Here’s What Needs to Go Down in the Final Film ofThe Purge Franchise
Down with the NFFA!
There are many things I am obsessed with: Star Wars and Trek, Marvel, Wonder Woman, The Haunting of Hill House and other horror projects … it’s a very lengthy list, but among the myriad of sci-fi franchises and superheroes rests The Purge franchise. I have been weirdly fixated on Blumhouse’s social commentary slashfest since the first film was released in 2013, because I wanted to know everything there was to know about that universe. Were hospitals off limits? What about churches? How old are kids when it’s seen as socially acceptable to start purging? What are the unwritten social rules of this world?
Thankfully, the franchise has tackled many of my questions as the films have progressed; we went from rich home invasion thriller to full-on social commentary. No one is about to say the franchise isn’t heavy-handed or that it always sticks the landing when it comes to themes, but for what it is, it’s pretty damn good. However, all good things must come to an end, and writer James DeMonaco has told Entertainment Weekly that he has pitched the end to the franchise.
“I have it in my head,” DeMonaco told reporters. “I think I’m going to write it. I think it’s a great way to end it all. We want to end it all, I think, in this one, and I’m very excited. When I came up with the idea and pitched it to everybody, they seemed psyched, and I think it will be a really cool ending, how we take this one home.”
As someone who loves those good, concrete endings, I am thrilled at the news, mostly because I have also thought about the ending to the Purge franchise, because I think there’s no better way, in the current political climate, to carry the franchise forward than by showing it end. The New Founding Fathers of America and their twisted, racist, capitalist beliefs need to go down, and they need to go down hard. Instead of showing five more films of characters being victimized by the system, show us the characters beating the system and rebuilding it so it isn’t terrible.
There are so many characters who can return for a finale that would make things even better. Elizabeth Mitchell’s newly elected anti-Purge President, Charlie Roan, and her plucky security guard, Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo), are all but guaranteed to make a return, as Roan’s election in The Purge: Election Year led to reports of rioting breaking out across the country. Edwin Hodge will most likely return as Dante Bishop, the stranger who is first seen in The Purge and has been featured in all other Purge films except the most recent.
Hopefully, if DeMonaco wants to give his most devoted fan a gift, we’ll see Michael K. Williams’s antifa leader Carmelo Johns play a major role. Johns appears in The Purge: Anarchy and is mentioned in Election Year; he’s the closest thing to a leader that the anti-Purge movement has. However, if they bring him back just to lecture him on how violence is not the answer when the government is legally murdering people of color and poor people, then we can maybe skip his return, as that would be gross.
Others I would love to see return in some form, be it cameo or otherwise, would be the survivors of other Purge movies. From First Purge survivors Dmitri (Y’lan Noel) and Nya (Lex Scott Davis) to mother-daughter duo Eva (Carmen Ejogo) and Cali (Zoë Soul), to even the family from the first film, all of them could make small appearances to show how The Purge ruins lives and inspires people to fight back. It would be a powerful moment showcasing all these people rising up and pushing back, which is low-key what the moment needs.
Essentially, this film needs to not only show the country ending the Purge and the violence with it, but it needs to show the system being inherently changed for the better. The films have made a statement; now they need to indulge in some wish fulfillment. Show the characters not just surviving, but winning. Show things changing for the better. It would be easy to let the Purge films remain grimdark, but to end on a hopeful note? That would be a better statement.
I am excited to see how the stories of these characters end. I am incredibly invested in them, and so far, the films have not let me down. DeMonaco, who has written all four films, knows what story he wants to tell. Hopefully, the ending is just as good as the build up, and we can see meaningful change enacted somewhere, as our country teeters closer and closer to the world of this franchise every day.
(via UpRoxx, image: Blumhouse Productions)
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