While fans may argue the actual quality of the Purge series, there’s no doubting that it’s one killer premise. Set in an America where, one night a year, all crime — including rape and murder — is legal, this franchise has dealt with both the horrific and political nature of this entire concept.
With the upcoming fourth film in the franchise, The Purge: The Island, the filmmakers will be taking audiences back in time in a prequel. In an interview with Vulture, director James DeMonaco revealed the basic premise.
“I said it’s the first experimental Purge, which I don’t know if I was supposed to say, but now I’ve said it, so you have it. Next July 4, it’ll be coming.”
That’s right. The film will take place on an island on the night of the first experimental Purge. The “island” in question will be Staten Island. The political hope from the government here is that, in some twisted way, this yearly Purge will help rescue a dying economy.
So did they convince residents of Staten Island to stick around during the mayhem? With an entire country under siege in the franchise’s later years, it’s more difficult to leave, but with an island, it’d be easy for residents to leave.
DeMonaco questioned the same thing:
“I was wondering how you get people to stay for the first Purge, and what they do is they start monetizing it. People from Staten Island can easily go to Brooklyn for the evening, so what they do is start promising very decent sums of money for the very poor people in the neighborhood. It becomes a monetization of murder and violence, incentivizing killing and keeping people around for them to be victims. So you see the inception of how grotesque the idea of the Purge is, and the manipulation upon the society.”
Eesh. Talk about taking advantage of the lower class. That being said, it’s a believable move from the government, and we can see the appeal for those people down on their luck. Should they survive the night, they may be a lot better off than before.
As a fourth film a franchise, there is a lot of pressure to either maintain the quality, or increase it with each entry. Obviously it’s too early for us to say how this one fares, but DeMonaco thinks this latest film will be the most crowd-pleasing of the franchise.
“It’s so kick ass in its third act. What’s fun too is there’s an anti-hero. More than the previous films, there’s a singular hero in this movie. This is one man’s journey, William, an anti-hero [who] was inspired by Eastwood in Unforgiven, so it’s this very cool, modern kind of badass who redeems himself through the story.”
This all sounds pretty great, and we can’t wait to see it all come together.
The Purge: The Island hits theaters on July 4, 2018.
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