“The Forever Purge” – Movie Review

What began as a home invasion film with a twist has grown into one of the most over the top, brutally violent, and socially relevant action/horror franchises ever seen.

After the incredibly popular Purge: Election Year, we’ve gotten a prequel movie with The First Purge, and a prequel series with the Purge TV show on USA.

But we’ve never gotten a proper sequel that followed the events of Election Year, until now.  The Forever Purge was always meant to be a conclusive end of the series (which it may not be if it makes enough money), and it’s definitely the most epic we’ve seen thus far!

It’s also the first movie where the “purging” takes place primarily in daylight, and in the Texas desert no less. So it’s much brighter than the other movies.

The Morning After
An unspecified amount of time has passed since the events of Election Year, but we’re told via narration that the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA) have been voted back into power and intend to reinstate the annual purge.

Meanwhile, married couple Adela (Ana de la Reguera) and Juan (Tenoch Huerta) cross the border from Mexico to Texas via underground tunnels, all while anti-immigration sentiment is heard via voiceover newscast.

Forever Purge 4
Ana de la Reguera is anything but a damsel in distress however. She kicks as much ass in The Forever Purge as she did in Army of the Dead!

Adela finds work in a meat plant, while Juan works on a ranch owned by the wealthy Tucker family, including patriarch Caleb (Will Patton), his daughter Harper (Leven Rambin), his son Dylan (Josh Lucas), and Dylan’s pregnant wife Cassidy (Cassidy Freeman).

Tensions are set up early on in not so subtle ways (as per usual with this series) where Dylan is clearly prejudiced against Mexicans and resents that fact that Juan upstages him on the ranch.  However, Adela is still confident and optimistic about the American dream, and their reason for going there.

As purge night arrives, both families remain in lockdown until morning.  When daylight comes and the sirens ring, everything seems normal, until masked purgers displaying “Ever After Purge” flags keep killing people, claiming that the purge is never over.

Adela and Juan, joined by the Tuckers, fight for survival as purging riots break out not just in Texas, but nationwide.  Despite being condemned by the NFFA, it seems they’ve created a monster with the purge, and now the entire nation is devolving into chaos and civil war as a result.

Forever Purge 1
It’s definitely the largest scale purge ever seen in these movies!

As far as Purge movies go, this one has the highest budget and it really shows.  We’ve seen chaos in the streets before, but this one turns El Paso, TX into a full blown warzone as purgers clash with NFFA-backed military forces.

Director Everardo Gout is notable for documentaries and it really shows with many of the action scenes being shot in an almost subjective, POV manner, as if it were a photojournalist in a warzone.

Missed Opportunity?
As a huge fan of The Purge: Election Year, it was admittedly a little disappointing that everything Leo and Senator (later President) Roan fought for was for nothing.  Also, it seems a bit strange that the narrative would be the NFFA just getting reelected into power to bring the purge back, especially when the ending of Election Year teased similar uprisings against the news of her win.

Eerily Prophetic
Like all the other films in the series, The Forever Purge is heavy on the social commentary.  And while it’s not always subtle or nuanced, there’s no denying its relevancy.  The anti-immigration sentiment expressed by the purgers is an unfortunate reality, and their goal to “cleanse” America of all “non-Americans” is something we’ve heard in real life from hate groups.

Forever Purge 6
It does also make the strange choice where there’s a different “villain” every 20-30 minutes.

Plus, it wouldn’t be a Purge movie without the class warfare angle as the haves and have nots clash on purge night.  However, the most interesting (and eerie) aspect is the idea that the purger, who were manipulated by the NFFA to do their dirty work for years, have now grown beyond control.

It’s hard not to draw parallels between this and the US Capitol Riot that occurred on January 6, 2021.  In both cases, a group of people were manipulated and lied to by a political power, and in their zeal they went too far and were beyond control, even by the people who had manipulated them in the first place.

And the frightening thing is that this movie seemed to almost predict it, given that it was shot in late 2019/early 2020, a full year before that event happened!

Forever Purge 5
Are these images from the real life Capitol Riot or the fictional Purge movie…?

The Forever Purge very well serves as an epic finale to this always interesting franchise.  However James DeMonaco (screenwriter of all 5 films, director of the first 3) says he hasn’t ruled out making another.   But honestly, this was a pretty decent entry, and it would be difficult to continue on without it feeling forced.

What did you think of The Forever Purge?  Where would you like to see this franchise go?  Let us know in the comments!

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