The Purge Films Ranked: From Worst to Best
When The Purge hit theaters in 2013, it exceeded all expectations, becoming one of the most successful original film series of the decade. The franchise’s success can be attributed to its easily explainable and terrifying premise. In this near-future America, every year, on a designated day called “The Purge,” all crime, including murder, is legal for a 12-hour period. The subsequent sequels explored the social and political implications of this event, further solidifying The Purge’s legacy. Now, with the release of The Forever Purge, it’s the perfect time to revisit all the Purge films and rank them from worst to best.
5. The First Purge (2018)
The most recent Purge film, The First Purge, finds itself at the bottom of this ranking, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad movie. As a prequel to the franchise, it faced the daunting task of maintaining the momentum set by its predecessors. While some of the scares may feel familiar, and the exploration of the psychology behind “The Purge” could have been more in-depth, the film shines in its portrayal of the evil efforts of the New Founding Fathers of America. The plot takes a darker turn as mercenaries are sent to incite violence and target minorities. Despite its flaws, the film’s third act is thrilling and showcases the talents of its lead actors.
4. The Purge (2013)
The original film, simply titled The Purge, may not have fully capitalized on the potential of its concept, but it remains a fast-paced, tension-filled thriller. What sets it apart is its unique perspective, as it follows the wealthy Sandin family, who experience the night of terror from a position of privilege. The film delves into the moral quandaries faced by the Sandins as they come to understand the horrifying reality of The Purge. While the low budget limited its scope, The Purge laid the foundation for the successful franchise and featured a twist that added a whole new layer of meaning.
3. The Forever Purge (2021)
The Forever Purge falls in the middle of the pack for the franchise, combining intense action with thought-provoking social commentary. Centered around a group of extremists who believe The Purge should continue indefinitely, this installment pushes the concept to new and terrifying limits. The film gains relevance by reflecting recent real-world events, such as the storming of the U.S. Capitol. It serves as a warning of what could happen if divisive forces are not actively opposed, making it a memorable addition to the franchise.
2. The Purge: Election Year (2016)
Released during a time when political commentary took center stage, The Purge: Election Year presents a fictional world mirroring our own. It follows anti-Purge presidential candidate Senator Charlie Roan as she battles the NFFA’s Minister Edwidge Owens. The film’s astute observations about American politics resonate strongly, and its characters, particularly Frank Grillo’s Leo Barnes and Mykelti Williamson’s Joe, stand out as powerful protagonists. With tight storytelling and a chaotic climax, The Purge: Election Year delivers a genre epic that remains relevant even years later.
1. The Purge: Anarchy (2014)
The Purge: Anarchy takes the top spot as the best film in the franchise for its thrilling execution and expansion of the Purge world. Unlike the confined setting of the first film, Anarchy ventures out into the chaos outside. By following three distinct storylines, the film keeps audiences engaged and invested in its characters. This installment also delves deeper into the motivations behind “purging,” exploring revenge, jealousy, and sadistic pleasure. With relentless pacing and an iconic performance by Frank Grillo, The Purge: Anarchy remains a standout film that has withstood the test of time.
The Purge film franchise has captivated audiences with its terrifying premise and social commentary. While not every installment reaches the same heights, each film offers something unique and contributes to