Hulu’s New Horror-Thriller ‘Run’ Will Leave You Breathless

Ally Jabry

Run is a film that will make anyone who watches it want to run. Perhaps it will make viewers rethink who their parents are and what their life is. Run was recently released on the streaming service Hulu. It is a great film to keep anyone on edge and provides a constant thrill. It’s a psychological thriller that leaves viewers thinking afterwards. Personally, this movie made me wonder, am I living the life I always thought I was? Or is it all a cover-up? I would recommend this film to anyone and every one. It is an eye-opener and reflects on mental illness and the devastation it can cause if left untreated.

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Directed by Aneesh Chaganty, Run depicts Diane Sherman, played by Sarah Paulson, in the hospital grieving over what seems like horrific news regarding her newborn baby. A cutscene lists diagnoses and their definitions, giving viewers what seems like some background information, while foreshadowing what is next to come. It cuts to seventeen years later, where Diane is pictured in what seems to be a counseling class for parents with children going to college. Diane seems to be dealing with the thought of her child going to college very easily.

The film then introduces Chloe Sherman, played by Kiera Allen. Chloe has a number of debilitating illnesses, including paralysis of the lower extremity, diabetes, severe asthma, and many others. She uses a wheelchair and has awful illnesses, but seems excited when her mother and the mailman arrive. She is hoping for a college acceptance letter. The film continues with a disappointed daughter and a supportive mother, hoping for a college letter soon.

On the surface, this mother-daughter relationship seems fine. The movie’s conflict begins when Chloe notices a new medication in the grocery bag with her mother’s name on it. Later that night, Diane gives Chloe the same medication. At this point, Chloe begins to get curious and asks her mom about it, and Diane plays it off as if Chloe is wrong.

In the days after this incident, Chloe begins to get curious about what is going on. She ends up going out to a movie with Diane and plans to run to the pharmacy next to the theatre while saying she’s in the bathroom. She tries to get answers, and finds an answer she never expected. Diane rushes in, thinking Chloe is delusional and hurt. They end up back home, where Chloe is frightened by what she heard and begins her desperate search for answers throughout the film. She loses all trust in Diane and begins to show signs of fear around her mother. Chloe tries to escape the false reality she lives in, but Diane does not make it easy for her. As the film continues, the truth comes out; lies are abolished, and drastic measures are taken. As the film goes on, it becomes clear, “You can’t escape a mother’s love.”

Both Kiera Allen and Sarah Paulson give very intense and thrilling performances in Run. One scene begins with Chloe waking up in a locked room with no mother in sight. Chloe desperately tries to call for her mom and get out of her room, but it is clear she is trapped after going behind her mother’s back and finding out things she was not supposed to. She creates a well-executed plan that includes her climbing out of her bedroom window, breaking another window, and beginning her escape to the outside world. Chloe makes it out and sees a blessing in disguise: the mailman. He talks to her and gets the details of the situation, but her newfound hope does not last long. Diane pulls behind the mail truck. Chloe weeps and prays she was not seen, but it is too late. Diane puts on a great show of a mother in distress worrying about what happened to her child. It looks like a light at the end of the tunnel when the mailman refuses to let Diane take Chloe home. They end up preparing for a ride to the hospital, but the mailman does not watch his back closely enough, and neither does Chloe. This scene is extremely suspenseful and shows a lot of great acting from both Allen and Paulson. In typical thrillers, smarts do not always take center stage. At the beginning of the scene, Kiera Allen plays a smart young teen who offers so much. The way she climbs onto the roof during an asthma attack while paralyzed and breaking windows would leave any viewer on edge. Sarah Paulson also plays such a great part in the scene and shows her amazing acting through her character’s phenomenal manipulation.

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In yet another thrilling scene, Sarah Paulson and Kiera Allen played their parts effortlessly. The scene begins with Chloe waking up after the horrific mailman incident chained up in her basement. Here Chloe sees boxes labeled with things that catch her eye, and she begins exploring. She ends up finding things she was never supposed to see–her college letters in the trash, newspaper articles, and information show her mother is not at all who she seems. She finds out she was not the first Chloe Sherman.

The film cuts back to the beginning hospital scene with Diane sobbing with her dead child in her arms. It then cuts to Diane sitting in front of the nursery, eyeing the healthy newborns. Chloe finally realizes what is going on: Diane is not her birth mother. She is not sick; she was abducted. Suddenly Diane rushes down to Chloe, and a confrontation between the two begins. It gets heated, and Chloe bashes Diane for lying to her and torturing her. Diane doesn’t like this and tries to poison Chloe, but Chloe escapes to a closet before she can. Diane tries to lure her out by being nice and forgiving, but it does not last long until she gets in the closet and sees Chloe holding a bottle. The bottle contained some poison, and the scene ends dramatically.

Chloe says, “You need me,” and chugs the poison, forcing Diane to bring her to the hospital. Both actresses show a great amount of emotion within this scene. The emotion portrayed is so intense, it could make viewers feel it themselves. Kiera Allen shows fear, confusion, anger, and sadness so well. She gives viewers a true description of what it is like fearing for your life and finding out life-changing information. She graces this scene with true and powerful emotion. Sarah Paulson does the same. As she sees her “daughter” nearly ending her life, she makes it seem as though she is watching her daughter die. Sarah Paulson also plays the role of a master of manipulation flawlessly. She is very convincing as a psychopathic mastermind, all while showing true emotions throughout the scene.

Run is considered a horror-thriller film, but definitely has a psychological element and a suspenseful and mysterious plot. The entire movie is a horror story: a girl trapped in a life that was never meant to be hers while living with someone she thought she could trust. In the entire movie, this poor girl is left to unravel the dark secret kept from her by her “mother.” Run has a similar plot to a movie based on a true story. The Act documents Gypsy Rose Blanchard, who is forced to live a life that her mother Dee Dee Blanchard wanted. Both movies are horrifying looks into what life for some people can be like. Throughout Run, there is a suspenseful buildup until the final scene. It keeps viewers on their toes and cheering for Chloe to “win.”

The film tackles a real issue as well. It brings up the idea of mental illness. More specifically, it attacks the disease Munchausen Syndrome by proxy. Munchausen syndrome by proxy is a disease where someone is determined to be a caregiver. It can cause the caregiver to do irrational things, such as making their patient/victims sick on purpose and making up diseases and disorders. This disorder can cause “caregivers” to give medication that can make their victim sicker than they are. They will take their victim to many doctors, and when they are told there is nothing wrong, they will go elsewhere. Munchausen by proxy is a serious mental illness that can tragically affect others. Within the film, Munchausen by proxy can be seen towards the middle of the movie when Chloe begins to find out her mother is hiding a lot from her. It becomes obvious that Chloe’s illness is forced upon her by her mother. Throughout the film, there are parts where it hints that this mental illness fits in with the movie’s plot, such as when Chloe finds out she is given dog medicine that numbs her legs. This film does bring the reality of what life is like for some people, and how much of a real horror movie life can be.

Although Run is a fantastic movie, in my opinion, there are a few issues within the screenplay. It includes some cliché moments and doesn’t portray a unique plot. Every horror movie starts happy and inviting, as if there is not a single problem. That is exactly how this film begins. Throughout, there are the typical suspenseful moments where the viewer can almost see what is coming. For example, in the scene where Chloe tries to escape being locked in her room, she obviously finds her way out. When she meets up with the mailman and Diane pulls up, it becomes clear the mailman will meet his end. In the end, a particular moment I noticed was cliché was when Diane gets to Chloe’s hospital room, a code is called, and the doctors are forced to leave, allowing Diane time to abduct Chloe. Further into the ending scene, the nurse returns to find Chloe missing, and calls for security, and of course, within minutes, Chloe is found and saved. Again, the movie was very well put together, and the acting was incredible, but there a plot with fewer predictable moments would have made this movie even more thrilling.

In conclusion, I highly recommend this film. It’s a very suspenseful movie full of surprises. It is a good watch, and it has an all-around good plot. The actresses in the main roles are spectacular and do not disappoint. If Hulu is available, it is a great commercial-free film to spend your time watching.