Friday, January 20, 2023

Run Rabbit Run Movie Review [Sundance 2023]: Family trauma haunts a grieving mother

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Director Daina Reid introduces a family drama wrapped in a slowly building ghost story run rabbit run. She previously worked on some emotionally dark television shows, such as The outsider and The story of the maid. Screenwriter Hannah Kent’s story brings out intriguing character dynamics, but neither the horror nor drama connects the way they should.

Sarah (Sarah Snook) works as a fertility doctor and embraces life with all the good and bad. However, with her young daughter Mia (Lily LaTorre) and her ex-husband Peter (Damon Herriman), she reaches her limits. They decide to get together for Mia’s birthday, where they suddenly discover a mysterious white rabbit on their doorstep, which Sarah allows her to keep.

The longer Sarah tries to ignore her family’s dark past, the more Mia plays out. The mother and daughter are forced to face the grief that has dogged their family for decades, resulting in a broken world that keeps their worlds apart. Mia’s odd behavior only escalates further, forcing Sarah to confront the family’s longstanding grief in order to achieve normalcy.

Birthdays aren’t always the happiest of occasions run rabbit run certainly flaunts. Mia’s special day is getting worse and Sarah is upset. She keeps secrets from her child, but their importance continues to grow, changing their relationship forever. Reid uses the same questions to develop the film’s emotional core, which taps into the painful past of family grief.

Mia’s grandfather died, which continues to weigh on Sarah. However, they deal with losses in different ways. Sarah turns her feelings inward, shutting them in and refusing to trust anyone with those feelings. Meanwhile, Mia begins acting strangely and assumes someone else’s identity. Is this part of the healing process or is the young girl possessed by a ghost?

The more isolated run rabbit run in setting and motivation, the more the roots of the family trauma turn into a downright horror nightmare. Sarah’s entire world is turned upside down as the past and present merge into a future with potentially dire consequences.

run rabbit run proposes an intriguing set-up in which his white rabbit represents a greater mystery that captivates the viewer. Reid stuffs eerie images into the corners of the frame and never lets the characters exist alone on screen. The film is never necessarily scary, but it manages to create an atmosphere.

Kent’s screenplay occasionally brings Jennifer Kent’s out of the ordinary The Babadook to remember how a mother at her breaking point and a runaway child try to find their way through grief together. Mia says some creepy, wacky comments as Sarah’s world continues to fall apart. However, Reid’s feature film is missing The BabadookAbility to construct characters whose journeys the audience will want to follow. Nothing about them feels different. Sarah and Mia’s story is underwritten, which doesn’t allow the drama to reach a convincing point.

run rabbit run is a lukewarm horror drama that will overwhelm both the chills and the emotional blow. The pacing remains relatively smooth and the performances from Snook and LaTorre are engaging. Just a shame the film feels so suffocating it feels so cold.

run rabbit run is coming to Netflix sometime in 2023.

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