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Review: ‘The Forever Purge’ Teases an Epic New Beginning for the Fan-Favorite Horror Franchise

July 1, 2021Ben MK

The Donald Trump presidential era may have come and gone, but for a nation of American moviegoers accustomed to living vicariously through the dark sociopolitical satire of The Purge films, it was a disturbing reminder that you don't always have to visit the multiplex if you want to be scared out of your seat. Now, with The Forever Purge, series creator James DeMonaco is back — only this time, he's turned to current events for inspiration on where the horror franchise goes from here.

Set in the aftermath of The Purge: Election Year, the story finds the United States at a tipping point. Sure, the New Founding Fathers have been ousted from power, but white supremacy is on the rise and illegal immigration is at an all-time high. Amidst this chaos, we meet Adela (Ana De La Reguera) and her husband Juan (Tenoch Huerta), a Mexican couple fleeing the Cartel violence of their homeland in search of a more peaceful life in Texas' Los Feliz Valley. That peace, however, ends up being short-lived. For when the New Founding Fathers are once again re-elected, their first decree is to reinstate the annual Purge — where, for one night only, all crime is legal.

Admittedly, that may sound like a fairly standard way to kick off yet another sequel in this fan-favorite series. However, it's what happens after Purge night that sets this fifth installment apart from its predecessors. Suffice to say, there's a reason why this one is called The Forever Purge, and that's because the violence doesn't end once the nightly lockdown is lifted. Instead, the residents of Texas — and the entire country — emerge into a terrifying new reality, one where a new hate group calling themselves Purge Purification have risen. Vowing to rid America of everyone but "full-blooded" citizens, its members begin roaming the streets in search of would-be victims, burning cities to the ground in the process. And if Adela and Juan are to survive, they'll have to fight fire with fire.

Teaming up with a fellow asylum-seeker named T.T. (Alejandro Edda) and another family hoping to escape the bloody carnage — xenophobic rancher Dylan Tucker (Josh Lucas), his pregnant wife Cassie (Cassidy Freeman) and younger sister Harper (Leven Rambin) — Adela and Juan set out to find safe haven back across the border in Mexico. But despite the New Founding Fathers declaring martial law and dispatching thousands of U.S. troops upon every State in an attempt to bring an end to the unsanctioned mayhem, will this ragtag group manage to avoid becoming just another statistic of this new and potentially unending civil war?

The result may not surprise ardent Purge fans, but it does tease an exciting new trajectory for the franchise. After all, The Purge movies have always felt like a precursor to something greater — perhaps even a foreshadowing of the lawless, wasteland society depicted in George Miller's Mad Max universe. It's just that now, nearly a decade since its relatively humble beginnings, we're finally getting a taste of how that might come to fruition.

The Forever Purge releases July 2nd, 2021 from Universal Pictures. The film has an MPAA rating of R for strong/bloody violence, and language throughout. Its runtime is 1 hr. 43 min.

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