Seeing such a simple concept being expertly crafted and fundamentally resourceful with what constraints it has, is a rare thing to come by. Director Aneesh Chaganty has managed to achieve that for the second time, first being with his surprise hit Searching (2018). Yet again his scope is small, with the majority of the events unfolding in one space, but he uses that space to gravitate its plot and character developments in great fashion.
Chloe Sherman (Kiera Allen) is bound to a wheelchair and has a long list of health related issues. Her mum Diane (Sarah Paulson), overlooks all of Chloe’s activity throughout the day even home-schooling Chloe and making sure she’s taking her daily doses of medication. As Chloe is set to loosen the chains of her overbearing mother as she wishes to head off to college, she begins to question her mothers behaviour and unravels some troubling truths.
When done well, phycological thrillers rank amongst my favourite genres. An engaging concept that can incorporate horror elements will have me hooked. Run achieves both of these and although it’s by no means a grandiose experience, and even follows the predictable route through most of it, it hits its narrative highs and wraps up the movie in a respectable 90 minutes.
Sarah Paulson has found her role. Terrible human being that knows her way around drugs and medicine. Demonstrating her undeniable talent by playing the lead in Netflix’s Ratched, it seems once again she can play that menacing type character and as this story becomes more uncomfortable and chilling, so does Paulson’s performance.
She doesn’t do it alone though, as Kiera Allen also turns in a remarkable performance. A full feature debut for the young actress making this far more impressive. This is her story and she finds herself in the centre of it all, and managing to go toe to toe with Sarah Paulson is no easy feat. Much like Paulson, Allen gets increasingly favoured as the script gets darker and grittier.
Run is caught somewhere between feeling like an Hitchcockian thriller and Stephen King’s ‘Misery’. Aneesh Chaganty’s work is favoured by its earnest pacing and snappy runtime, even if it does often feel a little predictable. It utilises its predominantly solo setting to heighten each of its nail-biting segments, and that’s something this film has plenty of.
If you fancy a thriller that doesn’t require a lot of patience and take up too much of your time, then Run is a recommendation I give to you. With it comes two of my favourite performances so far this year and scary Sarah is always a win in my books. Aneesh Chaganty might just be the king of quick thrills. Although Searching and Run aren’t so similar in regards to plot, there are elements to both that show his talent for making grand gestures out of little ideas. Whilst neither his first directing effort or Run here are quite the masterpieces, they do open the door to a promising career for their director.