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Movie Review: ‘The Forever Purge’ is a twisted thriller with themes of division and extremism

by Kayla Springmyer

The Purge franchise returns 4th of July weekend for its fifth installment: “The Forever Purge.” Spoilers ahead.

the forever purge universal pictures
Photos courtesy of Universal Pictures

The Purge franchise centers around a dystopian United States run by the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA). In this world, the NFFA has implemented an annual 12-hour window in which all crime is legal. As a fan of the previous Purge movies, I wasn’t sure what approach “The Forever Purge” would take. Staying true to its predecessors, there was no shying away from political commentary. This thriller, brought to us by Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions, highlights the themes of class, immigration, race and extremism.

In “The Forever Purge,” we follow Juan and Adela, a couple who recently fled Mexico due to cartel activity. They immigrate to Texas in search of opportunity. The movie also focuses on the Tucker family, who owns the farm Juan works on. We see the direct contrast of class and privilege among these two groups during The Purge, and every named character survives unscathed. However, the plot gains momentum shortly after this 12-hour window, when the violence and murder continues across the country.

We are introduced to a group of extremists. They believe in “Purge Purification,” targeting only immigrants and people of color with the goal of “purifying” America. The parallels between this group and the rise of modern-day hate groups, particularly white supremacists, is obvious. “The Forever Purge” essentially takes the division and hatred of present-day America, and applies it to the Purge universe. What would happen if you combined these two worlds? Complete chaos.

Without giving too much away, we as an audience follow these two families whose paths eventually cross, forcing them to team up in order to survive the bloodshed. Eventually, we learn that Mexico and Canada have opened their borders for Americans in need of asylum. Due to the increase in violence, Mexico closes its border. Our main group of protagonists must now find a way to illegally cross in order to survive the night.

“The Forever Purge” flips the narrative, putting white Americans in the position of being so desperate for safety that they are willing to do anything to make it out alive.

Halloween Horror Nights fans will find themselves noticing some prime opportunities for scare zones and haunted houses during this flick. For example, one scene resembles the HHN trope of walking through a room of dead bodies unaware of which are still alive and ready to attack. So far, Beetlejuice is the only haunted house announced, as well as the return of Jack the Clown, but it’s fun to imagine “The Forever Purge” transformed for the annual horror event hosted by Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood.

By the end of this film, we see Mexican immigrants, white Texans and Indigenous people come together to help one another survive against the hateful extremists. There is plenty of action and gore. However, at the heart of this movie is a genuine commentary on the division and hate currently at the forefront in America.

The Forever Purge - Official Trailer [HD]

“The Forever Purge” hits theaters July 2, 2021 just in time for Independence Day weekend.

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