by Priya, Julia, and Nico
[originally published July 2021]
Released on July 2, 2021, The Forever Purge is the most recent installment in the beloved Purge horror franchise. This was our first movie theater experience since the coronavirus, so we were feeling both fear and excitement. Indeed, the changes our world has undergone over the past year and a half became immediately apparent to us when we walked into the Elyria Regal theatre and found out that they don’t use the ticket booth anymore. You have to pay your fare at the section with the concessions, where they sell big cup soda and pretzel bits with cheese dip — the real money-maker of the theatre biz. They had a big cardboard cutout of James Bond for No Time to Die in the theatre “lounge” (?). Do you guys remember when they didn’t release that movie because, due to its themes of death, it was deemed insensitive to the current state of the world?
For background, the Purge movies in order include: The Purge, The Purge: Anarchy, The Purge: Election Year, The First Purge and finally, The Forever Purge. For those that have seen them all, you will be familiar with these films' desperate attempts to subvert American political and social sensitivities to race, class, and even gender, leaving us with the question: well, which one are we gonna get?
Anyways, we went into theatre 8, which is where they were playing Forever Purge. There were two guys in the back and we sat near the front. It smelled like classic movie theatre with a little bit of a dampness — maybe from the lake effect? Who knows. This Regal had everything. So, we squeezed into our seats with sour straws, junior mints, raisinettes, and even a photo booth picture of us doing Charlie's Angels pose. The movie came on and the first thing our dear friend Nico said was “Oh, I forgot it is a migrant story.” The truth is that Nico was right — it is. This Purge is indeed a migrant story. Accordingly, the United States-Mexico border makes many appearances.
Basically, this movie was very bad from start to finish. The premise is that the guys who like to kill people during the Purge want the Purge to be actually forever. So, our main characters embark on an asylum-seeking quest to safety as the merciless Purge becomes a daily part of American life: the destination? Mexico. Hmmm, quite a thinker... By the end, our main characters settle their differences, and live in bliss in Mexico while America goes up in flames as the perpetual battleground for the um: The Forever Purge, or whatever.
This got us thinking...what’s next? How will this movie empire/franchise (same diff) dive even deeper and tackle another race, class, or gender issue in our late-capitalist awesome society wrought with race, class, and gender controversies? Will Ethan Hawke ever join this franchise again? One has to wonder how far can the Purge push our society towards true equality...will their strong message of hope and unity sink into our broken society of movie-goers and movie-haters alike? Or will the Purge’s awesome moralizing tales fly right over our heads, like they have done time and time again? Ultimately, only time will tell.