Let’s put it simply: this movie is a good slap to the senses that a lot of America appears to need. Before anyone gets too up in arms about a movie depicting a school shooting however, one really needs to take a look at the whole point behind the movie, not just the parts that are going to offend and/or trigger them. Run Hide Fight is not just about the slaughter of innocents at a local high school by several of their own classmates, but it does include this heinous action. Instead, it starts out with the main character, Zoe Hull, and her father going out for one last hunt early in the morning. Zoe’s a bit of a troubled teen that is masking the hurt she feels after losing her mother to cancer by bottling it up inside, and unfortunately, her father, who means well, isn’t much help since he’s attempting to cope as well, and not handling it as well as he should. But one thing is made very clear, Zoe is ready to get away, head to college, live with the idea that things might get better, and can’t understand the concept of her problems following her. Even the image of her mother, who speaks to her no less, isn’t enough to turn her around right away. Even her best friend Lewis, a young black man she’s known for years, can’t help her since Zoe has retreated so deep inside her own head that trying to reach her is like trying to contact the dark side of the moon.
When a quartet of teenage assailants with the school’s playbook on how to react during a shooting crisis break into the cafeteria with a van wired with explosives and start killing people, Zoe’s world becomes even more difficult as she has to witness a young woman dying in her arms after she’s gut-shot and stumbles into the bathroom where Zoe was luckily tucked away when the fiasco started. Zoe’s instincts kick in quickly after this as she ascends into the ceiling, hiding, then running, and attempting to save as many lives as she can by alerting others to the danger. At one point however she stops running and decides to fight, taking out one of the group utilizing a prank pulled in the teacher’s lounge by the students earlier on in the movie. The second assailant she takes down is a sad but frustrating case since it comes to light at one point that these students have their own hangups and are lashing out while using the news media to sensationalize the shooting and give them the attention they desire. In short, the assailants in the movie are seeking glory after having experienced some imagined or real trauma in their lives for which they figure they’re owed.
This movie strikes at the sensitive subject of school shootings in a way that many people would be divided about since the whole idea during a school shooting is to hide, lock the doors, and huddle in place. In other words, secure everyone in a room that can be broken into and used as the proverbial barrel for a shoot-out. The problem with this is that it takes one motivated and seriously damaged student to reach the procedures, learn what to expect, and stage what, in this movie, was meant to one of the most televised and famous school shootings in history. The sad part is that some might want to use this type of movie as an excuse to tighten their hold on what people can say, produce, and film, while in truth it should be a reminder that a school filled with students and teachers should be a militarized zone, but neither should it be able to be taken over so easily by a few individuals that, armed with the knowledge of procedure and cameras to send their actions to live stream, are seeking attention and a reason to unleash their pain, real or imagined, on others. If anything, this movie should be taken as entertainment and a lesson that running and hiding are great options, but fighting back is an option that shouldn’t be ignored, especially when it comes to preserving as many lives as possible and reminding kids that terror is only effective it’s allowed to be.
Some might argue that the country isn’t ready for this, that the past couple of decades, and last year especially, have hit the nation too hard to allow a movie such as this to stand as anything but exploitation of a problem that has no set solution. The hope of course is that others will see it as entertainment, but also as a serious slap to the senses that is sorely needed to remind people that living in fear isn’t living.