Run (2020) movie review
Run is a new Thriller on Hulu from writer/director Aneesh Chaganty, who directed the 2018 thriller Searching. The film stars Sarah Paulson and Kiera Allen, and honestly, the less you know about this thriller the better. The film was released the weekend before last to a fairly solid critical reception, as well as fairly substantial viewership for a Hulu original film. So if you like thrillers, don’t watch the trailer and go check it out!
I think the overall enjoyment that this film has to offer depends on the individual viewer and their willingness to overlook thriller clichés and conveniences that the film feels need to exist. It’s often wrong, and that is the cause for my slightly below average opinion of this otherwise entertaining film. However in the end I think the film’s lack of major flaws do keep it somewhere between fine and great!
Now when it comes to these little problems, for me they kinda pile up. I’ll try to be vague here, but the film is full of smart choices immediately followed by the exact same result as if said character had made a different choice. I like when characters in horrors and thrillers make smart calls, but you need to have those choices matter. You can have your cake and eat it too by having characters make smart choices and other characters just making smartER choices, but that’s not what happens here typically.
On top of that, I think a few major beats in the film fall prey convenience. The inciting incident was fairly weak, and there’s a moment in the finale that I think was similarly easy. Worse than that for me was the layout of the film. I say don’t watch the trailer because you don’t want to know anything going into the film, but I went into Run blind and called just about everything before the second act. That’s fine, it’s still fun and pretty thrilling! (Plus I hope not everyone mentally nitpicks like me so there’s a few surprises left by the end!) But it did personally hinder MY viewing experience.
Okay enough negativity! Run is a brisk watch with strong tension from beginning to end. I’m already a little tired of evil Sarah Paulson, but I can’t deny that she did a fine job. Relative newcomer Kiera Allen was also really great! Plus she is actually in a wheelchair, bringing remarkable realism to her character. The film never leans on disability as a crutch either. I’ll be honest, I liked Come Play (2020), but it bordered that line for me. Like the 2016 horror film Hush, Run included the protagonist’s disability as part of the story when it comes to- well seemingly every aspect! This is really well done.
And yeah it’s a pretty good looking movie! The cinematography was sharp, the music was good, the editing worked- I don’t have that many complaints here. Plus, as much as I got on the film for not following up smart choices, there’s a few REALLY smart choices in this film! Sure it means the film has a little too much in common with at least one other thriller, but if you’re gonna borrow, borrow hey borrow from the best!
I know I didn’t talk too much about the actual film here, but just know that it’s well made, well written, and the premise is pretty strong. The performances are great, and the short runtime means that the tension rarely lets up. It’s a mid-grade thriller that often feels better than it is, and that’s good! The film does have a slew of problems for me, and in the end I probably wouldn’t watch it again. I wasn’t big on the film’s setup, and the beats sometimes just didn’t work for me. That said this might not be the case for everyone, so go into it blind and you’ll have a good time! 6/10.
So Run? Have you seen it yet? What did you think? And what is your favorite small-scale thriller? Be sure to leave a like or a comment below and let us know! And we have a few new releases on streaming this weekend, so let us know what we should review next! Thanks for reading!
-review by Ryan Prince