Run: A Mystery Thriller About a Homeschooled Teen

run movie screenshotRun is a Hulu Original film starring Kiera Allen as Chloe Sherman, a studious 17-year-old homeschooler in Pasco, Washington. The movie starts out nice and normal, but soon you see some red flags and the girl becomes suspicious of her mother Diane (Sarah Paulson). Run slow-builds the tension exquisitely; and by the end, this suspenseful psychological thriller gets really dark!

Chloe is intellectually bright but she’s confined to a wheelchair and in addition to lower-body paralysis she has several other maladies such as asthma, diabetes, hemochromatosis, and an irregular heartbeat. Chloe has been raised under strict surveillance and is homeschooled by her mother, a single parent who works part time as a substitute teacher.

Now that Chloe’s almost 18, the gifted teen dreams of going to college. Diane isn’t happy, venting in a support group about her impending empty nest. When Diane’s not helicopter parenting over her daughter, she’s sipping a glass of red wine while watering her elaborate vegetable garden. She then retreats to the basement to replay old home movies of her little girl. Diane is not going to let Chloe get away without a fight.

As Chloe eagerly awaits her college acceptance letters, her mother’s strange behavior doesn’t go unnoticed. Chloe begins to suspect that Diane might be deliberately isolating her from the outside world and intercepting her mail. She schemes to unravel the secrets that her mother is keeping from her and discover the truth.

When Chloe pries into some private papers, she discovers a Change of Name document with her mother’s name, Diane Sherman, on it. Then when Chloe googles “Diane Sherman,” the internet suddenly disconnects. Chloe becomes suspicious of everything that her mother does, suspecting her of something sinister.

Chloe is a genius-level problem solver. She doesn’t stop for a second to complain about the physical obstacles that plague her daily life, and thus is the perfect protagonist when events force her to go above and beyond – albeit within the confines of her situation – to save herself. She decides to go on the run in her wheelchair in a desperate attempt to get away from her mother.

This unique horror film is dark, suspenseful, and has moments of emotional and physical terror and violence. Simple sequences like making a phone call or opening a door prove to be nerve-racking feats of painstaking endurance, as Chloe has to try and escape various dire situations despite being in a wheelchair, asthmatic, and diabetic.

Kiera Allen, the actress who plays Chloe, is paraplegic in real life, which makes Run the first major thriller to star a wheelchair user since Christopher Reeve starred in Rear Window (1998). It’s nice that the filmmakers specifically wanted to cast a disabled actress, since Hollywood rarely casts disabled actors for disabled roles. Allen has used a wheelchair since 2014, but she doesn’t like to talk about the accident that paralyzed her. This was also Allen’s first feature film role, and she did an amazing job.

The ending of Run was kind of shocking, and not what I was expecting. I found it rather disappointing, actually. The movie was only 90 minutes long, so they could have made it a little longer to wrap things up better. Filmmakers apparently think they’re being clever by adding a twist ending, but such twists have become too common and cliché. Just a nice happy ending would have been a lot more satisfying.

Rated PG-13 for disturbing thematic content, some violence/terror, and mild language.

Have you seen Run? What did you think of it? Leave a comment!

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  1. Great movie even though it has a lot of plot holes and a minor goof that will be noticeable to anyone who lives in the Pacific Northwest. Diane brings groceries home in Kroger bags, but the area where this story takes place doesn’t have Kroger stores – they have Kroger affiliate Fred Meyers.

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