Review: Run

Kiera Allen in Run

Run is a thriller in which nobody runs. Newcomer Kiera Allen does wheel her wheelchair very fast a couple of times. Allen and a fabulous Sarah Paulson as her mother make up the majority of this tense drama. The film is streaming on Hulu.

Run contains elements of The Act and of a beautiful Japanese film 37 Seconds. I mention The Act because Run uses a Munchausen by proxy theme to invoke terror. In 37 Seconds, the main character is a real life wheelchair user, as Kiera Allen is.

In Run, the film begins with Diane (Paulson) giving birth to a severely underweight baby girl. We skip ahead 17 years and see Diane with her homeschooled daughter Chloe (Allen). Chloe is very smart. She’s happy and busy with several projects. Diane raises their food in a big garden.

But – Chloe has numerous ailments, is confined to a wheelchair, and takes all sorts of medications.

Sarah Paulson and Kiera Allen in Run

Notes that indicate life isn’t as idyllic as it first looked begin to appear. Chloe isn’t getting the longed for mail from the University of Washington telling her she’s been accepted. Chloe can’t have her own phone or computer. Diane gives Chloe a new pill amidst the plethora of pills she already takes. That raises questions.

Sarah Paulson and Kiera Allen in Run

Chloe manages to get away from Diane long enough to find out about the new pill from the pharmacist. From this point, Chloe realizes things are wrong with her mother. Diane’s control over Chloe increases – she uses Chloe’s disability to contain her. It becomes a question of whether Chloe is smart enough and daring enough to overcome every obstacle.

There are exciting scenes and some nice twists toward the end that keep the plot from being completely predictable. Sarah Paulson and Kiera Allen are wonderful together, moving from happiness to terror with perfection. The pace never lets up. All in all, an enjoyable thriller with two terrific performances.

Kiera Allen gave an interesting interview to the NY Times about being among the first real wheelchair users to get a lead part in an American film. (The NY Times article contains spoilers and a scene discussion by the director, Aneesh Chaganty.) As for disabled American actresses, I remind you not to forget Jillian Mercado in The L Word: Generation Q, although she wasn’t a lead character.

Stories about mentally ill mothers who destroy their children’s lives make my skin crawl. I hope Kiera Allen and all the other disabled actors out there waiting for their chance get to play more everyday, normal people in the future. She really shone in this difficult role.

Poster for Run

The trailer is rather misleading, but here it is.

Have you seen this one yet? What did you think?

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