The Purge films are the premiere entries into a budding cinematic category this writer’s dubbed “Wokesploitation” – over-the-top genre exercises which wear their social concerns on their sleeves, ham-fistedly commenting on our current woes while providing plenty of splatter along the way. After Anarchy and Election Year updated Escape From New York for our current, tumultuous political climate, it’s only natural that a filmmaker of color should take over the franchise. After all, Election Year showcased a band of underground freedom fighters, looking to overthrow the crusty old white men who feed off the fear the government sanctioned chaos causes amongst the underclasses. It’s a series screaming for a point of view other than just another white male micro-budget horror director.
Thankfully, Blumhouse and Universal see it that way as well, and have hired Gerard McMurray to helm the fourth (not yet subtitled) installment in the ongoing hit satire. (Series creator James DeMonaco remains onboard as writer and producer; the film has a release date of July 4th, 2018.) McMurray’s debut feature, Burning Sands, chronicled brutal fraternity hazing rituals at an all-black college. Before that, McMurray worked as an associate producer on Fruitvale Station, Ryan Coogler’s soul-decimating account of Oscar Grant’s murder at the hands of white police officer. So, if there’s anyone who can bring a healthy dose of subversion to the series, it’s probably McMurray.
What do you guys think? Excited to return to the ever-expanding Purge universe? What elements do you think should be explored next? Sound off in the comments below.