Run Hide Fight is an intense, gritty and realistic look at active school shootings. It’s a subject matter that has largely gone untouched, but here the movie pulls no punches. With that said, this isn’t the first time that similar plots took place in movies.

n 1991s Toy Soldiers, mercs take over a private school. I’d say Run Hide Fight is much more brutal, but also back then people weren’t as easily upset about art imitating life.

We follow Zoe, who’s dealing with the recent passing of her mother due to cancer. She’s clearly not taking it well and that’s causing strain between her and her father. She keeps everyone at arm’s length, which includes her best friend Lewis. I can only assume this is because she fears being close to someone again and losing them.

This plays an interesting role in the movie, as Zoe talks to her mother in different scenes that help form her thought process and decisions she makes. As this goes on, the image of her mother becomes more healthy-looking and beautiful. It was interesting to see some of the sprinkled throughout, letting us see how much the death of her mother affected Zoe.

As the school day starts, everything is pretty typical. The movie sets everything up and once the terror begins, it doesn’t shy away. While Zoe is in the bathroom of the lunchroom, a van comes crashing in and four students pop out and start killing classmates in cold blood. It’s kind of jarring to witness at first. Some of the kids look pretty young, but hey, so did the kids at the beginning of Red Dawn.

Most of my problems with the movie start here. The main leader of the student terrorists, Tristan is really good, not great, but really good. His whole plan is simply to cause chaos and to basically become internet famous while doing it. His three cohorts on the other hand are pretty paper-thin. In fact, they’re mostly forgettable.

Another issue I had, no one seems that upset or scared. Sure as these kids are walking around shooting almost everyone on sight, other students are scared and screaming. However, once they stop and take the rest hostage, you’d think there’d be more whimpering and crying. Even when more killings happen, the reactions from people are mostly silent.

There are also some consistency issues I have with the movie, but I will leave that alone due to not wanting to spoil anything. Let’s just say, when you set up characters to act a certain way and later they act different for sake of the plot, it’s lazy and disappointing. Especially in a movie like Run Hide Fight, where they seem to go to such great lengths to make the active shooting part seem so realistic.

Run Hide Fight is a legit action movie. It has that old school vibe of terrorists taking over and one person has to stop them. At the same time with it being about an active school shooting and showing how that all unfolds nowadays, it feels modern. It works great on both levels. Also, even though it deals with something very serious as a school shooting situation, it’s never political. There’s an obvious moral message that runs throughout it, but not in any political aspect. It’s refreshing to see in a movie.

It walks a fine line between respecting a serious subject and making it entertaining to watch. It’s a really good movie and I hope to see more like it.