Directed by Gerard McMurray, a changing of the guard for what I think are obvious reasons. From a screenplay by James DeMonaco. “The First Purge” has been conceived to explain the origins of this reset ritual, in order to find a means to an end. The election of the New Founding Fathers to the presidency. Enabling rich white men to power, and they quickly device the outline of the purge as an experiment on Staten Island.
Turning one night on Staten Island for anyone who stays on the island, into a night of terror. Plus the added incentive, for those who survived the night receives $5,000, plus unspecified bonuses if they choose to “participate” in the murderous carnage to stoke the fire.
Over the course of the film, a few scattered murders committed by unstable or spiteful people give way to waves of well-organized, government-backed death squads, dressed in Klan robes and Nazi-evoking trenchcoats. A church becomes a refuge for a handful of people who refuse to participate in the Purge, but the refugees are wiped out in an armed attack.
These events form the catalyst for the main protagonist Dmitri to take his city back and fight for what he believes is right. Invokes an onslaught of gun play and action sequences. Where an army of one. Takes back the block. A small plot hole in the story of a drug dealer with a heart of gold. Somehow, this character is a heavily trained fighter and marksman.
The first purge does a great job in my he social commentary department. The acting isn’t stellar but then again it’s nothing something a horror fan is looking for in this franchise. This installment could also work as a stand alone action film. It does have some parallels to DieHard. On the scale of of watch or not. This film is definitely a watch. As a fan I would even be open to watching a sequel to this prequel. Hell if the Conjuring did it with Annabelle. Why can’t this franchise play by the same rules?