Cert 15 97mins Stars 3

This brisk and effective prequel to the hugely successful horror action trilogy is a typically blood splatting mix of carnage and satire.

It shows how a far right government uses a mass psychological experiment named the ‘purge’, to exploit the anger of social deprivation to cull the poor and so consolidate political power.

When New York’s Staten Island is quarantined and for twelve hours all crime, including murder, is legal, some turn to prayer and others to party.

However it soon becomes a warzone, with violence inflamed by social media, and a drug dealer must run the gauntlet of violence to rescue his former lover. Y’Lan Noel has a muscular charisma as Dmitri, and Lex Scott Davis is dainty but deadly as Nya.

The costume department has great fun creating nightmarish masks and outfits as booby trapped teddy bears and needle gloves are macabre additions to machine pistols and drone warfare.

I doubt this first Purge is the last one.

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