S#!t YEAH! When you review movies, you watch a lot of terrible films. But occasionally, you run across one that makes you remember why you ever wanted to spend your life in dark rooms surrounded by strangers. Run is a singular oddity that reminds you of how great cinema can be. Oh, wait. If I inflate your expectations too much, you might not enjoy it. Um… it’s alright. I mean, you know, it’s worth watching.
Chloe (Kiera Allen) is a paraplegic with multiple health issues that keep her stuck at home. Despite this, she has a fulfilling life with her hobbies and time spent with her supportive mother, Diane (Sarah Paulson). A series of accidents and coincidences fall together to make Chloe question her mother’s intentions and her safety.
“A series of accidents and coincidences fall together to make Chloe question her mother’s intentions and her safety.”
Run is that rare beast that tells you in the trailer exactly what’s going to happen and still manages to surprise and shock you. You know from before the title cards roll that this isn’t about a track star. Diane is poisoning and lying to her daughter. Making her daughter believe that she has a host of medical problems and can’t survive without her. All that is given to you before you even decide to tune in. It is a testament to writer/director Aneesh Chaganty and co-writer Sev Ohanian’s skills that they’re able to still create a sense of suspense when so much of the story is already known. I suppose it would be the cinematic equivalent of Babe Ruth calling his shot.
However, a big part of what makes Run work is its two leads. Sarah Paulson (the Queen of Creepy) gives a layered and horrifyingly believable performance as the mother. What could have been cackling over the top villain is grounded in reality. Everything about her performance feels absolutely real and even a little relatable. Which, of course, makes everything she does all the more terrifying.
Newcomer Kiera Allen, as Chloe, more than holds her own against Ms. Paulson’s considerable talent. Chloe’s gradual revelation about her situation’s reality is one of the great slow burns in horror movie history. But far from being a passive victim, she brings a sense of strength and self-reliance to the character. Watching the wheels spin in her head as she waits for her opportunities is one of the film’s best parts.
"…the cinematic equivalent of Babe Ruth calling his shot."