Run (2020) Review

It’s Misery revisited in Aneesh Chaganty’s follow-up to Searching, which was both an impressive feature-length directorial debut and among the best movies ever made in 2018.

But instead of a helpless famous author being held prisoner by an obsessive number-one fan seen in that Rob Reiner’s 1990 thriller, Run follows a wheelchair-bound teenage girl (played by newcomer Kiera Allen’s Chloe) who’s been suffering from all kinds of conditions ranging from asthma to rashes. Her mother, Diane (Sarah Paulson) dedicated most of her time taking care of her daily routines such as feeding her prescribed medicines, cooking healthy meals and even responsible for homeschooling. Everything seems to be perfectly under control until one day, Chloe discovers something is off about her mother.

Unlike Misery, which was straightforward in its storytelling structure, Chaganty and his co-writer Sev Ohanian keep things under wraps when comes to both character and story’s actual motivations. This makes the movie all the more gripping with well-crafted twists and turns to keep the viewers guessing. Chaganty’s taut direction helps too and like Searching, he knows well how to engage viewers with enough pathos that made us root for the main character.

And in the case of Run, the main character in question is Chloe and the actress who plays the role happens to be a real-life disabled person and wheelchair user herself. Given the fact that Hollywood often cast actors who are convincing enough to portray as characters with disabilities, hiring an actual one is a refreshing change of pace. Despite being a newcomer, Kiera Allen proves to be a great find and her performance in Run is remarkable.

Sarah Paulson in "Run" (2020)

Chaganty also made clever use of Chloe’s disabilities and limitations to his advantages and the result are some of the most suspenseful and thrilling scenes I’ve ever seen this year. Palpable moments like the one where Chloe relies on her resourcefulness to get into another place on a roof is worth mentioning here. Let’s just say the particular scene is physically demanding and an impressive one at that.

While Kiera Allen may have been a scene-stealer in this movie, Sarah Paulson is just as great in her role of an overprotective mother who harbours a dark secret.

At a lean 90 minutes, Chaganty does an excellent job for sustaining the momentum of his movie. But the third act somehow wobbles, complete with an underwhelming finale that could have been better.

Still, it’s a forgivable minor flaw that doesn’t derail Run‘s overall thrilling experience. Currently streaming on Hulu since November 20, Run proves that Aneesh Chaganty is no flash in the pan and as evidently seen in Searching, he certainly has the knack of finding innovative ways of telling an otherwise familiar story in the confines of a small-scale thriller.

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