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How To Watch In Chronological Order

Audiences can watch The Purge franchise in either chronological or release order. We break down the pros and cons of watching the series both ways.

After The Purge became an unexpected hit in 2013, it prompted the creation of a multi-movie franchise. But as the installments jumped around in time, it got increasingly difficult to keep up with, prompting numerous people to wonder which way is the best way to watch the Purge movies, especially if they’re new to the franchise. In reality, there are benefits to watching in either chronological or release order.

The first Purge movie takes place in a dystopian near future where, thanks to an extraordinarily high level of crime and overcrowded prisons, the newly-installed totalitarian American government sanctions an annual 12-hour period once a year in which all crime is legal. The first film specifically follows one family while they fight to survive the night. As the series progresses, it follows various Purges across the country and even tracks the origins of the very first Purge. More than just pure horror-thrillers, The Purge movies examine how the 12-hour period of time impacts people of different races and classes differently.

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Related: Why The Purge Was Canceled Before Season 3

The release of The Forever Purge adds more complications to the Purge movies’ ever-expanding timeline. At the same time, it provides audiences with more viewing options, allowing viewers to make a case for watching the franchise two different ways. Here’s a look at both ways to watch the Purge franchise and what each offers.

The Purge Movies In Release Date Order

forever purge poster masked purgers

The Purge movies were released in the following release order:

  • The Purge (2013)
  • The Purge: Anarachy (2014)
  • The Purge: Election Year (2016)
  • The First Purge (2018)
  • The Purge television series (2018-2019)
  • The Forever Purge (2021)

As the general story within the Blumhouse horror movie franchise isn’t terribly complicated, there’s no harm in watching the films in release date order. Watching the way them in the way they were released ensures that the audience understands references to events and characters as the movie goes on. Plus, it’s a fun opportunity to see the series progress over nearly a decade.

Related: Will There Ever Be A Purge 6?

The Purge Movies In Chronological Order

Every Purge Movie Ranked

For those interested in viewing The Purge films in chronological order, here is the correct way to watch them:

  • The First Purge (2018)
  • The Purge television series (2018-2019)
  • The Purge (2013)
  • The Purge: Anarachy (2014)
  • The Purge: Election Year (2016)
  • The Forever Purge (2021)

As there are only two movies in the franchise considered to be prequels by release order, it’s not too difficult to watch in chronological order, instead. While it was released in the middle of the series, The First Purge is technically the first movie in the franchise based on the in-universe timeline. It’s followed by the short-lived television show, with everything else after sticking to release order.  This allows audiences to witness the slow rise and gradual unraveling of the Purge. Viewers can kick off the movie-watching experience by learning how the Purge came about and then watch as the very people in power that built The Purge attempt to control it. Both ways are valid, but chronological order is the ideal way to watch The Purge movie series as it allows viewers to get the most out of the movies.

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