Better Than Most

I usually try not to give away key points of a movie in my reviews, but this time, I’m going to write in more detail.

At the City of Refuge Guide Service, an urgent message was being received; “Runner from Ravenshead.” Sam (played by Amelia Joy) successfully escaped the deep, dark Ravenshead Prison, but the warden (Harrison Joel) was already in sight. Henry (Addison Charles) is the janitor for City of Refuge Guide Service and dreams of going on missions as an actual guide. Henry finally gets his chance when they have no trained guides available. He sets out to find Sam before she loses heart.

“Runner from Ravenshead” is an allegory and in some ways, reminds me of “Pilgram’s Progress”. Sam is imprisoned by her sin and though she can escape, the wardens will never stop pursuing. Hope may be found in the City of Refuge – “the only place wardens can’t go.” But many prisoners have doubts…. Does this city really exist? Do wardens really stop at its border?

There’s another prisoner who claims Sam can escape without going to the city. Clyde (also Addison Charles) tells Sam that “You have to believe in yourself and never give up.” This line has appeared in countless “Hollywood children’s movies” (Walt Disney, for example). Though it sounds good and inspiring, is “believe in yourself” really going to save Sam from the wardens? I’m glad “Runner from Ravenshead” addressed this [spoiler alert] by giving that line to a villain. Looking again to the allegory message; we cannot save ourselves from our own sin. We need a savior – a ‘city of refuge’. However, many don’t want to hear about the City of Refuge. They would rather “believe in themselves” and keep running or try a closer city that’s easier. Again, the movie makes clear the truth; “there’s only one City of Refuge.” We are never told why Sam is sent to prison and Sam never makes excuses for her past. She is simply determined to escape – to find mercy. It’s also worth noting here that the warden has no power over Henry – he is free from sin.

The opening scene sets up the rest of the movie nicely. Henry imagines rescuing a friend held hostage by savage jungle natives. Then having set his friend on a path to safety, he turns back into the battle, being heavily outnumbered. Later in the movie, Henry really does help free a hostage and really does battle an enemy (one of my favorite scenes).

“Runner from Ravenshead” was Joel Steege’s first production and is very well done. It’s surprising how many effects are in the movie. Beyond the rocket car and stunts, there are also scenes with the same actor playing multiple roles. The same five kids played all of the parts. There are some scenes that are hard to understand at first, but many movies are like that. My recommendation, if scenes are unclear, is to watch it again.

There are many surprises waiting within “Runner from Ravenshead”. The whole family will enjoy this fun and meaningful movie. More info at:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matt. 11:28

– by Benjamin Owen /