It’s one of those thrillers that you enjoy like a cheeky Big Mac. It tastes good, but once you consume and settle, it’s not that filling.
This review of Hulu and Netflix film Run contains no spoilers. The thriller was released on Hulu on November 20, 2020. It was later released on Netflix on April 2, 2021.
If you have watched the popular series The Act, then you will be faced with familiarity when watching Hulu’s Run, a film that was meant to receive a theatrical release but was snared by the streaming service in turbulent times. The story is nearly identical, following young teenager Claire (played by newcomer Kiera Allen) who is brought up by her overbearing and silently abusive mother Diane (played by Sarah Paulson). Like the mentioned series, the mother has medically controlled her daughter into believing she has a range of pre-existing conditions that have reduced the quality of her life, essentially making her a life-long prisoner unbeknown to herself.
As the story unfolds, Claire starts to uncover the truth, and that’s when the thriller tropes come into play. Beat by beat, Run is generic in its style, substance and delivery, but there are specific scenes that will have viewers on-edge, as Claire has to find a reasonable way out of a physically demanding ordeal. Props have to be sent Kiera Allen’s way, who plays a convincing human being trapped in her body. When Sarah Paulson is off the screen, it paves the way for Kiera to shine and she certainly does so.
Run does get caught up in its predictability; the suspenseful moments have viewers second-guessing the outcome, but with each predictable answer coming their way, each twist gets a little less impactful each time. I suppose from my perspective, because I’ve seen a similar plot play out in serial format, I knew the nuisances and the challenges that would come for the lead characters.
There is an emotional aspect to Run. While most sympathy is aimed at Claire, viewers can feel some slight pity for the mother, who experienced a traumatic birth and finds herself dedicating her whole life in keeping her daughter within the realms of this medically-induced existence. The Hulu series reflects the mental inflictions that can impact a mother post-birth. While Run is a seriously severe example, there’s some element of truth in the protectiveness that props up her overbearing and illegal nature. And with that angle slightly engrained into the writing, the story suddenly becomes the story of a tragic relationship, disrupted by truth, rather than an evil woman keeping a young woman against her will.
As the credits rolled, a thought did cross my mind; it’s highly unlikely that I will watch Run again. It’s one of those thrillers that you enjoy like a cheeky Big Mac. It tastes good, but once you consume and settle, it’s not that filling.