THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!
When I saw the trailer for Run pop up on my Netflix I instantly thought two things.
1) Oh, it's Sarah Paulson again.
2) This will either be really good, or really bad.
The reality was that 1, yes it was Sarah Paulson and although she is has a tendency to over act in my opinion she actually fit the role quite well, and 2, it was kind of in the middle.
Directed by Aneesh Chaganty and written by Chaganty and Sev Ohanian, Run is a psychological thriller staring Kiera Allen as a home-schooled teenager who begins to suspect her mother (Sarah Paulson) is up to something behind her back. The film credits it's self as having the first wheelchair user lead in a thriller in 72 years, which drew me in and shocked me. More than the film it's self did.
In terms of technicalities, this film doesn't boast an extensive cast or lavish visuals unlike a classic murder mystery might (see my review on Crooked House) but that all plays to it's advantage. The minimalism in set dressing makes the world feel more real and believable, which makes what happens to the main character seem much worse and out of the blue than it would have in an overly stylised production. So although I can't really say that the film design was visually amazing, it did succeed in making me believe this was set in the real world, which is the sign of a good art department.
One person I have to commend however is Allen, for an outstanding and gruelling performance. One rather long and intense scene required her to crawl along a tilled roof and pull herself through a window. having to do that once would have been hard work, but having to do it multiple times for multiple shots must have been torture! But besides her physicality, Allan's emotional acting stands out. In a later scene you see her escape the house and flee to the safety of the local post truck, where she begs the postman to take her to the police. In my line of work I have seen a lot of thrillers and horrors where people beg for their life, very few can actually portray that emotion in just their eyes the way that Allan can.
What really intrigued me was how the the writers seemed to have taken elements from lots of different cases and mashed them together. None more noticeable than that of Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose Blanchard. Although they have not confirmed that this case may have had an influence, the whole story wreaks of similarities that you just can't avoid.
Much like Dee Dee, Diane Sherman (played by Paulson) inflicts Munchausen syndrome by proxy upon her daughter, Chole. Even though I am a big fan of gore, MSBP is a condition that fascinates me as I can't think of a worse way one person could harm another.
Unlike Dee Dee however, Diane doesn't inflict this on Chole for monetary gain or popularity. She has suffered her own pain, and is seeking to be needed.
Although I think they could have gone further, this film scratches the surface of some very deep psychological conditions and mental health issues that are more disturbing than any axe murderer or mass killer.
However, it has to be said that this is the kind of movie your mum would find scary and tell all her friends not to watch. The jump-scares aren't really jump-scares and although there is a rather large twist toward the end, it's not entirely unexpected. Personally I found the trailer for Run more intense the the actual film...
The only thing that did make me sit up from my disappointed slouched position was Chloe's final line. Slightly cheesy, but still satisfying.
This film wont get you sweating on the edge of your seat like some thrillers, but it might make you think about some of the issues that people with disabilities have to go through every day. It also might make you want to look into the Gypsy Rose case, which I would recommend.