Run is a thriller/horror movie written by Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian and directed by Chaganty. The movie stars Sarah Paulson and Kiera Allen.
The trauma of overprotectiveness
Not being able to walk (or any handicap in general) is a big obstacle when it comes to tricky life and death situations. All of our body not functioning as they should can sometimes be horrifying when it comes to a quick escape. I remember watching The Paramedic and wondering in how many ways the disuse of one’s legs can hamper a person’s escape in a kidnapping situation and Run comes with an answer. Although it all works out for the protagonist in the end, kind of, you are still left to be absolutely terrified at the possibility of that situation.
Fresh out of Ratched, Sarah Paulson stars in another thriller that is honestly more refreshing than the former. Munchausen syndrome by proxy isn’t a new concept in movies, and there have been plenty of movies that deal with the issue. However, Run portrays our protagonist, wheelchair-bound Chloe, as a hero who goes beyond her disability to escape her captor.
Run is absolutely terrifying. Let’s be real, overprotectiveness is abusive and can wreck lives and become an obstacle in the normal and healthy growth of children. Taking that concept a bit further, we have Diane who takes care of her disabled daughter Chloe. The latter suffers from a host of different illnesses which have her wheelchair-bound. Chloe is on her way to college in a few months, and Diane is nothing but full of enthusiasm. However, a sneaky chocolate-stealing adventure opens the floodgates of doubt for Chloe, who has no idea what the answers mean for her.
Films like these make you wonder what’s scarier – a crazed killer out on a killing spree, or those ones who work stealthily and break you down piece by piece for years on end. Diane is a woman who has convinced herself so much that she’s looking out for Chloe’s wellbeing that she doesn’t hesitate to physically restrain and assault her daughter if that means “protecting” her. Her absolute lack of awareness to her own degrading mental state is what’s the scariest aspect of Run – she is convinced that what she is doing is right.
Director Aneesh Chaganty, who rose to fame with the brilliant 2018 movie Searching, builds tension by not making this too over the top. It’s a simple movie, one that doesn’t aspire to bite more than it can chew. Thus, the tension stays even though you know where it’s headed. In that respect, Run doesn’t really deliver anything that we haven’t seen before – it’s a predictable story. But Chaganty and his actors do a good job at instilling fear by using one of the most trusting relationships that can be and twisting it around, along with good performances and subtle execution.
One of the most brilliant things about Run is that Chloe’s actor, Kiera Allen, is wheelchair-bound in real life, and casting her to portray in this role is refreshing and something that was previously (and mostly now as well) unknown in the film industry. Representation matters and Allen fulfils her role with utmost sincerity and emotion. On the other hand, Sarah Paulson always shines in whatever she is in, regardless of how bad the plot may be. Here, too, she is terrifying and believable as the abusive mother who has more secrets to spill than a lot of people.
Summing up: Run
As I said previously, Run isn’t a movie that we haven’t seen before. The story is basic and there’s not much that you won’t be able to figure out. But it does well with its execution and holds on to the tension.
Kiera Allen’s Chloe is a wonderful protagonist to follow and her character is what makes this movie watchable, along with Paulson. Chloe, unlike a lot of characters of her age, is grounded, smart and very resourceful and doesn’t let anything, even her illnesses and disability, get in the way of what she wants. She might be essentially cut off from the world, but her wit is something that no one can take from her – not even her own mother.
Run a good watch and it’s mostly satisfying and provides a few good punches.
Run is streaming on Hulu.
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