If one studio has come to epitomize immensely profitable horror franchises in recent years, it’s Blumhouse Productions. Most of the studio’s films have small budgets, yet tend to make serious bank at the box office. Perhaps the greatest example of this is The Purge franchise, which made its debut in 2013.
The original Purge was a fairly simple home invasion story, albeit with the terrific concept of a future dystopia that has legalized all crime for 12 hours, one night a year. After that film proved a hit, two sequels followed, serving to expand the world of The Purge and reveal more about how it works to the audience.
Every Purge film so far has been directed by franchise creator James DeMonaco, who will not be returning to helm the upcoming fourth installment, much to the chagrin of some fans. Still, DeMonaco remains on-board as writer and producer, and recently offered some new details on the sequel to Vulture.
According to DeMonaco, the fourth entry will actually be a prequel to the original, entitled The Purge: The Island. The story will focus on the first ever experimental Purge night, which was confined entirely to New York City’s Staten Island. Here’s some more info, in DeMonaco’s own words:
“I was wondering how you get people to stay for the first Purge, and what they do is they start monetizing it. People from Staten Island can easily go to Brooklyn for the evening, so what they do is start promising very decent sums of money for the very poor people in the neighborhood. It becomes a monetization of murder and violence, incentivizing killing and keeping people around for them to be victims. So you see the inception of how grotesque the idea of the Purge is and the manipulation upon the society.”
This makes sense, since as revealed during Election Year, the annual titular event is in many ways a means of population control and wiping out society’s so-called “undesirables” like the homeless and those living in extreme poverty.
The Purge: The Island slashes into theaters on July 4th, 2018. Also still coming in 2018 is The Purge TV show, which is slated to air on both USA and Syfy. The first season will run 10 episodes, and be set somewhere between The Island and the original film.