The idea of the Purge, the annual night of legal violence that forms the spine of the scarily successful franchise from Blumhouse Productions, has surprising origins: a road-rage incident involving The Purge creator James DeMonaco’s usually more mild-mannered wife. How did a small reaction (and some time the filmmaker spent in Paris) lead to a horror phenomenon? DeMonaco and producer Jason Blum recently spoke to Rotten Tomatoes for an exclusive deep dive on the history of the Purge films, from that inciting incident right through to the series’ new – and rumored to be last – movie, The Forever Purge, which opens in theaters Friday. How have the films managed to so closely mirror real-life events? (Remember 2016’s terrifyingly prescient The Purge: Election Year?) Why do the filmmakers ultimately see these dark cautionary tales as stories of hope? Tune in to find out.
The Purge has emerged from its high-concept original film (What if for one annual night all crime was legal?) into a lightly sprawling franchise, mixing horror, action, and politics all in one. If you want to watch the Purge franchise in order to see its events unfold chronologically, start with the conveniently titled First Purge, which was actually the fourth movie released overall.
To become a true Purge completionist, the next movie to watch isn’t actually a movie at all: It’s actually the TV series that ran for two seasons starting in 2018. The second season, considered the best thing to come out of the franchise by diehards, ends with an explicit tie-in to the original Purge movie, starring Ethan Hawke. From there, you can watch the rest of the franchise chronologically as they released in theaters, with Anarchy, Election Year, and now the latest, Forever Purge.
Watch all 5 Purge movies in order with the list below!
UPDATE: Later in September, Pop announced it cancelled the season.
About season 2:
Notorious serial killer Mick Taylor returns to wreak more havoc in the Australian outback – this time with a busload of tourists. Season 2 of Wolf Creek is a six-part limited series.
About the series:
Based on the horror film franchise that started with 2005’s Wolf Creek, the Pop series stars John Jarratt reprising his film role as the killer. The series is executive produced by the film franchise’s creator and director Greg McLean (The Belko Experiment, Jungle).
Tomatometer:Season 1 is Fresh at 83% with six reviews.
Wolf Creekseason 2 premieres in a three-night television event, starting Sunday, Oct. 21 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Pop.
About the series:
Based on the hit movie franchise from Blumhouse Productions, The Purge revolves around a 12-hour period when all crime, including murder, is legal. Set in an altered America ruled by a totalitarian political party, the series follows several seemingly unrelated characters living in a small city. As the clock winds down, each character is forced to reckon with their past as they discover how far they will go to survive the night. The 10-episode event series is written and executive produced by the film franchise creator James DeMonaco and led by Jason Blum.
The Purgepremiere will be simulcast on USA Network and SYFY on Tuesday, September 4 at 10/9C.
Step aside Voorhees, we got another Jason killing it at the movies. After just a few years, starting with Paranormal Activity, producer Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions have changed the horror landscape with its brand of so-called ‘low budget, high concept’ releases, carving out a spectacular niche in a market that has seen the alleged demise of mid-budget movies and utter reliance on superhero flicks and blockbusters. Continuing this month’s focus on all things spooky, our gallery looks at 24 best and worst Blumhouse horror movies by Tomatometer (and don’t forget to read our Five Favorite Horror Films with the guy himself).
This week on home video, we’ve got a well-received sci-fi action tale and the first half of the final season of a beloved TV drama, as well as a decent thriller, an okay sci-fi kids’ movie, and a subpar sex comedy. Then, of course, we’ve got a number of indie films, and two more from the Criterion Collection. Read on for details:
Bong Joon-ho (The Host, Mother) was the last of three celebrated South Korean directors to make his English-language debut this year (the other two were Kim Jee-woon and Park Chan-wook, who also serves as producer here), but he most certainly was not the least. Set entirely aboard a train that perpetually circumnavigates a frozen, post-apocalyptic Earth, Snowpiercer stars Chris Evans as the would-be leader of a rebellion of lower-class passengers who attempt to battle their way to the engine. Critics found the film a welcome surprise during the blockbuster-heavy summer; thanks to its boldly stylized mayhem, off kilter narrative, and twisty satirical edge, Snowpiercer was Certified Fresh at 95 percent. The Blu-ray release comes with an extra disc full of bonus features, including an almost hourlong doc on the adaptation of its source material, more general featurettes on the making of the film and its characters, an animated prologue, and more.
After six seasons, the hit drama that put AMC on the map is finally coming to a close, and appropriately enough for Mad Men, audiences will have to sit in suspense until next year to see the second half of the final season. In the meantime, you can pick up Part 1 of season seven, which aired earlier this year, on DVD or Blu-ray — assuming you don’t have all the episodes saved on your DVR. So far, the first seven episodes have garnered a Certified Fresh 87 percent on the Tomatometer from critics, who found comfort in the show’s subtle, steady pacing and superb writing and performances. The Blu-ray includes bonuses like commentary tracks, two featurettes on the era’s gay rights progress, cast interviews, and more. Hopefully, that’ll hold you over until the series comes back for its final hurrah.
It’s recently been announced that a third installment of The Purge will find its way to theaters next year, so it’s moving full steam ahead into franchise mode. Though the first film didn’t fare particularly well with critics, The Purge: Anarchy scored decent reviews, and all without the star power of Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey. This time around, young couple Liz (Kiele Sanchez) and Shane (Zach Gilford) are on their way to Shane’s sister’s house to barricade themselves inside during the annual Purge, but their car dies en route. As they flee a murderous gang, they meet up with a few strangers and attempt to survive the night. Critics were split on Anarchy, but most conceded it was an improvement over its predecessor, even if its ambitions far outweighed its impact, and rewarded its efforts with a 57 percent Tomatometer. The home release only carries one behind-the-scenes featurette.
Mix E.T. with *batteries not included and Super 8, and you might end up with something like Earth to Echo. In Dave Green’s debut feature, a cast of mostly unknown young actors play a group of friends who discover a small, robotic, owl-shaped alien in their neighborhood after receiving a number of unidentified signals on their phones. Naturally, the gang bands together to help “Echo” to return home. Though many critics rolled their eyes at the multiple allusions to E.T. (even the poster mimics the pointing finger in the earlier film), some thought Earth to Echo served as a pleasant enough diversion for the kids, and the result was a 48 percent Tomatometer score. A handful of special features on the Blu-ray release cover various aspects of the creation of the film.
In light of the recent hacked celebrity photo leaks, Sex Tape might seem particularly timely (or mistimed, rather); unfortunately, most critics simply weren’t impressed by much of it. Likable stars Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz play married couple Jay and Annie who, in a desperate bid to rekindle their sex lives, decide to film themselves attempting multiple sexual positions. When they inadvertently distribute the video to all their friends, they set out on a crazy overnight adventure to try and minimize the fallout. Unfortunately, most critics agreed that Sex Tape had neither enough bite as a raunchy sex comedy nor enough heart to work as a rom-com, rendering a half-baked mix of both. At 18 percent, it probably isn’t one of the better R-rated comedies to come out of Hollywood in recent years. Bonus features include, of course, a gag reel, deleted an extended scenes, and a line-o-rama — standard stuff for a comedy these days — as well as an interview with a real psychotherapist who offers her observations on modern sex.
Also available this week:
A Letter to Momo (77 percent), an animated film coming-of-age film from Japan about a girl learning to cope with her father’s death with the help of three mischievous spirits.
German comedy A Coffee in Berlin (72 percent), about a twentysomething slacker who attempts to right his life after a series of misfortunes.
Life After Beth (46 percent), starring Aubrey Plaza and Dane DeHaan in a comedy about a young man whose girlfriend dies and slowly transforms into a zombie.
The Scribbler (33 percent), starring Katie Cassidy in a graphic novel-based thriller about an institutionalized woman with multiple personalities who is subjected to an experimental new treatment.
And lastly, two rereleases from the Criterion Collection: Federico Fellini’s 1960 classic La Dolce Vita (96 percent) is available in a new DVD and Blu-ray; and Orson Welles’s clever documentary F for Fake (88 percent).
This week on streaming video, we’ve got a sequel to a popular thriller, a feelgood sports drama, a Certified Fresh sci-fi movie, a not so Fresh sci-fi movie, and the Sharknado sequel. In addition, Netflix has also added a couple of Woody Allen films, a beloved sci-fi spoof, an iconic romance from the 1980s, and more. Read on for details:
Jon Hamm stars as J.B. Bernstein, a sports agent whose clientele is short on major league stars. So he travels to India and holds a contest to find two strong-armed cricket bowlers who have the stuff to become big league pitchers.
Like its predecessor, The Purge takes place during a 12-hour stretch during which all laws are suspended and criminals run wild; this time, a grizzled cop (Frank Grillo) defends several law-abiding citizens while seeking to avenge the death of his son.
A group of kids discover a small, adorable, owl-like robot from another planet; together, our heroes embark on a coming-of-age journey to return Echo to his home planet and save their hometown in the process.
Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver star in this loving homage to classic sci-fi films; when they’re mistaken by aliens for real heroes, the cast of a popular space TV show is forced to contend with a cosmic threat.
Ep. 032 – Alan Tudyk, John Karna
Team Tomato talks about this week’s new movies, including The Purge: Anarchy, Planes: Fire & Rescue, and Sex Tape. Then, as the team discusses this week’s new TV premiers, Grae can’t believe the premise of one of shows. Finally, the show wraps with an extended interview with Alan Tudyk and John Karna, stars of the new movie Premature.
Some animated features offer enough magic and wonder to entertain the whole family, while others might keep the kiddies occupied but won’t do much for their parents. The critics say Planes: Fire And Rescue is an example of the latter; the visuals are striking, but the characters are bland and the action is predictable. This time out, Dusty Crophopper (Dane Cook) has left racing behind to join Blade Ranger (Ed Harris) and his squad of fire and rescue planes, who must contain an out-of-control forest blaze. The pundits say Planes: Fire & Rescue is sure to delight vehicle-obsessed children, but their parents or guardians are likely to find it thin and inoffensive at best.
If you’re in the mood for disreputable B-movie thrills ‘n’ chills, critics say you could do worse than The Purge: Anarchy, a ludicrously-plotted, blood-drenched sci-fi action flick whose pulpy pleasures are unfortunately undermined by its overreaching message. Like its predecessor, The Purge takes place during a 12-hour stretch during which all laws are suspended and criminals run wild; this time, a grizzled cop (Frank Grillo) defends several law-abiding citizens while seeking to avenge the death of his son. The pundits say The Purge: Anarchy is gritty and tense, but its predictable narrative and allegorical pretensions dull its occasionally sharp edge. (Check out this week’s 24 Frames for a gallery of horror sequels.)
Sex Tape promises a playful blend of heart and raunch, and it stars two dependable comic talents in Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel. Unfortunately, critics say the movie has a few good moments but never generates the kind of manic energy that this kind of farce requires. Diaz and Segel star as a married couple looking to add a dash of spice to their stagnant relationship. However, when they accidentally distribute a video of their private activities, our heroes go to absurd lengths to destroy the evidence. The pundits say Sex Tape too often strains for laughs while keeping its naughty premise from achieving full boil. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Diaz’s best-reviewed films.)
Also opening this week in limited release:
Fanny, a drama about a woman who marries a rich man before the father of her child realizes he loves her, is at 71 percent.
Alive Inside, a documentary about how music helps to engage people with debilitating memory loss, is at 70 percent.
A Five Star Life, a drama about a luxury hotel critic dealing with a shakeup in her support system, is at 60 percent.