3. The Purge (2013)
When examining this horror series as a whole, The Purge deserves credit for laying the foundations of the franchise. It establishes the rules, introduces us to the state of this alternative America, and it gives us an intriguingly focused, commendably economical (in terms of its low-budget approach) gateway into this broad-reaching futuristic dystopian premise. Unfortunately, there isn’t much that The Purge does better than the sequels that followed. The writing is clunky, which is an unfortunately common problem in every Purge movie, and the direction isn’t as confident as what’s featured in the follow-ups. Additionally, the considerably wealthy family we follow in this introductory film isn’t the most relatable, likable, or endearing batch of protagonists. Their closed off, bunkered down perspective also isn’t especially engaging or illuminating for what our country would look like if the Purge ravaged the land for one lawless night.