The First Purge ★½

Yet another piece of garbage addition to what is quite honestly the worst mainstream theatrical horror franchise since Paranormal Activity, The First Purge may be the most slick and well-made entry in the series in terms of overall aesthetic sensibility (it does help somewhat that a different director and a noteworthy cinematographer with prior experience in the genre are on-board), but it’s a poor excuse for a prequel that still suffers from every problem the other three installments were hampered by, from the cardboard-cutout characters that consist of unlikable jackasses and obnoxious stereotypes who make incredibly moronic decisions simply because the plot requires it to the overly ham-fisted, thoroughly empty-headed social satire that supposedly condemns violence whilst wallowing in it, even going as far to tastelessly exploit imagery of real-life tragedies.

The Purge is to political analysis what CinemaSins is to film criticism. It’s a shallow, aggressively childish exercise in surface-level commentary that takes generically loud, angry, obnoxious potshots at the easiest targets out there, and yet it has absolutely nothing new or original to say about any of the subject matter it’s tackling. Every time I see people singing praises about these films, I notice that they tend to either questionably gloss over the politics or pretentiously go on about how they get so lost in how “deep” and “thought-provoking” they are.

Fuck this.

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