Horror movie franchises typically pivot on a reliable villain, and for the Remove Ron political committee, Gov. Ron DeSantis is that antagonist.
On Wednesday, the committee released a new spot targeting the incumbent Republican Governor and his COVID-19 mitigation strategies. It likens DeSantis’ laissez-faire virus response to the setup for a horror movie.
The video runs two minutes and begins on a commercial flight, with a flight attendant informing masked passengers that “we are now entering Florida airspace” in the intro.
“Now that we’re making our final descent … please watch this short message from Gov. Ron DeSantis on COVID-19 … and thereafter, everyone on board will be required to comply with the state’s Florever Purge,” the flight attendant adds.
The scene shifts to footage of DeSantis at a news conference.
“We are not doing any vaccine passports in the state of Florida. We trust people to make their own decisions in this state. We are not going to be bludgeoning people with restrictions and mandates and lockdowns or any of that stuff,” footage of DeSantis shows him saying.
From there, back to the flight attendant, a darker tone enters her voice.
“As Gov. DeSantis stated, in accordance with the Florever purge … while you are within state lines … you do not have to wear a mask. You do not have to get a vaccine. It is against the law for private businesses or schools to mandate masks or vaccines … and you have the absolute right … to infect whoever you want.”
The narrative then moves to local news narration documenting rises in cases and deaths over the summer, interspersed with reviews on the screen from fake newspapers with phrases like “Terrifyingly Evil!” and “Killer Ending.”
“This fall … don’t breathe in,” advises a stentorian narrator in the close.
For Remove Ron and Daniel Uhlfelder, the man behind the committee, this continues a concentration in horror themes as a way of spotlighting what they see as DeSantis’ lax approach to the pandemic.
Previously, the committee had built creative around a Friday the 13th motif for a DeSantis trip to Nevada that ultimately was scuttled.
Uhlfelder previously played the Grim Reaper at beaches around the state in 2020, as controversies raged about whether beaches should be open.
The new spot was released as Florida continues to see declines in new cases and hospitalizations, with the delta variant having peaked in the state some weeks ago.