Hold On! Gimme A Sec

The Forever Purge Review

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PLOT: After a large group of citizens decides that one night of The Purge is not enough, a small band of survivors must try to escape the mayhem and murder spreading across the country. 

REVIEW: For all of the horrors that Blumhouse has unleashed, The Purge franchise has always been an intriguing one. The series has explored several hot-button topics, and its presented a few ideas of just how desperate and angry we can be towards our fellow men. Add to that brutal murders, pitch-black satire, disturbing images, and you’ve got yourself The Purge. And now, it’s not just a one-time event. Nope. Now we have THE FOREVER PURGE. And speaking of controversial subject matters, this latest chapter fully could have been taken as a nightmarish vision of the current state of affairs. Is the latest in the franchise one of the better films in the series? Or is this Everardo Gout directed take one of the lesser entries?

After fleeing Mexico, husband and wife Adela (Ana de la Reguera) and Juan (Tenoch Huerta) find employment on the ranch of a wealthy family who offers them work. Will Patton is the gentle and kind head of the household, and Josh Lucas plays his troubled son, someone who has serious resentment towards Juan and Adela. Yet, soon, they realize that they will need to work together after things get out of control.  After surviving the scheduled Purge, Adela, Juan, and the rest discover that a few folks don’t think the night should end. All of this leads to an all-out explosion of violence and mayhem, one that explores in a not-so-subtle way how we view others in divisive times.

The Forever Purge, Josh Lucas, Will Patton, Ana de la Reguera, Tenoch Huerta, Evarardo Gout, James DeMonaco, sequel, Blumhouse, JoBlo.comThe Purge movies have always done something right as the casting is usually solid, with interesting choices for leading roles. I mean, they brought in Frank Grillo for a couple of flicks, and you can’t do much better than that. This time around, the impressive list of actors includes the previously mentioned, Reguera, Paxton, Huerta, and Lucas, with all four creating surprisingly sympathetic characters. The cast list also includes Cassidy Freeman, Leven Rambin, Alejandro Edda, Sammi Rotibi, and Joshua Dov – who gives an especially sinister performance. If you buy into the story, it’s a hell of a lot easier to sympathize with the family’s plight and the horrors surrounding them.

As far as the script by James DeMonaco is concerned, there is clear relevance to current news. While this isn’t shocking as we’ve seen this franchise tackle controversial subject matters before, this one feels a bit more weighty than those that came before. And yes, by setting it all in a violent horror flick, there is an almost jackhammer sense of subtlety about it. That’s not to say that it’s a bad film. Not at all. However, it is very likely to stir a few emotions from many viewers no matter what view they have on what’s happening in the world currently. And while the kills seem to be less graphic this time around, several moments of on-screen terror will give you the chills simply due to how grounded and occasionally realistic the brutality appears.

The Forever Purge, Josh Lucas, Will Patton, Ana de la Reguera, Everardo Gout, Tenoch Huerta, James DeMonaco, sequel, horror, Blumhouse, JoBlo.comEverardo Gout – along with DP Luis David Sansans – creates an interesting-looking feature. And the director certainly shows a bit of skill when bringing a little tension into the mix. However, in a couple of sequences, the action is a bit messy as you try and figure out who is attacking whom. Yet, at the same time, the nature of these intense scenes called for a little bit of confusion, and it occasionally worked in the film’s favor. Another aspect of the film that works better than you might expect is the use of jump scares. Some of them are incredibly effective, but occasionally they feel forced and unnecessary. Either way, the filmmaker does manage to effectively place the viewer in the middle of this scary and unsettling world, even if it’s not always a place you’d want to be.

The Forever Purge perhaps achieves what Blumhouse wants, and that is to find a way to keep the franchise moving forward. The new feature falls right in line with previous installments, especially how it has gone recently with Anarchy, Election Year, and The First Purge. It’s effectively disturbing at times, and much of that is simply because the main characters are all well cast and mostly sympathetic. While the stand-out performances are from Reguera and Huerta, Josh Lucas is terrific as a man conflicted by his personal beliefs. The Forever Purge is a mostly well-crafted sequel, one that fits well within what the franchise has become – for better or worse. If you appreciate the current direction, you’re more than likely to dig the mayhem on display.

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