‘Run, Hide, Fight’: Harrowing movies based around mass shootings
While film violence is anything but unfamiliar to movie viewers, it’s uncommon to watch a film that’s either based on or highlights a mass shooting. Mass shootings, while we wish were left to the movies, are a sickening part of our reality that we’ve faced for what feels like decades now, with innocent lives being taken at concerts, malls, schools, and even movie theaters.
The new film Run Hide Fight revolves around the idea of a school shooting in a Die Hard style plot. The film replaces much of the fun of John McClane and instead trades it in for a harsh look at the causes & effects of school bullying, as a group of teens opens fire in a high school while one teenage girl quietly seeks to put an end to it.
Run Hide Fight is distributed by the popular American conservative website The Daily Wire, a site that typically delves into politics. The film had its world premiere at the 2020 Venice Film Festival last September and debuted on The Daily Wire platform on January 14th, 2021. Let’s take a closer look at Run Hide Fight as well as some other movies that are focused on mass shootings.
Run Hide Fight
Run Hide Fight features actor Thomas Jane (2004’s The Punisher, Deep Blue Sea) as the father of Zoe Hull (Isabel May), who’s dealing with the death of her mother which is causing a strain in the relationship between her & her father.
While Zoe is dealing with other problems related to high school, like dodging her best friend’s Prom invite, a van crashes into the school’s cafeteria, armed with four gunmen who are on a mission of their own. Zoe, who manages to escape in a variety of creative ways, tries her hardest to help others in the school to safety as she attempts to deal with the shooters herself.
Utilizing the lessons of her father as well as her background in hunting, Zoe tries her best to not only prove to the shooters they’re in for a reckoning but to also prove to herself that she’s stronger than she believes in the process.
Elephant is a 2003 psychological drama directed by Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting), considered by the filmmaker as the second installment of his “death trilogy”, bookmarked by the 2002 film Gerry starring Matt Damon and the 2005 film Last Days.
The movie tells the story of two bullied teens who enter their high school with the intention of shooting their peers, taking as many lives as they can in seeking revenge. The film clearly takes inspiration from the horrific events at Columbine High School in 1999, when two male classmates took the lives of twelve teens, one teacher, and themselves.
This controversial Todd Phillips film stars Joaquin Phoenix as the popular Batman villain, the Joker, albeit in a stylistic origin retelling that delves into mental illness, ultimately landing the lead actor his first Oscar for Best Actor.
Like the titular character, Joker is a chaotic minefield, but it tackles topics that are much deeper than what we’re typically used to seeing in a superhero genre film, like mental illness, belonging, and suffering.
All of this mounts up to a finale where we see the titular character finally break, shooting the host of a popular TV talk show which causes others of similar pain to mimic Joker, causing a riot in which we see multiple people shot, including Thomas & Martha Wayne.
“O” is a 2001 Shakespearean drama that acts as a modern-day version of Othello, directed by character actor Tim Blake Nelson (Holes, The Incredible Hulk). The film stars Julia Stiles, Josh Hartnett, Mekhi Phifer, and Martin Sheen.
For those familiar with Othello, you’re familiar with its tragic ending, where fabricated & manipulated love triangles are met at a head with jealousy & rage, all masterminded by one individual who seeks revenge of his own.
“O” takes place at a high school campus, where the finale is as heartbreaking as it is prolific, with guns firing off on students in an ending that’s memorable for a variety of reasons, including the acting, the hour-and-a-half buildup, and the overall haunting reality of what has happened in our own world.