SOUND THE SIRENS: THE FOREVER PURGE FILM REVIEW
That blaring siren could only mean one thing: it’s Purge season. The Forever Purge is the most recent and potentially final chapter of the mammoth Blumhouse franchise. What unfolds is a redemptive narrative on par with the best of the Purge entries.
What started as a slasher series with socio-political themes has developed into an action/horror hybrid with ambitious commentary. Essentially, the concept has always been more interesting than any individual execution (so far.) It’s easy to appreciate the setting as a breakaway from the series’ signature cityscapes. Two thrilling body Horror scenes are included as well, going so far as to be reminiscent of Saw.
Ana de la Reguera’s Adela is the star of this spectacle, complete with a fascinating back-story.
As an action flick, there are the typical cringe-worthy lines that can be expected. Tenoch Mejia’s Juan saying, “Does this translate?” before firing off bullets comes to mind.
Most of what doesn’t work stems from the story, with a portrayal of racism that feels hollow with little nuance. While it’s refreshing to see Mexican director Everardo Valerio Gout directing Mexican leads, the storytelling comes from a perspective that feels out-of-touch with its own characters. We’re supposed to believe that undocumented immigrants would risk everything to save their racist employer. The empathy given to Josh Lucas’s Dylan Tucker feels strange considering his character’s view on separating races and nationalities. The fact that this “view” is passed off as a mere redeemable flaw is pretty chilling itself. Even an indigenous character spouts, “ some of you deserve another chance” to an undocumented immigrant. SOME? These lines show the writer’s true colors...which are several shades of white.
At the end of the day, The Forever Purge is admirable for its aim. It’s meant to inspire with bloody delight. Although it delivers more on the fun, it is gratifying to see Mexico’s portrayal as a symbol of hope in the final act. The positives here culminate in the hope that large studios continue to invest in redemptive Horror. Even the negatives serve a purpose: a reminder to hire people of color in all spaces...especially writing.