THE FOREVER PURGE – Review by Susan Granger
If you’re not familiar with the provocative horror movie franchise that made its debut in 2013, it revolves around a dystopian United States in which – on one night a year – it’s legal to commit any crime, including murder.
Invented by an insurgent political party called the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA), the government-sanctioned slaughter designates a specific 12-hour period and, in this installment, the hot-button issue is illegal immigration.
“Can The Purge help a divided America?” asks a news anchor, preparing for the bloodlust.
Hoping to survive are a married couple, undocumented immigrants who fled from drug cartel violence in Mexico. Juan (Tenoch Huerta) and Adela (Ana de las Reguera) live in southern Texas. While Adela gets a job in a meat-packing plant, Juan works as a ‘vaquero’ (cowboy) for the Tuckers, a wealthy ranch family.
Sympathetic Caleb (Will Patton) is the Tucker patriarch; disdainful Dylan (Josh Lucas) is his hot-headed son. “Your son doesn’t like me because I’m Mexican,” Juan tells Caleb.
While the Tuckers think they’re safe from terror and violence in their maximum-security bunker, Juan ingratiates himself to the family when he and his buddy T.T (Alejandro Edda) save them, along with Dylan’s pregnant wife Emma (Cassidy Freeman) and his younger sister Harper (Leven Ramblin).
As dawn breaks and sirens sound, instead of peace, the white supremacists’ killing spree continues.
Juan, Adela and the Tucker family soon realize that their only escape from the carnage is to go south in a giant truck, hoping to seek sanctuary in Mexico before the border closes.
“Help us purify this nation – once and for all” and “America will be American again,” intone the masked, swastika-tattooed, heavily-armed Purgers.
Blandly scripted by franchise creator James DeMonaco, the heavy-handed allegory is helmed by Mexican director Everardo Gout (Days of Grace), who over-utilizes the cheap jump-scares – which have become a mainstay of most low-budget Blumhouse Productions.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, The Forever Purge is a freaky, frustrating 5, as the purge becomes a scourge.