‘Run’ Movie Review: Da Do Run Run Run [Nightstream]
The title Run is ironic because it is about a character who physically cannot run trying to escape. It’s a high concept fitting from the creators of Searching, a psychological thriller that unfolded entirely on a computer screen (released two years before everyone’s lives became contained on Zoom and other screens). Run has more traditional cinematography but creates another uniquely confined situation. After Nightstream, Run will premiere on Hulu Nov. 20.
Kiera Allen can’t ‘Run’
Run opens with the definitions of Arrhythmia, Hemochromatosis, Asthma, Diabetes and paralysis. We first meet Diane (Sarah Paulson) at a home schooling association meeting. Her daughter Chloe (Kiera Allen) has applied to colleges. Chloe’s daily routine covers all the definitions previously listed. She gets herself in her wheelchair, puts cream on her skin rashes, takes insulin, breathes through an inhaler and often coughs up spit into the toilet.
One day Chloe discovers her mom’s secret prescription in the groceries. That’s not too alarming until Diane tries to pass it off as new medication for Chloe. So, Chloe begins the process of investigating this new drug that her mother is lying to her about.
‘Run’ is ‘Rear Window’ inside the same house
Many classic psychological thrillers take place in confined locations, and force the protagonist to come up with creative solutions to get themselves out. In Rear Window, Jimmy Stewart had to solve a murder without leaving his house. In Run Chloe’s movement is already limited, and the film limits her resources even further, but she is just as innovative.
At first she’s just trying to research the new drug. The internet goes out when she Googles, and Chloe has reason to avoid other basic research methods to protect herself. Writers Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian show Chloe explore every option and ruling it out, and coming up with some inventive ways to circumvent technology.
Then it’s about accessing places in the house Chloe normally doesn’t have to go to. Like in Misery, small distances become huge set pieces without the use of her legs. The author in Misery never dragged himself outside the house though. Chloe literally throws her body around to find answers and Allen is a major discovery who completely holds her own with the powerhouse Paulson.
The answers aren’t the end of the story
Run ramps up towards the end just like Searching did and all the best thrillers do. One reveal is questionable. Like, why would this person keep this newspaper article in her collection? Well, the suspect in question is not all there by that point so we can forgive one thing for expedient storytelling. Besides, real criminals do stupider things to give themselves away, but that’s the only misstep. There’s still much more left in the movie.
Everything Chloe attempts takes time, and director Chaganty draws it out. The computer screen of Searching was a monumental achievement (especially when other films couldn’t pull off that technique), but Chaganty proves he can find ways to turn everyday situations into nail biting suspense scenes.