There’s nothing wrong with a little twisted fun.
The Purge franchise is making massive bank. Not including the new film that came out on July 4, the films have made over $300 million against a budget of under $40 million.
The First Purge looks to continue this trend. And if you’re among the many who enjoy the franchise–as the box office returns clearly indicate–check out these similar films. Many are exploitative and crass. Most take a satirical approach to human violence. Others explore fear and personal choice. And all of them feature deranged, giddy psychopaths.
Here are 10 other movies that fans of The Purge need to watch. And if you liked this gallery, check out 15 Fun and Patriotic Movies and 30 Twisted and Sick Horror Movies as well.
10. Wolf Creek (2005)
This grimy, low-budget Australian horror flick features three backpackers in the outback and the cackling, psychotic bushman who pursues them. Like The Purge, this movie is covered with a layer of figurative filth. Wolf Creek is a visceral, cruel experience, and you’ll want to take a shower after finishing it.
9. You’re Next (2011)
Home invasion movies like The Purge are reliably scary, but You’re Next, which was shot on a shoestring budget in four weeks, manages to be uproariously funny as well. The home invasion is secondary to the toxic, awkward dynamics between the family members getting stalked. Think The Family Stone, but with a lot less schmaltz and a lot more blood.
8. Hush (2016)
Hush is a fantastic “What if…?” home invasion movie: “What if the hero of the film was deaf?” This is a horror film that rarely cheats; there are very few jump scares and a whole lot of mounting dread. Some of the scariest moments are before Maddie realizes there’s an intruder; you see him stalking in the background, unbeknownst to her, making all sorts of noises you wish she could hear.
7. The Strangers (2008)
This is a mean-spirited, nihilistic piece of work. After a failed marriage proposal, a couple retreats to a secluded vacation home, where they are stalked and hunted by three masked invaders. Why are they doing this? What do they have to gain? There isn’t a clear, good reason beyond sheer sadism. Alfred Hitchcock famously said, “Always make the audience suffer as much as possible. The Strangers exemplifies that approach.
6. Hide and Seek (2013)
This is not the corny Robert De Niro and Dakota Fanning suspense thriller about multiple personalities. This is an unrelated, creepy Korean film about squatters, who live in other people’s homes when their owners aren’t there. Hide and Seek has a final, clever twist that will catch you off guard if you’re not paying attention. And after you see it, you’ll want to watch the entire film, again, to appreciate it with new perspective.
5. Circle (2015)
This film could just as well be a stage play as a film. Circle takes place in one room; fifty people are trapped inside, standing in a circle, and one of them drops to the floor, dead, every two minutes. It’s a fun psychological trip that gets tenser as the body count piles up.
4. We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011)
This is a thriller with a lot of of awkward pauses and silences; a sense of dread hangs over everything like a black cloud. It’s about a mother who realizes that her only son is a burgeoning psychopath. It explores the depth of a mother’s love and the dangers of denying the truth.
3. Battle Royale (2000)
This Japanese dystopian film, based on the novel of the same name, is gleefully exploitative. As a way of keeping the youth under its thumb, the Japanese government annually traps a group of students on an island. The students are forced to fight to the death until only one survivor remains. It’s The Hunger Games before there was The Hunger Games.
2. Land of the Dead (2005)
George Romero’s “Dead” films are all worth watching. But the fourth one, Land of the Dead, deals with the same themes as the Purge franchise. The zombie apocalypse is a framing device for a critique on social class and economic disparity. Even in this new, dangerous world, the poor suffer so that the wealthy will not.
1. Snowpiercer (2013)
Pound-for-pound, Snowpiercer is one of the finest films of the past decade. Directed by Bong Joon-Ho (The Host, Okja) and written by Bong and Kelly Masterson, Snowpiercer takes place on a planet Earth that is freezing; it’s the result of a climate change experiment gone horribly wrong.
The last human beings are trapped on a speeding Snowpiercer train, which is divided between the poor (the back of the train) and the wealthy (the front of the train). When the back of the train stages a coup and takes over Snowpiercer, car by car, the result is both thrilling and satisfying.
Let us know what you think of all these films in the comments.