Mother versus daughter – in RUN – YOU CAN’T ESCAP IT by thriller director Aneesh Chaganty, the loving relationship between two women turns into an unexciting game of cat and mouse. We’ll tell you more about this in our review.
OT: Run (USA/CAN 2020)
Diane (Sarah Paulson) has raised her 17-year-old daughter Chloe (Kiera Allen) in complete isolation in the countryside, controlling every step she has made since birth. But as Chloe begins to fledge and apply for college, Diane’s unnaturally close bond becomes increasingly frightening. When Chloe finds out that her mother has a lot of secrets from her, the situation threatens to escalate…
Aneesh Chaganty achieved one in 2018 with “Searching”. the Genre highlights of the cinema year. In it he told the dramatic and exciting story of a missing person case exclusively via computer screens; Chat windows, video player services and social network platforms. This concept wasn’t completely new at the time, but Chaganty was the first whose work worked as an absolutely straightforward thriller even outside of this directorial gimmick. The expectations for Chaganty’s next film must have been correspondingly high – after all, believe it or not, “Searching” marked his debut as a feature film director. Whoever thought that Chaganty would now bet on a “desktop thriller” again after his internationally respected debut , but he is wrong. The filmmaker, who was born in Washington and has Indian roots, remains true to the genre: “Run – You Can’t Escape Her,” which is released directly on DVD, Blu-ray and as a VOD title in this country, is also a straightforward suspense film with some adrenaline-pumping tension peaks and a smart idea per se: What if it wasn’t your mother-in-law, as usual, but your real mother who became your final opponent? But unfortunately the film is far too easy to predict from the outset, so that all the developments that take place in “Run” are anything but exciting.
You suspect from the start that Chloe’s (Kiera Allen) mother Diane (Sarah Paulson) is up to no good…
The premise of “Run” is reminiscent of the 2019 Starz series “The Act,” in which Patricia Arquette plays a mother with Munchausen syndrome by proxy, based on a true crime case. People with this mental disorder intentionally cause physical harm to their child and then self-sacrificingly care for it. “Run” is also about such a disturbed mother-daughter relationship, which is evident as such from the outset. But the screenwriting team of Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian (already co-written “Searching” and will also write the script for the already confirmed sequel “Searching 2”) has been selling this fact to its viewers as just an option for far too long. While “The Act” creators Nick Antosca and Michelle Dean tell their story from two different perspectives – that of the daughter and that of the mother, i.e. alternately from the perspective of the victim and the perpetrator – the creators of “Run” only focus on that View of the young girl who gradually discovers the dark actions of her overprotective mother. Newcomer Kiera Allen, for whom “Run” is the feature film debut, portrays her continually increasing unease and growing fear of her mother absolutely believably, but overall the film works more as a character drama and less as a thriller, let alone as a horror film like it the Internet Movie Database (IMDb).
“Newcomer Kiera Allen portrays her continually increasing unease and growing fear of her mother absolutely believably, but overall “Run” works more as a character drama and less as a thriller, let alone as a horror film.”
The question arises as to whether Diane is perhaps simply a mother who resorts to extremely drastic protective measures for her daughter, even for helicopter parents, or whether there is actually a classic villain motivation behind her madness to isolate Chloe from the outside world and claim her completely for herself never. On the other hand, the mother’s actions, which range from excessive medication checks to preventing any contact to locking her up, blackmailing her and worse, simply cannot be read in different ways at any time. The mother’s behavior is deeply evil and inexcusable. Sarah Paulson’s – in the truest sense of the word – insane performance does the rest. The “American Horror Story” actress openly displays the psychological disorder of her power- and control-obsessed Diane and occasionally resorts to overacting, which turns her character into an almost cartoonish comic villain. As a result, “Run” takes on unintentionally funny traits in some places, which at times place the film more in the high-gloss trash segment, but hardly in such bitter suspense cinema as was the case with “Searching”.
Chloe begins to get to the bottom of her mother’s behavior…
“Run” develops its greatest tension primarily through the cramped setting and the fact that the daughter (like the actress herself) also has limited mobility due to her wheelchair. Cinematographer Hillary Spera (“The Witch Club”) It skilfully manages to capture the apparent confinement of the house, which is actually not that small, from Chloe’s perspective in a correspondingly oppressive way. For her, freedom ends at the stairs or at the front door, which is always locked by her mother. Especially when Chloe seeks visual contact through the window with her mother, who is in the garden, in order to use this time to simply do what she wants without a watcher, Spera succeeds in making Chloe’s world tangible for the outside audience. Unfortunately, the trick of tying the young girl to a wheelchair seems primarily lazy given the predictable development that comes with it. It would have been so much more exciting to see how Diane managed to prevent her daughter from escaping her mother’s house, even without a wheelchair. However, the noose of victimhood only tightens around Chloe’s neck, which further robs “Run” of its already very low, emotional heights. This also applies to the finale, which tries to surprise its audience with a twist (which can also be guessed well in advance). But at this point, the audience will no longer be interested in whether Diane, who is already insane, might be still is more insane…
“Run’s greatest tension arises primarily from the cramped setting and the fact that the daughter, who sits in a wheelchair, also has limited mobility.”
Conclusion: In order to create a correspondingly exciting film from the exciting premise of a psychological war between mother and daughter, “Searching” director Aneesh Chaganty should not have been so quick to look into the narrative cards. His thriller chamber play “Run”, which is primarily limited to two people, is therefore transparent from start to finish.
“Run” is already available on VOD and on DVD and Blu-ray from January 15th.