The next Purge movie just got a name — and it wants a slice of the political zeitgeist

Contributed by
Jan 30, 2018

As time marches on, each installment in The Purge series seems to get more and more zeitgeist-y. Blumhouse Productions has just released the title of the next film in the horror series, and one look at the accompanying poster is all it’ll take to give you a good idea where this one’s head is at.

Titled The First Purge, the just-released promo shot for screenwriter James DeMonaco’s latest take on controlled anarchy sports nothing more than a single, all too familiar-looking red cap — emblazoned with the film’s title in that all-caps, serif font that conjures visions of a certain recent U.S. presidential campaign.

Blumhouse Productions

We still don’t know tons about The First Purge, but it’s looking to have the feel of a prequel, even if it’s not exactly being positioned as one with the expanding body of Purge lore. Blumhouse pitches the upcoming movie as delivering a definitive backstory to “the rise of our country’s 12 hours of annual lawlessness,” and welcomes us all to “the movement that began as a simple experiment: The First Purge.”

From the promo release:

"To push the crime rate below one percent for the rest of the year, the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA) test a sociological theory that vents aggression for one night in one isolated community.  But when the violence of oppressors meets the rage of the marginalized, the contagion will explode from the trial-city borders and spread across the nation."

Fair enough, eh? The Purge films have always felt like they’re taking viewers on a voyeuristic journey through a horrifying what-if scenario, so The First Purge seems pitched to reduce that storytelling device to its most logical conclusion. The preceding film in the series, 2016’s The Purge: Election Year, trod on similar ground, but its marketing push didn’t quite aspire to the same degree of real-world crossover as the new film appears to invite.

Universal Pictures on YouTube

Directed by Gerard McMurray from DeMonaco’s screenplay, The First Purge also is driving home its overt, of-the-moment social commentary ambitions by targeting Independence Day for its release date. 

That’s right, our first chance to get a glimpse of how this all got started will come on July 4, 2018.