Movie review: The First Purge

This week, Sig and I watched Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom in cinema. When we bought our tickets, I noticed that the new "Purge" movie was already playing as well! So just a few days later we headed to cinema to watch "The First Purge"! Some of you might already know that I really like the "Purge" movies. Though not all of them are necessarily very original, I just like the idea of the Purge for a movie. It's something new and you can definitely think of some interesting stories around it! 

The Purge and me

I always keep being curious  new "Purge" stories! Besides seeing the movies, I went to Halloween Horror Nights in Universal Studios Orlando in 2014 (an annual event in the Universal Studios in Orlando, Los Angeles, Japan and Singapore) At night, the theme park is turned into a Halloween theme park. There are several scare zones and haunted houses. And I can tell you: it's pretty scary. And that's why I love it. The scare zones & haunted houses all have their own (movie) theme.


One of the scare zones was based on "The Purge". Sig and I walked around there. And I got a sense of how it feels like to be actually scared just to walk on the street. I was very suspicious. Feeling like anyone could go and chase me at any moment. I took a picture of a girl with a chainsaw and Sig paid the price: He was chased with the chainsaw. I loved this evening at Universal and it brought me closer to the movies of "The Purge". 


Besides this, I recently met Adelaide Kane at Wolfcon. Adelaide played the role of Zoey Sandin in "The Purge" (2013). 

The First Purge

This movie is about the very first Purge. It takes place before the other Purge movies. "The First Purge" starts with the New Founding Fathers of America coming to power and starting the Purge as an experiment. It will take 12 hours and will only take place on Staten Island. The people are not obligated to stay for the Purge, but they will receive money if they do. And since people need the money, quite some people stay at Staten Island. 

In "The First Purge", we see the New Founding Fathers of America prepare for the first Purge, promote it & watch it. We also see some families on Staten Island. People that love this new idea, people that hate it and demonstrate. They're all preparing for the first Purge: traveling to be somewhere else, getting a tracker (needed to collect money after the Purge) or securing their homes and shops and finding hideout places. 

Main characters are Nya, a woman who's firmly against the Purge and demonstrates, her brother Isaiah and Dmitri, her ex-boyfriend and a drug lord.  

My view

This movie is not just about the Purge itself. Where the first movie focuses on 1 family and how they experience the Purge, this movie has two sides.  On the one hand, you see Nya and her brother prepare for the Purge. Dmitri wants to help them, but Nya doesn't want to have anything to do with his drug business. She rejects his help and seeks shelter with some others in a church.


On the other side, we also see the New Founding Fathers of America. They believe that the country really needs the Purge. The Purge on Staten Island is an experiment, but one that must succeed. They try to motivate people as much as possible to join the Purge: You'll receive 5,000 dollars just to stay on the island. You'll even get more if you wear their lenses with a camera and record everything you purge. The more purging, the more money you'll receive. You see the tension building up during "The First Purge": Will people participate?  


I liked seeing a bit more of how the Purge started. In the other movies, we learn a bit about the history as well, but you mainly see the political views of that moment. Seeing how badly the New Founding Fathers of America wanted the Purge, puts it in another perspective. 


Watching the movie left me with mixed feelings. It's again a political movie, showing tension & people craving for power. I liked the approach to show the first Purge from several sides. On the other hand, the movie contains some really typical and predictable elements. Some things I really liked less. I'm not going into details (don't want to give any spoilers), but I guess people who have seen the movie will know what I mean. All in all, I thought the movie was nice, but it's such a pity that it contains quite some predictable and typical elements which make into a more standard movie. While with the concept of the Purge, there is still a possibility to create something really different. 


I'll continue to follow the Purge movies, as I'm curious to see if they will be able to surprise me in the future! 

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Comments: 1
  • #1

    Sean (Wednesday, 02 October 2019 08:36)

    I agree with your view on the film. Personally I found the political aspects and what the founding fathers are willing to do to get the purge instated. I think a few of the characters are weak, (haven't seen the film in a while so can't remember the names.) The one character who I did like and found to be the most defined with a sense of moral duality is Dimitri. Outside of that I found the film to be compelling but there were more than a few week points but overall i think its a good addition and I prefer it over some of the others in the series.