I found myself watching The Purge horror films the other night only to realize the first movie takes place in 2022 — wild, I know. Which made me think it was a great post topic.
The Purge franchise is near-and-dear to horror fans’ hearts. It’s the perfect blend of suspense, thrills, and gory horror all rolled up into one. And it’s just borderline could this really happen enough to make you wonder whether or not you survive.
Sure, some might say that the movies are simply exploitation films — especially considering the production of films 2 to 5 — but there’s no doubt that they’re entertaining to watch.
If you’re looking for a good scare, then you’ll want to add this list of movies to your own!
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Best movies like The Purge
1. Get Out (2017)
Get Out is a film I’ve seen a maximum of twice and the uneasy thrill is still stuck in my mind.
It’s an exceptional horror film — well written, well cast, well directed — so much that it’s set up much more like a traditional blockbuster drama that’s drenched in horror. Regardless of the design of the final product, if you’re a creepy movie fan and you haven’t seen Get Out, you’re missing out.
B-i-g t-i-m-e. Seriously.
Chris, a Black man, heads on a weekend getaway with his girlfriend and her very white family. And while things seem normal at first, he quickly realizes that something is very very wrong.
Terrifying and thrilling while keeping a real elegance attributed to horror films of a classier nature like Midsommar, Get Out is one of those movies like The Purge with a similar feel on a much smaller scale.
2. The Hunt (2020)
The Hunt is like a micro version of The Purge.
Twelve strangers wake up in a clearing with no recollection of how they got there, and no idea what’s going on. But they quickly learn that they’re being hunted by a group of powerful elites as a game.
However, their fancy, fun event turns into a disaster when it turns out one of the captives they’re up against is a little more skilled than they expected.
This is one of those movies like The Purge was highly controversial when it was originally announced, enough that the release was delayed by an entire year.
Why? Because several conservative news outlets weren’t OK with the term “deplorable.” Turns out it’s triggering for them and they believed the film should be canceled — which is rich for a group of news outlets that consistently make fun of cancel culture.
The real bummer is the movie didn’t live up to the hype.
It was eventually released and while the controversy made it seem edgy and mysterious — it turns out it’s just a B-list film with a great cast. It features the acting talents of Emma Roberts, Hilary Swank, and Justin Harley, among others.
This is not my favorite movie on this list, but it’s definitely worth a watch.
3. Us (2019)
Us really played with my head. I was confused, horrified, and terrified the entire movie despite not knowing what was going on at all. Talk about a psychological thriller.
Now, I have to say I enjoyed Get Out better than Us, but both are must-watch in my books. If you’re a horror fan and you haven’t seen Us, you need to head to your nearest digital rental store (I recommend Prime Video or Apple) and download that bad boy.
If you’re out of the loop, it tells the wildly scary tale of the Wilson family who is attacked by their doppelgangers.
Eff that, right? It’s wild, uncomfortable, and has a great cast.
4. Escape Room (2017)
This is NOT the Escape Room movie you’re thinking about.
How do I know that? Because this movie is horrible and pretty much no one has seen it… but weirdly at the same time, it’s on my favorite list.
It’s Tyler’s 30th birthday — hola, welcome to the club — and his girlfriend gets him a weird experience at an Escape Room. It’s a cool cloak and dagger mystery until the group realizes they could actually die.
I often tout this as the worst movie I’ve ever seen. But I fully admit that I (a) own it, and (b) watch it once a month. So, what does that really tell you about me?
Other movies like The Purge:
- Straw Dogs (2011)
- Hush (2016)
- Unfriended: Dark Web (2018)
- Spiral: From the Book of Saw (2021)
- Dead Silence (Unrated) (2007)
- The Strangers (2008)
- Ready or Not (2019)
- Hide and Seek (2005)
The Purge sequels
It stands to reason if you’re looking for movies like The Purge and haven’t seen any of the sequels from the horror film franchise — or the TV show on Prime Video, you might want to start there. There are currently 4 sequels for a total of 5 films, and 2 seasons of a show, which include:
The Purge: Anarchy (2014)
The original purge sequel of a franchise usually isn’t as good as the original, but viewers aren’t yet sick of the premise.
In fact the second film, The Purge: Anarchy, actually managed to beat out the first with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 57%. Granted, this isn’t anything to write home about, but did beat the 39% received by the first film.
In volume 2, a group of people unexpectedly end up as purgers when they get stranded on the streets. Real bummer.
This film received mixed reviews but was praised for improving on the original premise. Instead of taking place at a single location (the first installment watched essentially a single family’s home), it takes place around the greater Los Angeles area, and sees a little more by way of storyline.
If you’ve watched the first but not the second, I highly recommend putting the sequel on your horror movie list.
The Purge: Election Year (2016)
Unsurprisingly, the third film, The Purge: Election Year follows an annual purge event that takes place during an election year. Shocking, I know — they really went all-out on the title.
In this riveting addition of murder night, a police sergeant, Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo), is tasked with protecting presidential candidate, Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell). Will they survive or will they be murdered by Betty Gabriel’s character Laney Rucker?
You’ll have to head to Amazon Prime to find out.
The First Purge (2018)
The forth sequel of the purge movie series, The First Purge, follows the storyline of exactly what it sounds like… the first one.
The innovative (eye roll implied) New Founding Fathers of America decide to test a “psychological experiment” aimed at reducing the crime rates. That experiment? Crime is legal for 12 hours!
Of course, that’s what all of the series is about, but this one is the first. In it, we see two rival groups that face off.
My sister and I went to the theatre to watch this one… it was a Purge movie like the last 3. Nothing special, and nothing new. But if you’re looking for the same thrills… it definitely has them.
The Forever Purge (2021)
The latest installment of The Purge franchise dropped on June 30, 2021.
The Forever Purge sees a group who don’t think that the Purge should ever stop and set up a “Purification Force” — which seems to be a modern-day version of the KKK. This horror movie sees this new force target an immigrant family who struggles to survive.
While the premise is truly disturbing, reviews say that the film doesn’t live up to the story idea. But if you’ve enjoyed films 1 to 4, it’s worth a shot, no?
The Purge (2018 – 2019)
If you want to draw your Purge movie experience out, The Purge TV show is for you.
This Prime Original features 2 whole seasons of murdery good stuff. All the blood, all the guts, none of the glory — because killing really isn’t cool even if they try to make it seem like it.
You can access this bad boy with a monthly membership. In fact, that’s the only way you can do it. But you could easily hammer it out in under 30 days if you’re not interested in a long-term stay.