Director – Everardo Gout (Luke Cage, The Terror)
Starring – Ana de la Reguera (Army of the Dead, Nacho Libre), Tenoch Huerta (Tigers Are Not Afraid, Blue Demon), and Josh Lucas (Ghost of New Orleans, American Psycho)
Release Date – 2021
Rating – 4/5
Blumhouse is hit or miss with me. Some of their films are good on paper but as films they were very underwhelming but when they deliver a good film they knock it out of the park. Happy Death Day and Freaky are some of my all time favorite films and Blumhouse really did a phenomenal job with those releases. One of Blumhouse’s more popular titles is The Purge which went on to spawn an impressive franchise. I like most of the films and often look forward to each new installment when they are announced.
In the grip of the pandemic a new Purge film, titled The Forever Purge, was produced and released in theaters and VOD over the summer with a physical release hitting store shelves as we approach Halloween. I never got around to checking it out in theater so when a physical release was announced I quickly jumped on it. I’m glad I did because this is probably my favorite of the franchise.
**Spoiler Alert** The film picks up some years after the NFFA has taken control of the country. With the annual purge reinstated everyone is preparing for the 12 hours where all crime is legal. We follow Mexican immigrants Juan (Huerta) and Adela (Reguera) who seek refuge with their friend in a para-military bunker with armed people protecting them. After the purge ends they leave and return to their jobs where they quickly discover that a new movement, the Forever Purge, is extending the purge to “purify” America. Trapped in the middle is Juan, Adela, and the family of ranchers that employ Juan as they fight their way to Mexico to seek asylum. **Spoiler Alert**
As I stated earlier, I’m a fan of the Purge films for the most part but it’s difficult for me to call the sequels horror films. They do have horror elements but they are very action forward. With that being said, the dash of horror sprinkled throughout each film has went on to become iconic among pop horror fans. The Forever Purge is easily my favorite film in the franchise and the one that actually sent chills down my spine. It wasn’t the action or horror elements that scared but the social commentary that really set the film off for me.
The acting in this one is fucking fantastic. The entire film is filled with memorable characters with one hell of a cast. We get an unforgettable performance from legendary screen actor Will Patton followed by everyone else delivering just as an impressive performance.
The story for this one pretty much extends the store established in previous films but on a much bigger scale that tips the scales of a international affair. Mix that with a much bigger story centered around nationalism and racism. The film is meant to be satire but seeing the “pure blood” Americans spit out their racist rhetoric really reminds me of a lot of my friends and family who obsess over politics. Seeing something that is unnerving in my day to day get blown into proportions like this really made me uncomfortable. The action is off the wall and the moments where they try to channel the horror fails but seeing the real life horror aspects of the film made it even more chilling.
Finally, the film has some bloody moments with a mix of visual and practical effects. The kills are fun and fit the action portion of the film but they are not as gruesome as I would expect. Overall, The Forever Purge is a wildly fun movie if you are open to it. I know some horror hipsters will scoff at the thought of giving this franchise a chance but this one was a lot of fun. I highly recommend this one.