Gerard McMurray takes the Purge series back its roots with his 2018 thriller – aptly named The First Purge – which tells the story of an extraordinary social experiment staged in New York which threatens to change the course of US history. The film is more substantial than its predecessors, driving at real-life socio-political issues but balances the hard-stuff with the traditional mindless thriller-fare that the series has become known for.
Set in an alternate America which has seen its government overthrown by the NFFA (New Founding Fathers of America), the film picks up with the announcement of radical new government policy which – as you can probably guess, given it’s the Purge franchise we’re talking about here – legalises all crime for one day each year.
When the reluctant residents of Staten Island find themselves under siege from masked killers who roam the streets during the first annual purge, a sinister truth comes to light which suggests that there are darker forces at play than just their fellow citizen’s most-depraved desires.
Marisa Tomei and Patch Darragh star as the government big-wigs behind the film’s experimental purge, Dr May Updale and Arlo Sabian respectively, while Jovian Wade and Lex Scott David feature as brother and sister duo Isaiah and Nya. Rounding out the cast are drug kingpin Dmitri, played by Y’lan Noel, and Rotimi Paul’s psychotic purger, Skeletor.
The First Purge – Tuesday 9:50pm on Sky Premiere.