Review: The Purge

‘The Purge’ is a thrilling, four-part drama that follows the premise of the original films: for one night only, everything is legal. While the films were limited in only following one or two characters each purge, the series trails several characters of different genders, ethnicities, classes and political alliances. This breadth of characters allows the series to really get to the core of the moral and ethical dilemmas created in the purge, and ultimately poses the question: what would you do if everything was legal?

The main characters include an ex-marine searching for his sister, a businesswoman trying to climb the corporate ladder, and a young couple at a high-brow purge night party. Perhaps the most interesting and complex character was Jane (Amanda Warren), an aspiring partner in a successful business who exploits the purge in order to progress her career. However, she cannot commit to her malicious plan, so as an audience, we watch her grapple with her morality and struggle to preserve her humanity.

However, the series did have some moments that felt somewhat forced. For example, the character of Miguel (Gabriel Chavarria) was rather wooden and stoic. This could be due to his backstory as an ex-marine, meaning his characterisation had an efficiency that was harsh to watch, especially considering that his storyline took him on an emotional and heart-wrenching search for his sister. His sister’s storyline, played by Jessica Garza, is much more gripping, as it follows a cult-like group that sacrifices indoctrinated children to participants of the purge, a new and dark direction for the purge concept.

Overall, the series matches and builds on the horror, tension and thrills promised by the original films – perfect for a Halloween TV binge. This series has two levels, on the surface it is a fantastic thriller full of violence and drama. On a deeper level, it is an exaggerated commentary on our current society, observing the political and social implications that ruling parties have on our lives, and questioning the intrinsic goodness of humanity.

Beth Griffiths

Image: [Amazon UK]