Run (2020 American film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed byAneesh Chaganty
Written by
Produced by
CinematographyHillary Spera
Edited by
  • Nick Johnson
  • Will Merrick
Music byTorin Borrowdale
Distributed byHulu
Release dates
  • October 8, 2020 (2020-10-08) (Nightstream)[1]
  • November 20, 2020 (2020-11-20) (United States)
Running time
89 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$1 million[2]
Box office$5.2 million[3][4]

Run (referred to on-screen as Run.) is a 2020 American psychological horror thriller film directed by Aneesh Chaganty, and written by Chaganty and Sev Ohanian. The film stars Kiera Allen as disabled teenager Chloe Sherman, who begins to suspect that her mother, Diane (Sarah Paulson), has been keeping a dark secret about her upbringing. The film has connections to other films by Chaganty and Ohanian and is the second installment in the filmmaking duo's Searching film series.

Run was released in the United States via streaming on November 20, 2020 on Hulu, and was released in other territories both theatrically and through streaming by Lionsgate International and by Netflix on April 2, 2021. The film received generally positive reviews from critics and became Hulu's most successful original film upon its release.


Diane Sherman gives birth to a premature daughter, whom she goes to see lying in an incubator, surrounded by the hospital staff. Years later, Diane lives a quiet life with her now teenage daughter, Chloe. Due to the circumstances of her birth, Chloe suffers from arrhythmia, hemochromatosis, asthma, and diabetes, as well as partial paralysis at her legs. She uses a wheelchair, takes multiple medications daily, and is homeschooled by her mother.

One morning, while looking through a bag of groceries for chocolate, Chloe finds a prescription bottle of green pills with Diane's name on the label. However, when Chloe later inspects the bottle, she finds a label bearing her name has been pasted over the original. Chloe tries to research the name of the pills—Trigoxin—but discovers the house has no internet connection, unaware Diane is watching her. The next day, Chloe dials a random number from her mother's bedroom phone, and asks the answering stranger to look up the drug. He tells her it is a heart medication and that all pictures of the medication show a small red pill.

Later, while pretending to go to the bathroom at the movie theater, Chloe rushes to the pharmacy across the street from the theater. The pharmacist at the desk reveals the green pills are a relaxant called Ridocaine, which had been only approved for dogs and could paralyze a human's legs. Chloe begins to hyperventilate before Diane runs in and sedates her daughter to take her home.

Chloe wakes up in bed and finds her bedroom door locked from the outside, while Diane is out running an errand. She breaks out of her room by dragging herself onto the roof, eventually making her way to her mother's bedroom and breaking the window with a soldering iron and water. She begins to have an asthma attack and only barely manages to crawl to her room to retrieve her inhaler. She tries to use her automated wheelchair ramp to go downstairs, but finds that Diane has cut the power cord. Chloe is forced to throw her wheelchair down the stairs and accidentally falls, sustaining minor injuries but also discovering that she can move one of her toes, due to having not taken Ridocaine in the last few days.

Outside down the road, Chloe sees a mail truck and rushes to stop it; she explains her situation to Tom, the postal worker, who agrees to help her. Diane pulls up and Chloe asks him to contact the police. Tom confronts Diane and tells her she can't take Chloe home. When closing up the van to take Chloe to the police station, Diane appears and stabs Tom with a syringe. Chloe hyperventilates and then blacks out, and when she awakes, she is in the basement of her house, with her wheelchair chained to a steel pole as Diane drags Tom's body through her hallway.

While in the basement, Chloe discovers her childhood photos, which show her walking, as well as a death certificate for a girl named Chloe who died two hours after her birth and an article about a couple who had their baby stolen from the same hospital. When Diane enters, Chloe accuses her of deliberately making her sick and demands the truth. Diane insists everything she ever did was to help and protect Chloe; when Chloe accuses Diane of poisoning her, Diane exclaims that she saved her, while filling a syringe with paint thinner, saying it will make her forget. Chloe crawls away and locks herself in a closet. She then swallows a bottle of organophosphate, forcing Diane to rush her to the hospital.

Chloe wakes up in a hospital bed, intubated and barely able to move. Diane insists that her "daughter" be discharged, but the doctors refuse until Chloe has been evaluated by a mental health professional. Chloe signals to a nurse, who brings her a crayon and paper. While Chloe is attempting to write "MOM" on the paper, a code blue is called and the nurse rushes out. Armed with a handgun, Diane then sneaks in and ties Chloe to a wheelchair to escape; the nurse finds the bed empty and alerts hospital security. As Diane tries to find an exit, Chloe is able to move her foot and hold the chair in place. Diane begs her to come home with her, but Chloe replies that she doesn't need her. Diane aims her gun at security guards while cornered and is shot in the arm, causing her to fall down the stairs.

Seven years later, Chloe still relies on her wheelchair, although is able to walk short distances using a cane. She visits Diane in a correctional facility, where Diane is confined to a bed in the infirmary ward, and begins discussing the life she (Chloe) built for herself, including her husband, children, career and birth family.[clarification needed] Chloe takes out three plastic-wrapped Ridocaine pills she hid under her tongue, and tells Diane that she still loves her before asking her to open her mouth wide.



In June 2018, it was announced Lionsgate would produce, distribute, and finance the film, with Aneesh Chaganty directing, from a screenplay he wrote alongside Sev Ohanian. Ohanian and Natalie Qasabian produced the film.[6] In October 2018, Sarah Paulson joined the cast of the film,[7] and in December 2018, Kiera Allen was set to star as well.[8]

Principal photography in Winnipeg, Canada began on October 31, 2018, and wrapped on December 18, 2018.[9]

Torin Borrowdale composed the film's score, as he previously collaborated with Chaganty in Searching. According to Borrowdale, the goal for the film's musical direction was to achieve "the essence of Bernard Herrmann, but for a 2020 cinematic experience."[10] The film was a joint production between Summit Entertainment, Lions Gate Films, Search Party Productions, and Hulu Original Films.[11][12][13]


Run was originally scheduled to be theatrically released on May 8, 2020, coinciding with Mother's Day weekend,[14] although as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, its release was delayed indefinitely. Lionsgate intended to announce a new release date "once there is more clarity on when movie theaters" will reopen.[15]

In August 2020 however, with the pandemic's continued influence on the film industry, Hulu acquired American distribution rights to the film,[16] and it debuted exclusively through them via streaming on November 20, 2020.[17] The movie was released in other continents under Lionsgate International banner.[12]

Netflix later acquired international streaming rights and released the film on April 2, 2021.[18]


Audience viewership[edit]

Following its debut weekend, Hulu reported that Run was the most-watched original film in the platform's history, as well as the most talked about on Twitter.[19]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 88% based on 139 reviews, with an average rating of 7.1/10. The site's critics consensus reads, "Solid acting and expertly ratcheted tension help Run transcend its familiar trappings to deliver a delightfully suspenseful thriller."[20] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 67 out of 100, based on 20 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[21]

Jessica Gomez of wrote, "If you're like me and you were captivated by the story of Gypsy Rose and her mother Dee Dee Blanchard, then I've got a psychological thriller with your name on it."[22] Ryan Lattanzio of IndieWire gave the film a "C+" and said, "There's enough go-for-broke and whiplash-inducing shifts in tone on display to suggest this filmmaking duo has a future, even when their characters don't seem to have a past."[23]

Rahul Desai of Film Companion wrote, "The film doubles up as an allegory and indictment of modern parenting – the control disguised as caregiving, the lack of identity, the incessant smothering, the manipulation, and the blurred line between selflessness and selfishness"[24]

Related films[edit]

Searching (2018)[edit]

In November 2018, Ohanian revealed that Run includes intentional references to his previous film Searching, while also stating that the latter has connections to the prior as well.[25] Later in November 2020, Chaganty and Ohanian revealed that one of these connections involves a brief appearance by the character of Hannah from Searching as a stock photo model. The filmmaking duo stated that the references between their movies establish that they take place within the same fictional continuity.[26]

Missing (2023)[edit]

In November 2022, Ohanian revealed that during the events of Missing, connections to Run will be explored, including revealing what happened to its main characters. The filmmaker referred to the plot-thread as an epilogue to cliffhanger ending.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Run". Nightstream. Retrieved October 29, 2020.
  2. ^ Pearson, Ben (January 31, 2019). "'Run', A New Thriller From 'Searching' Director Aneesh Chaganty, Hits Theaters In 2020". Slash Film. Retrieved January 24, 2023.
  3. ^ "Run (2020)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on December 31, 2020. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
  4. ^ "Run (2020)". The Numbers. Archived from the original on December 31, 2020. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
  5. ^ Chandler, Sarah (December 8, 2020). "The Stephen King thriller reference you missed in Hulu's Run". Looper. Archived from the original on December 31, 2020. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  6. ^ McNary, Dave (June 7, 2018). "Lionsgate to Develop Thriller 'Run' From 'Searching' Filmmakers (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
  7. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (October 11, 2018). "Sarah Paulson To Star In Lionsgate Thriller 'Run', Directed By 'Searching' Helmer Aneesh Chaganty". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on December 31, 2020. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
  8. ^ Nemiroff, Perri (December 6, 2018). "Exclusive: Newcomer Kiera Allen Cast Opposite Sarah Paulson in Thriller 'Run'". Collider. Archived from the original on December 31, 2020. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
  9. ^ Sneider, Jeff (October 11, 2018). "Exclusive: Sarah Paulson to Star in Thriller 'Run' from 'Searching' Filmmakers". Collider. Archived from the original on December 31, 2020. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
  10. ^ Reeves, Rachel (2020-03-18). "[Exclusive Interview] Netflix's LOCKE AND KEY Composer Torin Borrowdale Unlocks the Magical Power of Musical Exploration". Nightmare on Film Street. Retrieved 2020-04-03.
  11. ^ Vlessing, Etan (January 31, 2019). "Lionsgate Suspense Thriller 'Run' Sets 2020 Release Date". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 25, 2023.
  12. ^ a b Grierson, Tim (November 15, 2020). "'Run': Review". Screen Daily. Retrieved January 25, 2023.
  13. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 24, 2020). "'Run' Races To Hulu Record As Streamer's Most Watched Movie Ever In Its Opening Weekend". Deadline. Retrieved January 25, 2023.
  14. ^ Couch, Aaron (January 17, 2020). "Lionsgate Thriller 'Run' Release Date Pushed Back 4 Months". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on December 31, 2020. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  15. ^ Sneider, Jeff (March 17, 2020). "Lionsgate Delays Chris Rock's 'Saw' Movie, Janelle Monae's 'Antebellum'". Collider. Archived from the original on March 18, 2020. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  16. ^ Kit, Borys (August 11, 2020). "Sarah Paulson Horror Thriller 'Run' Moves from Lionsgate to Hulu (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on August 11, 2020. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  17. ^ Day-Ramos, Dino (September 22, 2020). "Aneesh Chaganty's Thriller 'Run' Starring Sarah Paulson Lands Release Date At Hulu". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on September 23, 2020. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  18. ^ "Sarah Paulson's 'Run' Coming to Netflix Internationally in April 2021". What's on Netflix. March 25, 2021.
  19. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 24, 2020). "'Run' Races To Hulu Record As Streamer's Most Watched Movie Ever In Its Opening Weekend". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  20. ^ "Run (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Archived from the original on December 31, 2020. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  21. ^ "Run (2020) Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
  22. ^ Gomez, Jessica. "Run (2020) Review". All Horror. Archived from the original on December 31, 2020. Retrieved November 21, 2020.
  23. ^ Lattanzio, Ryan (October 9, 2020). "'Run' Review: Sarah Paulson Careens from Psycho Horror to Camp in Berserk Munchausen Thriller". IndieWire. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  24. ^ Desai, Rahul (3 April 2021). "Run, On Netflix, Is A Run-Of-The-Mill Family Thriller". Film Companion. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
  25. ^ Lussier, Germain (November 13, 2018). "An Alien Invasion Was Happening in Searching, You Just Didn't Notice It". Gizmodo. Retrieved January 25, 2023.
  26. ^ Pearson, Ben (November 20, 2020). "The Biggest 'Run' Easter Eggs And Cameos, And An Update On 'Searching 2'". Slash Film. Retrieved January 25, 2023.
  27. ^ u/sevohanian (November 10, 2022). "The sequel to Searching, titled "Missing", now releasing January 20th". Reddit. Retrieved November 10, 2022. [A]re you going to do a sequel to Run too? u/sevohanian To be honest, unlikely[,] but if you pay attention in MISSING.... you may find out what has continued to happen to those characters in RUN :)

External links[edit]