They say you never forget your first, and that is especially true when it comes to the Purge. The franchise, which has spawned four films and a television series, has a special place in my heart. I love the world that was created for it and find it endlessly fascinating. When the first film premiered, I went to an immersive experience based on it, and was blown away. I have watched the films with endless glee, and loved every minute of them. They may not be high art, but damn, are they entertaining.
And now, the latest film, THE FIRST PURGE, takes us back to the very beginning, to see how this annual tradition of 12 hours of mayhem began. While not a horror film in the strictest sense of the word, the film is filled with suspense, and helps flesh out the world even more.
I think the most scares, though, come from the fact about how relevant the situations in the film are to todays society. While the idea of the Purge seemed far-fetched when the original film premiered, it sadly is not too far from reality in todays political climate.
James DeMonacos script is, to me, the best so far. Hes been the writing mastermind behind all of the films (and most of the shows episodes), and I feel as if he has really evolved as a writer here. Sure, it may lack the scares of some of the other films, but I feel like it really nails a tone for todays socio-political world. Previous films had some sort of big bad lurking around every corner, out to get our heroes, while The First Purges uses the overall Purge night as the villain. While somewhat jarring at first, it works. We are introduced to Skeletor, whom you think might be the ultimate bad guy, but alas, he is barely in the film.
Look, lets be honest, if you havent liked any of the previous films, dont go into this expecting Citizen Kane. Hell, you shouldnt expect that to begin with. This movie is nothing more than escapism fun, that may be a little too close to reality these days.
The Blu-ray looks spectacular, with a gorgeous transfer that has nice depth to the picture. I also tend to look at the black levels, and there isnt any crushing here, which pleased me. The audio is also pretty top notch as well, with the 7.1 audio track really making you feel like youre in the action. Sometimes, this kind of thing overpowers the spoken dialogue, but I was pleasantly surprised to hear that wasnt the case here. Its mixed beautifully.
The special features dont add all that much to the package, unfortunately. The one deleted scene would have definitely added a little more to the Skeletor storyline, so I am not sure why it was cut from the finished film. The EPK-style mini-doc, A Radical Experiment, is an interesting, yet short, look at the film. The other two features, while interesting overall, dont really add anything to the proceedings.
If you enjoy the Purge films, THE FIRST PURGE is for you. Get this disc. You will love it. If they arent your style, its likely worth a rental at the very least, so you know how the madness began. I love it. You might not.