THE FOREVER PURGE – Review by Susan Granger

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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.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.