20 Socially Conscious Horror Movies

11 of 21

The Purge (2013)

The Issue: America, basically.

The Movies:

The Purge series of films takes place in a dystopian America run by fascists. They implemented an event called “the purge,” where all crime is legal for 12 hours. Despite all crime being legal, The Purge movies tend to focus on the big one — murder — as the rich either hunt down the poor for fun, or hide safely in expensive bunkers.

In the first Purge movie, a wealthy white family takes in an unknown African-American man to shelter him during the purge, and they are all attacked by a gang of racists. In The Purge: Anarchy, an off-duty cop tries to protect innocent civilians who are caught up outside during the purge, while an anti-purge group hacks the national broadcast systems to declare the annual event as the government’s excuse to kill poor people. The final (so far) film is The Purge: Election Year, where a U.S. presidential candidate who wants to eliminate the purge is targeted by both racist hate groups, and government agencies who want to maintain the status quo.

What It’s Saying:

Things seen in the Purge films: Pro-purgers wearing Nazi and KKK symbols, anti-purgers being largely working class and people of color, middle class white Americans trying to turn a blind eye (not participating in the purge but not going out of their way to stop it) and people who don’t want to kill but support the purge for economic reasons (socially liberal, fiscally conservative if you will).

The symbolism is clear with this one!