This weekend's box office featured a truly amazing upset -- "The Purge," a micro-budgeted thriller made a staggering $36.4 million, handily trumping the starry, outrageously expensive comedy "The Internship." The fact that the movie was a smart, provocative take on the horror genre, set in a utopian society that maintains order by allowing an annual, 12-hour period of complete lawlessness, makes its success even sweeter.
Of course, when a movie that was produced for $3 million winds up with almost $40 million on its opening weekend, a sequel is pretty much guaranteed. Thankfully, one of the very best things about "The Purge" is the world that it created is one in which a seemingly limitless number of potential spin-offs, sequels or prequels could be derived. It's with this that we theorize the five places a potential sequel could go...
One of the things that immediately struck us upon leaving the theater was the idea that, in this futuristic world, there will be people who will train the entire year for the chance to go out on The Purge and just rampage. Wouldn't it be fun to follow a collection of these meatheads who spend the other 364 days of the year preparing for the mayhem they will undoubtedly take part in? What does their day look like? Do they go to work and then spend the rest of the night at the gym? Do they do weapons training? Is their daily interaction painfully mannered, as to not arouse suspicion, keeping the lizard underneath their human skin carefully concealed? This is a really fascinating prospect, and one that would allow for a little bit more scope, as the original "Purge" was pretty much set a couple of days before the Purge and during it.
The New Founding Fathers
There are a number of references in "The Purge" to the New Founding Fathers. This could give way to, maybe not a prequel, but at least an entry that goes into the historical context of The Purge. Who are the New Founding Fathers? How did they come up with the idea of The Purge? Were there, like, protracted congressional hearings about it covered on C-SPAN or anything? The forward momentum of this version could be about a journalist or plucky youngster trying to expose the hypocrisy of The Purge, which could result in a nifty found footage movie or mockumentary.
The Purge Games
At some point during "The Purge," a character makes an offhanded reference to spending the lawless evening at home, watching The Purge Games. Which of course leads to the question, WHAT ARE THE PURGE GAMES? It's probably some kind of hyper-violent version of "The Hunger Games," or maybe a televised mass execution. This is one of the more intriguing options for a sequel or spin-off -- exploring what The Purge Games are. How do you become a participant? Who oversees The Purge Games? How are they scored? What is the objective?
One of the more intriguing aspects that you could explore in a subsequent "Purge" movie would be the idea of someone who is a detective or lawyer for the other 364 days. What happens to an active investigation when criminality is unleashed like it is on The Purge? Or what happens to a detective who is pursuing a bad guy but isn't getting anywhere thanks to the often-confounding nature of the legislative system and the criminal courts process? What if, during The Purge, that detective finds himself on the other side of the law, able to enact the justice he knows he rightfully deserves but is denied in everyday life? Now that sounds really exciting. This could be "The Purge," film noir style.
The 99 Percent
While the original "Purge" took place in an affluent neighborhood, what if a sequel took place in a lower class area? What happens to neighborhoods that are already prone to violence and (more importantly) don't have the means to protect themselves when systemic protection is no longer available? Does everything just descend into chaos? Is there mass looting, riots, and murders? Does anyone step in and try to save these areas, or do they just watch them burn? If the first "Purge" was all about the one percent, then there could be a sequel for the other 99 percent.