By Christian DiMartino
If there had never been another movie like Run, Run could’ve really be a dynamite thriller. Seeing as there are plenty of films like Run though, it’s one of those movies where you find yourself predicting its next moves. It’s an old fashioned potboiler, and thoroughly entertaining, but it essentially checks off every box one would expect it to. There is never a dull moment, but it lacks anything that is particularly… surprising, unless you go into the movie not knowing a single thing about it.
Its story does seem somewhat reminiscent of aspects from the great HBO miniseries Sharp Objects. If you have seen both, it’s sort of clear what I’m going for. The film isn’t totally unoriginal in terms of its story, but it’s the journey that the film takes us on that isn’t anything new. Girl in fear for her life; girl is trapped with a certain psychopath; girl cries out for help from strangers; strangers act stupidly, considering the genre they’re in. Again, nothing exactly new, but nothing necessarily boring, either.
Newcomer Keira Allen is pretty strong here as Chloe, who we know has had medical issues since birth. As a teenager, she spends her days confined to a wheelchair, awaiting admissions from colleges and spending pretty much all of her time with her mother, Diane (Sarah Paulson). Diane is a single mother, and she appears to be pretty wonderful, constantly supporting and taking care of Chloe. Yet perhaps she’s TOO nice. Seeing as Chloe spends pretty much all of her life in isolation, she begins suspecting that maybe there is more to Diane than she gives off, in potentially sinister ways.
A movie like Run will perhaps always be interesting, and Run is no doubt interesting. It also features two pretty good performances from Allen, who reminds me a lot of Emily Browning, and Paulson, who we know can play both sincere and sinister. The problem with Run though lies in the fact that while it is an entertaining little movie, it, again, doesn’t really do anything new. Once the groundwork is laid out for its premise, one can assume where it goes, and it pretty much goes there.
The film kind of disappoints in the plot twist department too. Once the premise is in full gear, one can make their assumptions as to what is going on with Diane, and honestly, I got just about all of it. There are also some stupefyingly dumb bystanders who help Chloe along the way. Take a mailman who is close to Chloe and Diane. There is a moment of confrontation between Diane and this mailman, and once he lets his guard down, well… you know. The dumbest of all though, and a scene that undeniably brought my palm to my face, is a pharmacist who helps Chloe out after finding out that she loves games. Not a joke, it moves the plot forward.
The final scene of Run works pretty well. In the end though, the movie is a little too much of a mixed bag to be truly successful, but it’s also just entertaining enough to get by. It might not be a particularly good movie, but it certainly isn’t a dull one. Your call, I guess.