Ranking “The Purge” movies from Best to Worst

“Commencing at the siren, any and all crime, including murder, will be legal for 12 continuous hours…”

Since I’m running low on new programming for television, I thought it would be the perfect time to go back and binge-watch all of The Purge films. I’m a huge fan of the franchise and I also absolutely loved the television series. I’m still disappointed that it was canceled, but I’m looking forward to seeing Purge 5, even though I’m sure the release will be delayed for some time.

There’s just something about these films. They are highly entertaining and addicting! The masks are creepy, the death scenes are cringe-worthy, and the characters truly make you want to root for them. Each film reveals another aspect of Purge Night, which prevents these movies from feeling repetitive while still keeping you on the edge of your seat.

Please note some spoilers are ahead.

Without any further delay, let’s find out exactly how I ranked The Purge films and why.


The Purge: Anarchy

The Purge Anarchy 1
Images courtesy of Blumhouse Productions

The sequel is rarely better than the original movie, but I absolutely adore the second film in the franchise and it is my absolute favorite one. Released in 2014, The Purge: Anarchy stars Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Kiele Sanchez, and Zoë Soul.

While the first movie focused on a home invasion, the second film gives us a chance to see Purge Night on the streets. We follow Frank Grillo’s character, Leo, who is the ultimate bad-ass of this franchise. Leo is looking to Purge after losing his son, but he runs into a group of strangers and decides to intervene to help save them.

Standout Purger:

Who can forget the Purger in the creepy God mask? The wave really seals the deal and makes you want to run for your life. I absolutely love that the mask later appeared in The Purge series (season 2), giving us a fun Easter Egg and a bit of an origin story.


The Purge

The Purge 1
Images courtesy of Blumhouse

The original Purge film really came out of nowhere. It was a lower budget film and it ended up being very successful. Released in 2013, The Purge stars Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Edwin Hodge, and Adelaide Kane.

Hawke’s character, James, designed the security system for their home, as he stays in with his family on Purge Night, confident that they will be safe. However, things take a drastic turn when his son lets a bloody stranger into their home to save him, which angers some local Purgers.

The original film has a completely different feel from the other films. We focus on one individual family and their fight for survival. The film is chilling and extremely entertaining and we really connect with this family.

Standout Purger:

The Purge 1 2
Images courtesy of Blumhouse

The leader of this group of twisted Purgers is quite sinister. He even takes off his mask and tries to reason with James and his family. However, once he doesn’t get what he wants, he proves to be quite ruthless and a worthy opponent.


The Purge: Election Year

The Purge 3
Images courtesy of Blumhouse

In the third film, we finally take some time to look into the mysterious NFFA and their ties with the government. Released in 2016, The Purge: Election Year stars Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell, Mykelti Williamson, and Betty Gabriel.

Once again, the amazing Leo is back and better than ever. He has somehow landed a job as the head of security for Senator Charlie Roan, giving us even more bad-ass fight scenes. Seriously, he’s unstoppable. Senator Charlie Roan is running for presidency and wants to put an end to Purge Night, but the loyal followers of the NFFA refuse to give up without a fight.

After an assassination attempt is made on Charlie’s life, she and Leo end up on the streets and run into some characters who try to help protect her, recognizing what is at stake. The third film has quite a lot of action, but there is a lot going on and it gets carried away at some points.

Standout Purger:

The Purge 3 1
Images courtesy of Blumhouse

Who could forget the candy girls? I mean, it seems like a stretch for someone to Purge over a candy bar, but these girls are ready to seek out revenge on Joe’s deli and they show up dressed to the nines in a car covered in twinkling lights. Talk about making an entrance…

Fun fact: Elizabeth Mitchell starred in my favorite show, Lost, and the infamous Apollo Bar is the candy bar in question. Gotta love a great Easter Egg!


The First Purge

First Purge
Images courtesy of Blumhouse

The annual Purge had to start somewhere, right? The First Purge is a prequel to the franchise, allowing us to witness the first actual Purge that took place. Released in 2018, the film stars Y’lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Joivan Wade, and Marisa Tomei.

The prequel focuses on an experiment in Staten Island. Residents are offered $5000 to stay home on Purge Night and others are given incentive to actually participate. After the dismal results, The NFFA decides to send in some guns for hire to make it appear that Purge Night is more successful than it actually is, as a group of characters fight for survival throuhgout the night.

The film has a lot of set-up, which gives it a much slower feel. However, the main action sequence toward the end of the movie featuring a raid on the apartment is extremely well done and may be my favorite scene of the entire franchise.

Standout Purger:

First Purge 1

They really nailed the creepy vibe and then some with Skeletor. He is the first official Purger in history and let’s just say that he is having the time of his life…

So, what’s next for The Purge? Well, the television series has been canceled, but I highly recommend that you watch it. It was a lot of fun! Purge 5 is in the works so hopefully we will get a release date soon!

Where to watch The Purge films: As of June 2020, films 1-4 can be rented on Amazon Prime & Vudu. The television series is available to stream on Hulu.

Which films did YOU enjoy most?

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on The Purge films in the comments section below. Thank you so much for reading and happy viewing!


Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl


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Ranking the top 5 moments from “The Purge” season 1 episode 1 Series Premiere: “Step Into The Invisible”

Happy Wednesday TV fans!  “This is not a test, this is your Emergency Broadcast System. Announcing the commencement of the annual purge sanctioned by the U.S. Government.  Commencing at the siren, any and all crime (including murder) will be legal for 12 continuous hours.”  So you have seen The Purge movies and you are ready to set your alarms once again to find out what happens on this particular purge night.  Only this purge is spread across 10 episodes on television.  After watching the USA network’s The Purge season 1 episode 1 last night, I was introduced to several new characters who are about to experience their very own Purge Night.  While some characters leave something to be desired, others did capture my full attention and I was particularly intrigued by the cult that centers on “stepping into the invisible.”  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the latest episode yet.  In last night’s episode, “What Is America?” the countdown to Purge Night has already started and we step into the lives of several new characters only to discover that they each have secrets of their own, which will most likely cause their past to bleed into their present on Purge Night.  My top 5 moments from The Purge season 1 episode 1 are:


“Rich people don’t kill each other on Purge Night.”

Two of the new characters we are introduced to are Rick and Jenna, played by Colin Woodell and Hannah Emily Anderson.  We learn that they are a married couple and are on their way to attend an NFFA party.  As a reminder, the NFFA stands for “New Founding Fathers of America.”  Even though we find out it is to negotiate a business deal that could eventually benefit the poor and less fortunate, it doesn’t seem like a great idea to do this on Purge Night, but their potential new partner apparently only conducts important business deals on this particular night.  Against their better judgment, Rick and Jenna travel to the party, reminding themselves that they do not want to join the NFFA.  Something tells me that they are not going to really get a choice in the matter, but I’m willing to somewhat believe that they are good people deep down.  Only we are presented with several flashbacks, which show Rick and Jenna involved in a ménage a trois with Lila.  We find out that Lila is the daughter of their potential new business partner but that she will not be at the party.  Jenna is clearly more nervous and apprehensive about her possible guest appearance than Rick, which has me already wondering what else happened between them.  Clearly the affair or relationship did not end well for someone, but we will have to wait to find out.


“You know I’m always watching and listening Jane.”

During the episode, we are also introduced to Jane, played by Amanda Warren.  Jane’s mother is in the hospital and she begs her daughter not to work on Purge Night.  Jane reassures her mother that where she is working is very safe and it seems like she has the respect and approval of most of her employees.  After a briefing about the importance of their business on this particular night from their boss, David, played by William Baldwin, he reminds Jane that he is always watching.  Later in the episode, Jane leaves the only secure floor of the building to meet a stranger by the doorway.  The stranger explains that they need to wait for the purge to begin and once it does, Jane is handed an envelope.  What’s inside?  We’ll have to wait and see, but it looks like Jane may be looking to purge after all.  Is she looking to take out her boss or is there another potential enemy we have not yet detected?


“The fear went away.”

The character I was most interested in was Miguel, played by Gabriel Chavarria.  Miguel is a Marine who has been away and is now on a mission to find his sister after he receives a cryptic letter from her.  Out of all of the characters we have met so far, Miguel seems to be the most genuine.  He has the potential to be our very own Leo from The Purge movies, played by Frank Grillo, but he needs to be a little bit rougher around the edges to achieve that level of bad-ass behavior.  Miguel is completely focused on finding his sister and we learn that they both lost their parents on a previous Purge Night.  Even though Miguel will do anything to find his sister, he does take the time to help out a stranger in need, which sets him up to be our moral compass in the midst of the masked monsters that emerge on Purge Night.


“Let the fun begin.”

During the NFFA party, the guests are given one last chance to leave before the Purge begins.  Rick and Jenna nervously glance at each other, but neither of them makes a move to the exit.  All of the guests are handed out masks of previous murderers like the Manson family.  They are told, “Commemorate those who paved the way and purged before it was legal.”  While Rick and Jenna do not want to wear the masks, they also don’t want to stick out too much at the party.  Jenna has already bonded with a maid and it’s clear that she has a good heart, but what will she do now that Lila has made her grand entrance into the party, played by the fabulous Lili Simmons.  Lila is decked out in a gorgeous green sequined gown and has not yet spotted Rick and Jenna.  Something tells me that Jenna’s good girl act is about to change now that she is trapped with a potential enemy.


“Step into the invisible.”

During the episode, we learn that Miguel’s sister, Penelope, played by Jessica Garza, is involved in some type of cult.  It’s clear that Penelope must have been broken and in need of help, as Miguel initially looks for her in a rehabilitation center.  While we do not yet know the particulars of what happened to their parents, Penelope seems very impressionable.  Miguel desperately tries to find his sister, as the bus takes off in the middle of purge night.  Everyone is wearing ceremonial garments and they continue to chant about the importance of giving and the invisible.  Miguel finds out that giving means “to be purged upon,” and that the invisible is a form of heaven.  When the first cult member steps off the bus, as purge night begins, he initially seems confident and satisfied with his decision.  However, once he begins to glance at the masked strangers in front of him, dangerously clutching their weapons, the fear begins to take over.  He is brutally beaten to death in front of the bus, as Penelope watches in horror.  Does she now realize the fatal consequences of these actions?  Will Miguel be able to get to her before it’s too late?  Stay tuned!

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own theories and thoughts on The Purge below in the comments section.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

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Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl


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