How Will The Purge Deal With Showing All That Terror & Death On TV?

Photo: Courtesy of Universal Pictures.
Are you ready for 12 hours of terror? Speculative horror franchise The Purge is expanding on its four-film run with a new miniseries on USA, and the trailer for it just dropped at San Diego Comic-Con. Excuse us while we board our windows and install 15 deadbolts on our doors.
The trailer begins with a radio announcing the start of the Purge. From there, we see roving gangs, a lot of fire and firearms, and mysterious government entities looking very distressed about having to work on Purge Night. Bands of murderous Purgers and those being purged are split up into groups, as they generally attempt to stay alive. And, in a nod back to the films, the dystopian costumes are awesome; there’s a shot of a cult wearing eerie blue robes, and Purgers deck themselves out in apocalyptic murder gear.
For fans of the The Purge movies, the premise in the show will stay the same. The Founding Fathers of America, a totalitarian regime, still has control of the government. As their exercise in very dubious criminology, all crime (including murder) is legal during an annual 12-hour period called Purge Night, ostensibly giving Americans an “outlet” for their rage.
The ensuing lawlessness offers interesting (if critically panned) cultural criticism about race and class in America. The Purge ignores sexual assault; a strange dynamic, given that exploring the mechanisms of criminal rape culture would be illuminating (and terrifying) if done well. And considering the national discussion about guns, we’re curious to see if the series steps away from its Grand Theft Auto firearms liberalism.
The Purge series creators also chatted with Comic-Con-goers, where they shared more details about the series. The Los Angeles Times reports that the show will take place in a time period between the second and third films, when Purge Night is considered a success by the media and politicians. The 10-episode show, unlike the films, will also span a single night — each hour of the show represents one hour of Purge Night, similar to the timeline in 24.
The show also promises to speak to today’s social issues; executive producer Jason Blum discuss being inspired by Get Out. “[Scary movies] make people either turn off the TV or leaving the cinema scratching their head and thinking about the world at large,” he said to the LA Times. Horror and dystopia and police procedurals and social commentary? Count us in as Purgers — without the crime and murder, of course. You can watch the trailer below.

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