It’s not uncommon for a movie about a school shooting to be controversial but Kyle Rankin’s Run Hide Fight has become the subject of much discussion for a few other reasons. First, it’s association with Cinestate and Cinestate’s now-defunct Rebeller brand but more recently, it’s partnership with far-right media outlet The Daily Wire. It’s usually pretty easy to avoid The Daily Wire but they’re in the movie distribution business now, with Run Hide Hide marking their entry in this new arena. Big deal, right? Who cares? You just want to watch a movie. But suddenly, The Daily Wire has made just watching a movie a morally complicated, politically charged act. Ughhh.
Putting the politics aside for a second, let’s just talk about the movie; Written and directed by Kyle Rankin, Run Hide Fight stars a largely teenage cast including Isabel May, Eli Brown, with appearances from Thomas Jane (The Punisher), Radha Mitchell (The Crazies), Treat Williams (Dead Heat), and Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator).
“…Die Hard, but with teens…”
It’s senior prank day at Vernon Central High School. Every hallway, classroom, and teacher’s lounge is subjected to highschool hijinks and extravagant prom proposals. So naturally, no one is suspicious of loud noises, kids acting strangely, or false alarm fire drills. In other words, no one takes something like an “active shooter situation” seriously until they’re staring down the barrel of a loaded gun. After crashing a van through the cafeteria, several students round-up their classmates as hostages, shooting anyone who tries to escape or fight back. In a surprising turn, the leader of the group, Tristan (Eli Brown), has every student take out their phones to deliver a tear-filled goodbye to their loved ones before forcing them to livestream the proceedings for all the world to see. Meanwhile, the one girl in school with a Travis Bickle complex, who goes early morning deer hunting with her father before first period, is crawling around in the air vents getting ready to crash the party.
Tormented by the loss of her mother, Zoe (Isabel May), has been slowly cutting herself off from the world. Counting down the minutes until she can run away somewhere where her pain can’t find her, she keeps everyone close to her at a distance. Her biggest confidant and best friend is the ghostly image of her mother (Radha Mitchell) who appears to her for advice, and encouragement to either run, hide or fight her way to safety. She’s a smart girl and she sure as shit knows how to fight, even pulling some grade 12 chemistry tips from Barbara Crampton to shoot a hydrogen fireball at an attacker. It’s all fairly by-the-book skulking and sneaking with the occasional civil liberties jab by disgruntled police officers or the eye-rolling rhetoric from the school shooters looking to be remembered forever for their televised teenage terrorism.
I saw Run Hide Fight for free after an Instagram post tipped me off to a public YouTube screening last night. I could have done without the half-hour roundtable of radical Republican nonsense leading up to the screening, including a lengthy advertorial for a gun manufacturer just 5 minutes before the school shooting movie began. Personally, I didn’t think the movie brimming with Conservative beliefs or values but the distributors at The Daily Wire sure seem to think that this movie speaks to them directly. Maybe it’s because the shooters are live-streaming the attack, and nothing is more dangerous to the far-right than the big bad tech giants silencing their
hate speech free speech? Maybe it’s because guns save the day? Despite the fact that easy access to guns is maybe why America has more school shootings than any other country in the world? I don’t exactly know what’s resonating so deeply with the hardcore conservatives in this movie but surely vilifying it as a movie that “leftist-controlled Hollywood doesn’t want you to see” is a pill the Daily Wire’s audience can’t swallow fast enough.
If the opportunity arises for you to see Run Hide Fight without subscribing to The Daily Wire (which, unfortunately, is the only place the film is currently available), I’d encourage you to check it out. This is surely over-simplifying things, but it’s kind of a Die Hard–but-with-teens story. It’s exactly the kind of movie I would have paid $5 to rent if I was in the mood for something with guns and high-stakes but given the situation, Free is the only price I would accept. The alternative is financially supporting The Daily Wire which is gonna be a big No from me.
“If the opportunity arises for you to see Run Hide Fight without subscribing to The Daily Wire […] I’d encourage you to check it out.”
Did you also catch the free live stream last night? Are you planning on hacking into your crazy uncle’s Daily Wire account to watch Run Hide Fight? Let us know over on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and in the official Nightmare on Film Street Discord. Not a social media fan? Get more horror delivered straight to your inbox by joining the Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter.