The First Purge is a prequel to the hit horror-action series that revolves around a single night where all crime in the United States is legal. Previously, the other films focused on a time when The Purge was already established, this movie hones in on the first time this event ever took place. Set on Staten Island, The First Purge not only explains this events origin but why the levels of violence are so high during the event.
Despite having a generally straightforward story, one can easily get lost if they aren’t paying attention or if they haven’t watched the other films. Here’s a breakdown of the ending and the unique post-credits scene that followed. We will be covering this under the assumption that you have seen The First Purge and are familiar with the general set up, plot, and characters.
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The First Purge Ending Explained
The third act rolls in right as teenager Isaiah is chased into a warehouse full of junkies by the deranged drug addict Skeletor. Trapped in a building full of crazies, Isaiah calls his sister Nya who leaves the safety of the community church to go find him. Eventually, Nya arrives where Isaiah was hiding, but is attacked by Skeletor. Before he can kill her, Isaiah stabs him in the back and the duo run away.
While this all seems chaotic, it turns out that citizens of Staten Island aren’t murderous psychopaths. Since the president and his political party – The New Founding Fathers – desperately need this test to work they decide to send in various militia and hate groups into the city. In an attempt to hide this from the public all of the people sent into the city are given colorful and terrifying masks to wear. This marks the first point where masks are heavily used during The Purge – which eventually leads to these items becoming a staple of the event.
The various groups sent in are designed to act as civilians and give the perception that everyone in Staten Island is willing to kill one another. When this is plan is discovered by the woman who designed The Purge she is sent into Staten Island and killed by a group of people. After viewing this, a representative from The New Founding Fathers has someone delete the footage of the creator’s death. Since she died on Staten Island her death can be spun as a tragedy and not an assassination.
Eventually, Isaiah and Nya meet up with their friends and they make their way back to their apartment towers. This location is viewed as the centerpiece of the experiment, so The New Founding Fathers send in a deadly group of mercenaries to slaughter everyone in the structure. Right as the soldiers arrive, the third main character Dmitri arrives with his own gang – but his posse is murdered by machine gun using drones. Since Dmitri is a badass and the highest profile gangster on Staten Island, he loads up with guns and heads inside to save Nya and Isaiah.
The reasoning behind this is because Nya and Dmitri used to date, but Nya left him because she chose to help people instead of hurt them. However, during her time dating Dmitri she learned how to use firearms and defend herself. Dmitiri also sees Isaiah as a pseudo younger brother thanks to his relationship with Nya. Outside of p[rotecting his community, this is his driving force for attacking the militia in the apartment complex.
We then get an extended scene where Dmitri attacks and kills almost all of the militia until he, Nya, Isaiah, and a few other survivors are trapped in their apartment. Right before they are killed by a rocket launcher, Skeletor shows up and attacks the soldiers when their back is turned. He manages to kill a few before being gunned down, denying Isaiah any revenge he wanted to take for being attacked by him prior to The Purge.
All of this commotion gives Dmitri enough time to throw an explosive at the soldiers, finishing them off. After this, an alarm goes off indicating that The Purge is officially over. The First Purge ends with all the citizens recovering from the attacks and proclaiming that they will fight the system after that night.
The First Purge Post-Credits Scene Explained
During the credits, we learn that The Purge is being viewed as a massive success and the president is already planning to implement it countrywide next year. We the audience know it was successful thanks to the militia that was sent in to show that it’s okay to kill anyone. This sets up the very long running theme that every Purge has government meddling to artificially inflate the kill numbers of The Purge.
Additionally, The New Founding Fathers are using this event to thin out the poorer citizens of the United States. With the country on the edge of an economic crisis, being able to kill off citizens would reduce costs. We see this in every Purge movie except the first one, as the chaos mainly happens in urban or impoverished areas.
Simply put, The Purge is a tool used by the government to kill minorities, the poor, and disabled so the government can save money.
However, if you stayed a bit longer you were treated to a trailer for the new Purge television series coming to the USA Network. Set to debut on September 4, this is a 10 episode event that takes place during a The Purge. The trailer itself doesn’t show a ton, but we do know it will take place in another city based on the map shown at the end. If you’re unfamiliar with this series, there was a short teaser released five days ago.
The Purge television series begins on September 4 at 10:00PM ET.