Mothers have an interesting history in the horror universe. What would Jason have been without Mrs. Voorhees? Would Norman Bates have found a less creepy habit besides taxidermy if his mother had been nicer? Mothers, the givers of life that they are, usually have a complex relationship with the protagonist of the film. After all, 1997’s Scream is loaded with all sorts of matriarchal issues.
In Run, Aneesh Shaganty takes a more subtle and very nuanced approach to the mother/daughter dynamic. Diving into issues of trust and codependency, a new monster and a new hero emerge in Hulu’s newest original film.
Chloe (Keira Allen) has been wheelchair-bound and on prescriptions her whole life. The specifics of her condition are never clearly established, but she has coped remarkably well and has a routine where she is self sufficient and independent. Diane (Sarah Paulson) is her doting mother who has taken care of Chloe by herself. Diane has managed to provide excellent home schooling for Chloe as Chloe has invented many contraptions. Life is seemingly blissful and runs like a machine in their household. Diane is more than confident Chloe will succeed on her own when she goes off to college, and that is where the problem lies.
Written by Aneesh Shaganty and Sev Ohanian, Run experiments with the gothic tropes of a damsel in distress while giving a written psychological perspective on empty nest syndrome gone off the rails. Run is fast paced, suspenseful, and darkly funny. Sarah Paulson’s performance as Diane is terrifying and amazing. Keira Allen is wonderful in her feature film debut.
A common complaint about horror movies is that characters seldom behave the way a real person would. The audience yells “look behind you” at the screen and the character follows their own faulty guidance. There is a satisfaction in watching Run as Chloe remains brave and constantly thinking in the face of danger.
While Chloe may seem a little too willing to accept the truth of her situation, the events that follow are thrilling and creative. Run is a unique addition to the horror genre and Chloe is a heroine for a new generation.
Two sisters find out about their town’s dark secrets
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