Jason Blum, Michael Bay, Brad Fuller, and Andrew Form returning to produce the film with Sébastien K. Lemercier.[8] In July 2017 it was announced that Derin Jacob was signed to direct the film, and shooting began in September 2017 in Buffalo, New York.[9] The film was released on July 4, 2018. It grossed over $137 million worldwide on a $13 million budget, becoming the highest grossing entry in the franchise.[10]

Future[edit]

The Purge 5 (2020)[edit]

In an interview with Scream, The Purge television series showrunner Thomas Kelly stated that a heist film set on Purge Night has been considered.[11]

In October 2018, Purge creator James DeMonaco stated that the fifth film will be the last in the series.

"I think I'm going to write it," Monaco said. "I think it's a great way to end it all. We want to end it all, I think, in this one, and I'm very excited. When I came up with the idea and pitched it to everybody, they seemed psyched, and I think it will be a really cool ending, how we take this one home."[12]

It was announced that Everardo Gout will direct the film.[2] The film is scheduled to be released in the United States on July 10, 2020, by Universal Pictures.[13]

Television series[edit]

The Purge (2018–present)[edit]

In May 2017, it was reported that Syfy and USA Network would premiere the series in 2018.[14] On February 26, 2018, it was announced that Gabriel Chavarria and Jessica Garza were cast as the leads in the upcoming series. Chavarria portrays Miguel, a US Marine who returns home on Purge Night after receiving a cryptic message from his sister Penelope (portrayed by Garza) belonging to a Purge worshiping cult and has pledged to become a sacrifice at the will of their charismatic leader forcing Miguel to face the senseless violence on the streets alone in order to protect those he loves most – his family.[15] The series premiered on September 4, 2018. On November 6, 2018, USA Network renewed the show for a second season.[16]

Plot prologue[edit]

In 2014, following an economic collapse and rising social unrest, a political organization named "The New Founding Fathers of America" (NFFA) is formed and is voted into office. The organization establishes a new totalitarian government and a police state. In 2016, the NFFA devises a plan to help stabilize American society and later in 2017, the 28th Amendment to the U.S Constitution is ratified. This amendment establishes a 12-hour event known as "The Purge" which would take place from 7:00 in the evening of March 21 to 7:00 in the morning of March 22, wherein all crime including murder becomes legal. Before the Purge begins, the Emergency Broadcast System is activated with rules and a prayer saying "Blessed be our New Founding Fathers and America, a nation reborn" before ending with "May God be with you all".

The rules for the annual Purge are as follows:

  • Sirens blare throughout the land to signal the start and end of The Purge.
  • All police, fire, and medical emergency services remain unavailable or suspended for the twelve-hour Purge.
  • Government officials of ranking 10 or higher are granted immunity (revoked in Election Year to legalize the murder of a political opponent).
  • Weapons of "Class 4" and below are permitted for use while "Class 5" weaponry (explosive devices such as grenades, rocket launchers, bazookas, etc., weapons of mass destruction, and viral/biological and chemical agents) is prohibited.
  • Public hanging is the penalty for violators of any rules.

Below is how the Emergency Broadcast System announces the Purge' commencement in the first two films:

In The Purge: Election Year (taking place 20 years after the establishment of The Purge), the rule granting immunity to ranking 10 officials is revoked by the NFFA in order to assassinate Roan, an anti-Purge Presidential candidate who runs on a platform of overturning the 28th Amendment which, to the NFFA's distress, has achieved parity in the polls with their candidate. This change is reflected in the announcement of the final Purge's commencement as follows:

Within the film series, the Purge has resulted in crime and unemployment rates plummeting to 1% and a strong economy. Although it is thought to be used as an act of catharsis for the U.S. populace, it is actually used as a method of artificial population control, as the unemployed poor in slum neighborhoods as well as some working-class people are usually the main targets; in Election Year, a character notes that sneaking up on a black man on Purge night is a particularly foolish action, suggesting that black people are used to being targets on this night. By this time it has also increased tourism as foreigners enter the US solely to participate in the Purge.

The event was ended 3 months later from the main events of the third film.

Characters[edit]

Character Film Television series
The Purge The Purge: Anarchy The Purge: Election Year The First Purge The Purge
Season 1 Season 2
2013 2014 2016 2018 2018 2019
Megan Lewis
Purge Emergency Broadcast System
Cindy Robinson (voice only) Cindy Robinson
Dante Bishop
The Stranger
Edwin Hodge  
Leo Barnes
The Sergeant
  Frank Grillo  
Carmelo Johns   Michael K. Williams Mentioned  
Dr. May Updale
The Architect
  Marisa Tomei   Mentioned
Bobby Sheridan   Dermot Mulroney (voice only) Dermot Mulroney
James Sandin Ethan Hawke  
Mary Sandin Lena Headey  
Zoe Sandin Adelaide Kane  
Charlie Sandin Max Burkholder  
"Polite Stranger" Rhys Wakefield  
Grace Ferrin Arija Bareikis  
Eva Sanchez   Carmen Ejogo  
Shane   Zach Gilford  
Liz   Kiele Sanchez  
Cali Sanchez   Zoë Soul  
"Big Daddy"   Jack Conley  
"Ghoul Face"   Keith Stanfield  
Warren Grass   Brandon Keener  
Charlie Roan   Elizabeth Mitchell  
Joe Dixon   Mykelti Williamson  
Marcos   Joseph Julian Soria  
Laney Rucker
Le Pequeñe Muerte
  Betty Gabriel  
Earl Danzinger   Terry Serpico  
Minister Edwidge Owens   Kyle Secor  
Caleb Warrens   Raymond J. Barry  
Harmon James   Christopher James Baker  
Dmitri Cimber   Y'lan Noel  
Nya Charms   Lex Scott Davis  
Isaiah Charms   Joivan Wade  
Dolores   Mugga  
Luisa   Lauren Velez  
Selina   Kristen Solis  
Miguel Guerrero   Gabriel Chavarria  
Jane Barbour   Amanda Warren  
Jenna Betancourt   Hannah Anderson  
Rick Betancourt   Colin Woodell  
Penelope Guerrero   Jessica Garza  
Lila Stanton   Lili Simmons  
Good Leader Tavis   Fiona Dourif  
David Ryker   William Baldwin  
Albert Stanton   Reed Diamond  
Joe Owens   Lee Tergesen  
Pete the Cop   Dominic Fumusa  
Marcus Moore   Derek Luke
Ryan Grant   Max Martini
Esmé Carmona   Paola Núñez
Ben   Joel Allen

Reception[edit]

Box office performance[edit]

Film Release date Box office gross Budget Ref(s)
North America Other
territories
Worldwide
The Purge June 7, 2013 $64,473,115 $24,855,512 $89,328,627 $3 million [17]
The Purge: Anarchy July 18, 2014 $71,962,800 $39,965,565 $111,928,365 $9 million [18]
The Purge: Election Year July 1, 2016 $79,213,375 $39,374,505 $118,587,880 $10 million [19]
The First Purge July 4, 2018 $69,086,325 $67,125,653 $136,211,978 $13 million [20]
Total $284,112,750 $162,795,582 $446,908,332 $35 million [21]

Critical and public response[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
The Purge 39% (150 reviews)[22] 41 (33 reviews)[23] C[24]
The Purge: Anarchy 56% (134 reviews)[25] 50 (32 reviews)[26] B[24]
The Purge: Election Year 55% (154 reviews)[27] 55 (31 reviews)[28] B+[24]
The First Purge 55% (159 reviews)[29] 54 (39 reviews)[30] B–[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'The Purge 5' to be released next year". EW.com. Retrieved 2019-07-27.
  2. ^ a b "Next 'Purge' Installment Finds Director in 'Mars' Helmer (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. August 1, 2019. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  3. ^ "Universal Re-Slots The Purge: Anarchy". Deadline.com. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  4. ^ "The Purge 2 Promo Art". MovieWeb.com. 1 January 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  5. ^ Natalie Stone (8 January 2015). "'The Purge 3' Gets 2016 Release Date". The Hollywood Reporter.
  6. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (October 6, 2014). "'The Purge' Scares Up Third Film With Director James DeMonaco". deadline.com. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  7. ^ "This Is What The Purge 4 Will Be About - CINEMABLEND". 29 September 2016.
  8. ^ "New 'Purge' Movie Gets Summer 2018 Release Date". February 17, 2017. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  9. ^ "'Purge 4' Finds Director in 'Burning Sands' Filmmaker Gerard McMurray". 20 July 2017.
  10. ^ "Warning: The Next Purge Will Take Place on July 4, 2018". February 17, 2017. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  11. ^ Scream Issue #50 - Horror TV: On Set for The Purge
  12. ^ Collis, Clark (23 October 2018). "The Purge creator says he's thought of a 'really cool' way to end film franchise". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  13. ^ Sandwell, Ian (23 July 2019). "The Purge 5: Release date, plot and everything you need to know". Digital Spy. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (15 May 2017). "'Purge': Premise Of Companion TV Series Revealed". Deadline. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  15. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 26, 2018). "'The Purge': Gabriel Chavarria & Jessica Garza To Star In TV Series For USA & Syfy". Deadline. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  16. ^ Otterson, Joe (November 6, 2018). "The Purge Renewed for Season 2 at USA Network". Variety. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  17. ^ "The Purge". Box Office Mojo. January 9, 2015.
  18. ^ "The Purge: Anarchy". Box Office Mojo. January 9, 2015.
  19. ^ "The Purge: Election Year (2016)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  20. ^ "The First Purge (2018)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  21. ^ "The Purge Movies at the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. July 3, 2018.
  22. ^ "The Purge (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Warner Bros. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  23. ^ "The Purge". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  24. ^ a b c d "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com. Retrieved March 12, 2015.
  25. ^ "The Purge: Anarchy". Rotten Tomatoes. July 17, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  26. ^ "The Purge: Anarchy". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-10-07.
  27. ^ "The Purge: Election Year". Rotten Tomatoes. June 30, 2016. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  28. ^ "The Purge: Election Year". Metacritic. June 30, 2016. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  29. ^ "The First Purge (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  30. ^ "The First Purge Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 5, 2018.

External links[edit]