Write All Nite’s commitment to chronicling the ever-evolving iterations of The Purge series continues:
The franchise has oscillated between two narrative approaches to the premise: on one end of the spectrum, we follow characters as they attempt to survive the night; on the other, we learn about the sociopolitical and governmental mechanisms related to the institution of The Purge. The latter is one of the reasons each of the movies can be viewed as analyzable allegories for the period specifics and condition of America at the time of their respective creation.
The Forever Purge‘s story sticks more to the former, but by defining the character’s relationships to their world’s politics, their arcs can become the latter sort of metaphor for the present moment.
Now, good luck unpacking — more like untangling — into clear takeaways exactly how the movie’s depictions of its politics represent our politics; its appeal, at least to me, is how it mucks around with murky, serious topics in a gratuitous manner — shades of S. Craig Zahler, if you will.
Another source of the franchise’s self-refreshing appeal: its genre rovings. The original is a “home invasion” horror thriller, the subsequent entries are more action horror, and The Forever Purge introduces a new genre to the mix, a genre notoriously rife with thorny politics: the western (the Stagecoach plot-line! the El Paso apocalypse oner — the tank! feeling like it was shot on a traditional Olde West studio backlot town, just sub painted backdrops with CGI!).
And since The Forever Purge sets up a sequel nicely, this won’t be the last the series hears from me…
While on the subject of westerns: pair The Forever Purge with Minari for a Will Patton Double Feature about two farmers who representatively wrestle with the bygone (and apocryphal?) integrity of heartland Americana, specifically: the American dream/myth and its reality.