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The First Purge - Sky Cinema Premiere

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Lex Scott Davis, Y’lan Noel and Joivan Wade are among those facing the first Purge night - when all crime is legal - in this fourth instalment in the pulpy horror-thriller franchise

Lex Scott Davis, Y’lan Noel and Joivan Wade are among those facing the first Purge night - when all crime is legal - in this fourth instalment in the pulpy horror-thriller franchise.

The previous movies have hardly been subtle, but the prequel is even more blunt. This time, we're on Staten Island, chosen by an authoritarian new US government as the site of an experiment in licensed carnage (the brainchild of Marisa Tomei's sociologist).

It quickly becomes apparent, however, that the scheme is not so much a social safety valve as an excuse to kill off poor black and Hispanic people. And if the locals don’t prove sufficiently trigger-happy, there is a squad of mercenaries waiting by to escalate the mayhem.

The screenplay is clumsy and it’s all very obvious, but it’s easy to root for righteous activist Davis, her hothead younger brother Wade and drug kingpin Noel, especially when they're taking on baddies dressed in Klan outfits.

This film premieres on Saturday 2 March.