The Forever Purge follows Adela, her husband Juan, and the Tucker family. Adela and Juan are Mexican immigrants who were smuggled into the States ten months before the Purge. The Tuckers are wealthy Texan ranch owners who hire Juan as a ranch hand. They can afford to have their home kitted out to protect them during the Purge, while Adela and Juan go stay in a shelter for the night. The Purge night is quiet for both families.
Things go askew a few hours after the Purge ends. Adela gets caught in a trap that would make Jigsaw proud, and she is surrounded by bunny-masked Purgers who inform her this is the “forever Purge.” We are led to believe that they are Purge Purifiers, white supremacists whose main focus is to rid the country of all “foreigners.” A co-worker comes by and rescues Adela by killing her attackers. The police show up and arrest the two of them, throwing them in a police van. An explosion by a forever Purger kills the cops and knocks over the van, allowing them to escape.
Meanwhile, the Tuckers are dealing with their own forever Purger. Kirk, one of the ranch hands, hid out until morning and is there with some of his buddies, claiming this is a revolt by the poor against the rich ranch owners. The Tuckers are tied up, and Pa Tucker takes a bullet to the head before Juan and T.T., another immigrant ranch hand, show up with guns and save the Tuckers: Dylan, his sister Harper, and his pregnant wife, Cassie. They pile into a big rig and set off to find Adela.
Martial law is enacted as groups of forever Purgers spring up across the country in what law enforcement suspects are coordinated attacks. The situation has gotten so bad that Canada and Mexico open their borders to allow Americans seeking asylum. With Adela picked up, the group has six hours to make it to the Mexican border.
The Purge films have always had socio-political messages, and The Forever Purge is no different. In fact, this film probably has the strongest and most obvious messaging in the franchise. Unfortunately, there are two issues that the forever Purgers seem to be purging against, and that seems to take the wind out of the sails of both reasons. Early on in the film, we are introduced to both white supremacists looking to make the country less diverse; and poor people who are rising up against the rich. Both concepts are given short shrift, with rich versus poor seemingly abandoned in favor of immigration commentary.
Ana de la Reguera, who plays Adela, is the stand-out in The Forever Purge. She is the star of the film; she is the hero of the film. The other characters are really there to make Adela shine. Will Patton as Pa Tucker is a kindly, though brief, role. Josh Lucas’ Dylan seemed to be set up as a villain, with his belief that people of different races and nationalities should “stick with their own.” He didn’t exactly redeem himself for that comment, but he also didn’t get any worse.
The Forever Purge loses a bit of horror cred. There is still plenty of death, but most of it is action-movie gunfire. Lost is the tense stalking of the Purgers, and there are not many creepy masks. I guess when purging becomes an insurrection, no one is concerned about covering their face. After the last four years, when I was getting pummeled with anti-immigration rhetoric, The Forever Purge feels less like a horror movie and more like a documentary.
If you are a fan of The Purge franchise, you are going to see this one, and it is a fun movie that continues The Purge fun. But if you are new to the franchise, don’t start with this one.
As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 6 equates to “Decent.” While there are a few minor issues, this score means it fails to reach its full potential and is a run-of-the-mill experience
Disclosure: The studio provided a screener of the film for our The Forever Purge review.