“Run” Is A Pulse-Pounding Suspense Thriller Of The First Order

Strong execution can make almost any premise work. Especially when it comes to thrillers, in particular ones with somewhat confined spaces, the concept often is ridiculous. However, executing said ridiculous premise can make for an instant classic. Filmmaker Aneesh Chaganty proved himself an ace executor of the genre with his breakthrough Searching, which had pretty much the highest of concepts. Now, he’s back with Run, another thriller that is almost impeccably crafted. Hitting Hulu this week, it’s kind of a shame that this couldn’t have been a theatrical experience. The streamer will benefit, but this was made for audiences to hold their breath along to. Alas, though at least it can still be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home.

The film is a thriller, centering on a mother and a daughter. Chloe Sherman (Kiera Allen) is a homeschooled teenager who’s cared for by her mother, Diane Sherman (Sarah Paulson). Born with a number of ailments, Chloe is wheelchair bound and somewhat reliant on her mom. At the same time, Diane appears to base her entire life around the care of her daughter, almost to an unsettling degree. With college approaching and a chance to leave the nest, Chloe begins to suspect that Diane is up to no good. The more she discovers, the more nefarious acts she encounters, setting up a cat and mouse game to figure out just what is going on, as well as to potentially escape her clutches. The aforementioned Chaganty directs here, while co-writing the screenplay with Sev Ohanian. Hillary Spera contributes the cinematography, while Torin Borrowdale composes the score. Pat Healy helps to round out the supporting cast.

Sarah Paulson is having a blast here, playing a villain who always has the upper hand. She’s nefarious, but always with an air of love about her, which makes it more complex portrayal than you might otherwise see from this character. Paulson is a pro and too talented to give anything less, but it’s still a pleasure to see her knock this out of the park like she does. Then, there’s newcomer Kiera Allen, who is terrific as well. Her part is even more difficult, so watching her give a truly star-making performance is really something. It’s a joy to watch Allen and Paulson duel, both mentally, and sort of physically, so their growing battle throughout the flick is part of what makes it so successful.

Run does lose some steam as things progress, but even at its most ridiculous, there’s still a bunch of fun to be had. The movie is built around watching Allen’s Chloe try to get out of the trouble she’s in, with escalating situations and potential danger. Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian turn the screws pretty well, never making you think too hard about what’s going on, keeping the illusion going. Chaganty has more than a little Alfred Hitchcock and M. Night Shyamalan in him, which goes a long way. Truly, I can’t wait to see what he does next, especially as he gets more and more resources to play around with.

Dropping on Hulu this Friday, Run is a breezy bit of entertainment that will give any genre fan about 90 minutes of cinematic pleasure. If you love Paulson, and/or if you were a fan of Searching, this is going to be a fun experience. Is it deep? No, not really. Is it enjoyable? Most definitely, and that’s really what counts here. Give it a shot and see where you come down on it. This isn’t Searching, but Run more than works on its own merits…

Be sure to check out Run, hitting Hulu this weekend!

(Photos courtesy of Hulu)

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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