James DeMonaco: The First Purge holds a mirror up to our society

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

The First Purge Gerard McMurray

THE PURGE creator James DeMonaco wrote and directed the first three films in the franchise (THE PURGE, THE PURGE: ANARCHY, THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR), and while he has handed directorial duties on the upcoming prequel THE FIRST PURGE over to Gerard McMurray, DeMonaco is still involved with the film as writer and producer.

Earlier this month, a trailer for THE FIRST PURGE showed us that a character played by Marisa Tomei has a major role in the creation of The Purge, and DeMonaco told Entertainment Weekly (who got the exclusive first look at the image above) more about her character: 

She feels that a societal catharsis would be good. She is a psychologist who has created the Purge, and she actually does believe it’s something that society needs. It’s a very angry society. She’s seen a citizenry that is rioting quite often in the country. She actually believes in — it’s a weird thing to say — the purity of what the Purge might do and she wants to try the experiment. She doesn’t see that the government, the NFFA, who’s putting it into effect has a completely different agenda."

The experimental first Purge is held on Staten Island, and DeMonaco revealed that there is something in it for residents who choose to participate in the twelve hours of lawlessness.

There’s a monetary component, meaning if you participate, and you stay on the island during the Purge, you will receive a $5,000 stipend. So, mostly, poor people stay and rich people leave. But obviously there’s twists and turns, and government manipulation, and all these allusions to the Trump administration."

Distributor Universal has made the allusions to the Trump administation clear in the marketing for THE FIRST PURGE; even the poster is simply the image of a red cap. When asked about the allusions, DeMonaco answered, 

Is [the film] about Trump? Listen, I think good science fiction puts a mirror up to society. What people respond to with The Purge is that it is reflecting on our times, where many people feel that they’re not being taken care of. So, I think that it definitely reflects what’s happening right now."

Starring Marisa Tomei, Chyna Layne, Lex Scott Davis, Luna Lauren Velez, Melonie Diaz, Mo McRae, and Y'lan Noel, THE FIRST PURGE has the following synopsis: 

Behind every tradition lies a revolution.  Next Independence Day, witness the rise of our country’s 12 hours of annual lawlessness.  Welcome to the movement that began as a simple experiment: The First Purge.

To push the crime rate below one percent for the rest of the year, the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA) test a sociological theory that vents aggression for one night in one isolated community.  But when the violence of oppressors meets the rage of the marginalized, the contagion will explode from the trial-city borders and spread across the nation.

THE FIRST PURGE reaches theatres on July 4th. I'm a fan of this franchise, so I will definitely be there to see it.

Source: EW.com

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of JoBlo.com, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.