Alice Oscura, Featured Writer
Warning: Minor spoilers.
Plot: Still reeling from the death of her mother from cancer, high schooler Zoe Hull (Isabel May) goes to school on what seems like a typical day, only to find herself trapped in a vicious game of cat-and-mouse with shooters that have taken fellow students hostage in the cafeteria and are forcing them to stream the event online live.
Review: I wanted to go wholly in and like this movie to give it a better rating, but the script is riddled with plot holes and the execution could have been loads better in my opinion.
Isabel May is popularly known for her role as Katie Cooper on the Netflix series Alexa and Katie, but we have also seen her as Veronica Duncan on the CBS series Young Sheldon. So technically we haven’t been able to see a lot of acting range from the 20-year-old yet. Kyle Rankin is also a writer and director of trashy B-movies such as Night of The Living Deb (2015) and Infestation (2009). Run Hide Fight is a more seriously-plotted movie especially since it touches on quite sensitive subject matter — gun control and school shootings.
The opening scene is quite graphic and grisly in that it shows Zoe and her father hunting deer. Zoe successfully shoots a deer, but it doesn’t die instantaneously. While her father, who is also ex-military, begins to explain to her the practicalities of mercy killing, Zoe quietly picks a rock and drops it on the deer’s skull. It is particularly jarring to say the least. There is also a rather misleading kitchen scene that shows her mother (played by Radha Mitchell) standing and talking casually with Zoe in said kitchen holding a cup of coffee. We soon realise that when the late mother appears to Zoe she is made up to depict the different stages of chemotherapy treatment. Later, the mother starts showing up when Zoe needs the extra emotional support and push during the shooting ordeal.
Whilst the foreboding atmosphere is well achieved and maintained throughout the film, you get the sense where the writing in the script was not only inconsistent but seemed to lack a purpose at times. Also, it is unbelievable that a mere 17-year-old would be able to pull off what Zoe was able to accomplish in the film notwithstanding her skills passed on from her ex-military father. There is also a major lack of development of the secondary characters including the shooters.
One can but hope that impressionable viewers don’t think that they can take it upon themselves to try to become a hero in a real-life situation such as the fictional one depicted piece here. There is also an ambiguity to the right to arm oneself for protection against violence which ends up begetting more violence. The clear objective of the shooters is not really explored and what was touched upon seemed to be weak sauce against a plot that promised to be meatier. The emphasis seemed to be placed more on visuals and action sequences than on focusing on the callous nature of the shooters who were able to dispose of a fellow student’s life so easily.
The last element that really rubbed me the wrong way was the attitude of the adults in this situation. I had a major issue with the way that the teachers and law enforcement personnel bungled their way through the entire process. And one can argue that in such a quiet town they were unaccustomed to handling situations like this one, but isn’t it the job of the police officers to expect the unexpected?
This film had so much potential and I believe that in the hands of a better writer and director it could have made the cut.
Alice’s Score: 5.5 out of 10
For Senior Writer Sommer’s review of action flick Redemption Day you can click here. And for more action-packed film reviews with both style and substance you can like and follow Redmangoreviews on Facebook here.
Dark Alice has an old soul and a curious mind. I believe that anyone can be a hero and that the good guys should always win! I dislike cruelty to animals and think that they have far superior qualities to humans. My motto is there is no future without the past. I also have a weird penchant for Paranormal TV shows even though the slightest sound makes me jump.
I enjoy writing reviews and throwing in fun facts to pique the readers’ curiosity. My ultimate goal in life would be to become a published writer one day. You can find me as Dark Alice Reviews on Facebook, my Instagram is alice_oscura and my Twitter handle is @lise_veliz2. For more on me you can click here.