The rest of the movie proceeds more or less as you might expect it to, and in that sense Run is also a rather more conventional thriller than Searching. But it’s also a hell of a lot of fun on a basic B-movie level, thanks to Chaganty’s expert control of tone, his superb crafting of suspense sequences (including a doozy right in the middle of the picture) and excellent work from Paulson and Allen in what is essentially a two-hander.
Paulson is, of course, a master at this point of playing women whose intensity and passion can either come from righteousness or derangement, and Run is an impeccable showcase for her always impressive talents and presence. The breakout here is Allen: just as Searching was the first mainstream Hollywood thriller to cast an Asian-American actor (John Cho) in the lead, Run is the first in decades to feature a real-life wheelchair user as the main character. But aside from her remarkable physicality in the role, Allen is engaging, empathetic, and believable as a resourceful young woman who abruptly learns her life is a lie.
There are hints that the film could go deeper into the psychology of motherhood and the dynamics of a parent/child, but Chaganty and Ohanian don’t get very far down that road. They instead focus on the mechanics of a taut, propulsive thriller and succeed tremendously, even when a few script holes and some degree of implausibility rear their heads in the third act. Run doesn’t flag for its tight 90-minute running time and keeps the audience hooked, even within its relatively tight setting of the Shermans’ house (plus two forays to outside locations). Torin Borrowdale’s Hermann-esque score also goes a long way toward maintaining the Hitchcockian vibe that Chaganty aims for.
Lionsgate Films was behind the production of Run and handed it off to Hulu at some point, as one release date after another became untenable during the past eight COVID-ravaged months. That was probably a smart move, as Run is a relatively small film that could benefit from being readily available to homebound audiences looking for their thriller fix. And they could certainly do a lot worse: with Searching and now Run, Chaganty proves himself exceptionally adept at psychological suspense and smartly paced thrills. We’d tell you to run to see it, but you can watch right at home instead.
Run premieres on Hulu this Friday, Nov. 20.
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