I don’t know how streaming platforms gauge success when releasing exclusive content, and that’s probably something I should look into, but Hulu has a hit on its hands. Even with its mining of cliches and predictable plot, Run still manages to succeed on the strength of its lead performances, a tense screenplay, and focused direction.
When a wheelchair-bound teenage girl begins to suspect her mother is hiding something after finding a suspicious medication, she begins to pull at that thread and a much darker secret begins to unravel.
Sarah Paulson was definitely the selling point for this Hulu original and she is great as the mom, Diane, getting to play the character with a ferocious intensity that’s atypical for her. However, it’s Kiera Allen and her chemistry with Paulson that makes the movie work. Considering this was Allen’s first feature film, she sold the anxiety to the audience with tremendous effectiveness. When the film runs into the trappings of cliches and predictability, they are there to rescue it with their performances.
This was a good follow-up to “Searching” for writer/director Aneesh Chaganty. Without giving too much away, the story draws some inspiration from real-life and mines psychological trauma from older films. Let’s just say it’s no coincidence that a character in this film is named Kathy Bates. Even though Chaganty isn’t reinventing the wheel, he carved out a nice identity as a horror/thriller that centers around the parental relationship. That’s supposed to be a safe space for us, so turning that inside-out is unnerving and fuels the tension that makes the idea work so well.
As mentioned, many of the plot points throughout the movie are familiar and predictable and I didn’t have to try very hard to figure out where the movie was going to wind up, but Torin Borrowdale’s music drives the tension home. Even before things really started spiraling, I felt the music and the scene-setting set the tone from very early on.
I’m not surprised to see this movie has been setting records for Hulu. The trailer provides a nice setup and the movie delivers exactly what is promised. Maybe it’s not a “great” movie, but it’s very effective and succeeds at what it’s trying to do.
Recommendation: If you enjoy a good suspenseful thriller, then look no further. Simple, effective, psychological horror with some incredibly watchable performances.