While conservatives have long focused on passing tax cuts and appointing judges, the left has gained nearly universal control of the entertainment industry. This has negative impacts far beyond Hollywood—because culture inevitably influences politics. The left knows this, which is part of why Melania Trump never graced a major magazine cover as First Lady, Netflix releasedCuties, and the Oscars created diversity quotas.
Since the left has been winning America’s culture war for years, The Daily Wire has finally decided to fight back. On January 14th, the conservative outlet premiered its first movie, Run, Hide, Fight.The movietells the story of seventeen-year-old Zoe Hull, who uses her survival skills and smarts to save lives, after her school is attacked by a gang of school shooters. Run, Hide, Fight isn’t overtly political, but it includes conservative values and showcases the importance of exercising Second Amendment rights.
The movie left me on the edge of my seat because it is both violent and relatable. The reactions of the characters feel real. Their dialogue mirrors the way my friends and I actually talk. And while watching, I couldn’t help but imagine myself in Hull’s place—surrounded by my former high school teachers and friends.
The movie’s realism is heightened by the fact that the heavy topic of school shootings is not sugar-coated or dulled down. Instead, the issue is explored through multiple angles, such as mental illness, bullying, and obsession with social media. For example, the shooters have such an infatuation with social media that they force their peers to livestream the shooting, hoping that it will make them famous. And the four attackers are more complex than one-dimensional “bad guys.” Each of them is fully, and realistically, fleshed out. Despite this, the movie refuses to sympathize with the school shooters. Their issues and motivations are addressed, but they’re not offered as excuses. The irredeemable evil of their violence is made clear.
Even more importantly, the focus of Run, Hide, Fight, is not the villains, but the brave people who outsmart the shooters. Characters of all walks of life stand up and fight back. Teachers sacrifice themselves for students. And students help their classmates escape to safety. In short, Run, Hide, Fight champions courage, and its inevitable triumph over evil.
The clear star of the movie is Zoe Hull, whose fear and bravery are subtly portrayed by Isabel May. The actress’s emotions are palpable, and I felt myself tearing up with her more than once.
So often, “strong” female characters are written and portrayed as male roles who just happen to be represented by female actresses. But Zoe’s portrayal is refreshing because she’s smart, capable, and brave—and she doesn’t pretend to be a man. Instead, she’s unapologetically a teenage girl, who worries about love and the stress of her upcoming prom. More crucially, Zoe doesn’t solve her problems with brute force, by fighting men who a teenage girl could never realistically beat. Instead, Zoe uses her gun knowledge, survival skills, and cleverness to outsmart her assailants. And the success of her tactics illustrates that having access to guns is the only way to defend oneself against those who wish to harm the innocent.
All of these factors make Run, Hide, Fight a great start to 2021’s movies. And to be clear, I recommend Run, Hide, Fight, not just because I support The Daily Wire’s mission, but also because it’s a genuinely good movie. Rotten Tomatoes’ ratings make the movie’s success clear. The current audience score is 93 percent, compared to the critics’ score of 25 percent.
Admittedly, Run, Hide, Fight, marks the beginning of what will be a long and difficult task for conservative creators, but the movie’s initial success nonetheless suggests that The Daily Wire, and conservatives in general, have a promising movie career ahead of themselves.
During the premiere’s live stream, Daily Wire Co-Founder and Co-CEO Jeremey Boreing explained the importance of succeeding in this endeavor:
“For too long, we in conservative media have devoted too much of our energy to criticizing art and not nearly enough energy to actually making it. We focus our energies on the short-term political conflicts in front of us… but almost none of us spend our time and energy on the generational cultural struggle that actually defines the Overton window in which our politics take place, [and] that’s a recipe for long-term political defeat.”
In other words, the time for conservatives to fight back in America’s culture war is now.
*The views expressed in this article solely represent the views of the author, not the views of the Chicago Thinker.
Rachel Ostergren is the Chicago Thinker’s Chief of Staff. She is a senior double majoring in Public Policy Studies and Jewish Studies. She is also involved with Chabad on campus. Rachel is from Fruitland, Iowa, and loves reading, playing the piano, listening to jazz, and doing crosswords.