The First Purge – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

The First Purge Theatrical Poster

The Purge franchise is kind of a conundrum. The premise for The Purge has always been interesting but they’ve always been a hit or miss in terms of quality. Sadly, The First Purge marks the lowest point in the franchise’s history. It comes at a time when politically and socially it couldn’t be any more relevant. The film does play into the current socio-political climate at first but eventually, it completely devolves into an unfocused mess. Unfortunately, the film’s greatest scares do come from the parallels between current events and the film. It’s just not around enough to properly scare us or make us think.

That’s why The First Purge ultimately fails. There is a lack of scares and intensity which is something that the franchise has always had. Even when the films were bad, there were always the scares and tension to fall back on. However, The First Purge doesn’t have a good villain stalking and roaming around at night. The film introduces Skeletor but he’s not only hokey but he’s barely in the film. As a result, it doesn’t feel like the main characters are in any sort of danger. The excess of characters and their individual storylines also makes it hard for audiences to care about them. The main characters unbelievably become unbelievable action badasses when the film reaches its climax too.

Y’lan Noel brings a calm, cool, and collected demeanor to Dmitri. In addition, since his character has the biggest character arc, he also provides a performance with a good amount of emotion. Since this is a horror thriller though, there isn’t much fear in his performance. Unfortunately, the same can be said about Lex Scott Davis. Because she’s a strong character, there’s only one emotion that she shows throughout the film.

Overall, The First Purge is a bland horror thriller that lacks any tension and scares. When the film had a chance to be a socio-politically relevant film, the film ultimately is a low point in the franchise. Maybe this is a franchise that needs to go through its own purge in order to become a relevant franchise again.

Movie Rating: 2/5 atoms

Video
The First Purge

The First Purge hits 4K Ultra HD with an HDR10 4K transfer and a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The First Purge’s video transfer is phenomenal. First and foremost, the contrast is great as there’s a nice depth to the picture. There is a nice illumination to the bright areas and thankfully, there isn’t any bloom in these areas either. The black levels are inky black without any sort of crushing whatsoever. This is a good thing because of the fact that the film takes place mostly at night. As for the colors, they’re a bit inconsistent. But that’s because of the film itself and not because of the transfer. At times, the colors pop from the screen and other times, there’s a slight desaturation to the colors.

It’s slightly surprising to see just how clear the picture is. Especially since the video transfer is upscaled to 4K. There’s a slight hint of softness in the edge detail but it’s not that terribly noticeable. Also, there isn’t much film grain in the video transfer as well. Overall, the video transfer looks great.

Video Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Audio
The First Purge

The First Purge hits 4K Ultra HD with a DTS:X and a core 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. The review will reflect The FIrst Purge‘s core 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. The audio mix is very dynamic as it is immersive. For the most part, the action completely fills up the soundstage and immerses you within the scene. From the gunfire and the horn signaling the start of the Purge, the sound effects dynamically, accurately, and seamlessly fill up the soundstage. Not to mention, the music also plays a big part in the audio mix. Each instrument blasts through each speaker individually and it feels as if the music is playing live in your living room. Thankfully, none of these audio layers seem to overpower the dialogue. Also, the LFE comes in loud and clear during all of the action scenes. Overall, this is a fantastic audio mix.

Audio Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Special Features
The First Purge

The First Purge‘s 4K Ultra HD disc has the following special features on the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray:

  • Deleted Scene
  • A Radical Experiment
  • Bringing the Chaos
  • The Masks of The First Purge

The deleted scene would’ve benefited the film by making Skeletor a viable villain. The scene would’ve put a cap on the Isaiah and Skeletor storyline. “A Radical Experiment” is a standard EPK-style documentary where the filmmakers and cast briefly talk about the film. “Bringing the Chaos” and “The Masks” featurettes are interesting because it looks at the various elements in the film. However, the text overlays are a little bit too much and the featurettes are a bit short as well. Not to mention, the featurettes don’t really go too in-depth. about their subject matter.

Special Features Rating: 2/5 atoms


Overall, The First Purge is a needless prequel to a film that could’ve been excellent commentary about today’s socio-political climate. The video transfer and the audio mix are both amazing. Unfortunately, the special features are a bit lacking in material and depth.

Overall Rating: 3/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

About author

Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1353 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.