Run Rabbit Run (2023) Ending Explained: Decoding the double-edged “cliffhanger”


Run Rabbit Run Plot Summary

Netflix’s ‘Run Rabbit Run’ starring Sara Snook is scary. But not in the way you’d imagine. This film from Down Under is a thoroughbred psychological thriller with elements of supernatural occurrences. It falls more in the league of The Babadook than The Conjuring.

Owing to the choice of narrative, Run Rabbit Run unfolds in a slow-burn fashion with little change in plot trajectory. However, there are a lot of surprises to unpack in the Netflix film, which we will be discussing in this piece.

Sarah Gregory (Snook) is a single mother who lives with Mia, her young daughter. Sarah works at a fertility clinic and is on good terms with her ex-husband Pete and his new partner Denise. Her past, though, is meddled with trauma and dark secrets that she is hesitant to share with others.

Joan, her elderly mother, is committed to a care facility for the aged and often expresses her wish to see Mia. On her birthday, Mia is left with a surprise present in the form of a white rabbit outside their door. Sarah finds it odd and burns the birthday card that Joan wrote for Mia.

She does not want Mia to have a relationship with her grandma. But the reasons for this aren’t initially clear. After her father Albert’s death, Sarah has been struggling to reconnect with her roots. Run Rabbit Run does not delve too deep into the family dynamics of the Gregory family but the cause of the distance and uneasiness seems to be the other missing daughter of the family; Sarah’s sister, Alice.

Ever since the arrival of the rabbit, the fortunes of the household change. Mia starts to behave strangely and we see the little girl call herself Alice. Sarah also starts seeing strange wounds on Mia’s head, which harbour a macabre detail from her childhood.

When Joan meets Mia at the facility, she starts calling her “Alice.” We learn that she is still waiting for her daughter to come back home. It is also revealed that Joan has developed dementia and has trouble keeping track of things.

Why does Mia start calling herself “Alice?” What is its significance?

Mia grows more tumultuous with Sarah and their relationship suffers. Sarah tries to look past Mia’s strange behaviour but everything changes when she discovers the vivid sketches Mia has been drawing. These sketches are disturbing portraits of herself with the bunny against a black background. This extends to all the pictures in the house and also her notebooks.

Mia professes to have talked to Albert, who promised her he would return to the world as a pelican so as to keep an eye on Sarah. But why does Mia start calling herself Alice?

Both of them share a very similar appearance. But that’s not it. The reason behind Mia calling herself Alice is hidden in Sarah’s past and something she did with her sister. After Mia and Sarah start living in Sarah’s childhood home which sits right above a cliff, we learn what happened to Alice.

In a flashback, we learn the truth. As sisters, Alice and Sarah used to fight a lot. It is suggested that the former used to bully the latter, which is why Sarah took Mia’s supposed suffering very seriously. One day, while playing around the garage, Alice pinned down Sarah on the ground and started choking her. Defenceless, Sarah grabbed onto a rabbit trap kept nearby and smacked Alice on her head. She started bleeding profusely. This is reflected in the present by the strange wounds that Sarah saw on Mia’s head. The wounds are not real – they are a symbol of Sarah’s hallucinations and perceived guilt.

Back to the flashback. Sarah started chasing Alice, who ran toward the edge of the cliff. That is where we learn that Sarah pushed Alice off the cliff and killed her. As such she did not just “go away” or went missing! Sarah never told her parents about this but the guilt of killing her own sister forever remained attached to her. It was buried somewhere deep in her conscience and surfaced when Mia turned the same age as Alice before her death.

Run Rabbit Run Ending Explained:

Sarah’s condition deteriorates as the days pass by. It becomes increasingly difficult for her to tell the difference between reality and her imagination. It might even have something to do with hereditary mental issues that first plagued her father and now her mother, Joan. Anyway, the perceived strangeness in Mia’s behaviour leads her to take extravagant measures and she informs Pete about Mia’s condition and the creepy situation they have found themselves in.

What does the rabbit represent?

Sarah decides to sell the house and keep Joan at the facility, something that Albert told Sarah before he died.  She meets Joan at the facility but her mother turns violent and claims that Mia is not “safe with Sarah.”

When she returns home, she finds that Mia has escaped the house. Sarah cannot find her anywhere. She runs out into the woods and finds Mia cowering behind some bushes. Sarah tells Mia that they’re moving out of the house. But Mia does not want to leave, having occupied Alice’s room and her wardrobe. She still calls herself Alice.

Sarah wakes up in a daze after having a nightmare about the moment she killed Alice. She finds herself using a black crayon to colour something on the floor as Pete knocks heavily at the door. This suggests it was Sarah who was making those pictures at the back of Mia’s assignments and photos at home.

Sarah and Pete frantically look for Mia. Sarah has a vision she is drowning and sees an apparition of Alice’s body. However, she is safely sitting by the shore so they bring her back to the house.

Sarah wants to tell Joan the truth at the facility. She has put her mother through years of torment that have degraded her health. While some closure over Alice’s whereabouts would have hurt deeper at the moment, it may have been better than letting Joan’s torment linger for almost a lifetime. But Sarah does not say anything to her as she is sleeping.

Sarah confesses her crime and guilt while lying next to Mia in Alice’s bed, calling her Alice. Sarah calls herself a “monster,” something that “Alice” agrees with.

When Sarah falls asleep, we see Mia’s eyes are open. She spots the rabbit hopping around the room, leaving it to lead her somewhere. Sarah wakes up and finds the bed empty. Through the window, she sees Mia walking with what looks like Alice toward the cliff. Sarah cannot get out of the house and the two girls keep on walking before the screen goes black.

So what does the rabbit represent?

Decoding Run Rabbit Run

It is quite certain that Alice “came back” or was resurrected in the form of that rabbit. A lot of cues are present in the film which points to this fact. All the strangeness started when the rabbit came into the house. How it got there is a mystery that the film does not answer. But there is the suggestion of the rabbit coming to the house on its own, guided by Alice’s spirit. When Sarah takes Mia to Alice’s grave, we see a small opening at the foot of the structure. It is quite possible that the rabbit could have ventured into the structure through that opening and got possessed.

This theory is far-fetched but it has legs to be believable. The other interpretation could be that Sarah was suffering from a mental condition that derailed her way of thinking. She was imagining things before this and the ending could also be in Sarah’s head.

Ultimately, the film’s ending is left to the viewer to decide according to their preference. Both the above possibilities are possible. Although in our opinion, Sarah is mentally sick and Mia is afraid of her deranged mother, whose behaviour causes her to run away. Regardless, Sarah has never been able to recover from the consequences of her actions.

Read More: Run Rabbit Run Movie Review

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38 thoughts on “Run Rabbit Run (2023) Ending Explained: Decoding the double-edged “cliffhanger””

  1. The Netflix version I saw shows cuts around the area of his bare derriere; a blue t-shirt; and a blue blanket or sheet partly on his leg, with the rest of his legs bare. But the legs are so thin and the body so distorted I had to stare at it a bit to figure out who it was and whether he was face up or down.

  2. Thank you guys for explaining the body on the bed. I didn’t realize the ex never left. And I thought it strange he wouldn’t take Mia after seeing her cuts. Guess he tried!

  3. Nobody has mentioned Sarah’s father in one of her memories pointing and mouthing words as she was standing in the spot she pushed Alice. I think Sarah’s father discovered what Sarah had done, and helped cover it up. That’s why no body was ever found even though I’m sure they would have searched the water extensively. Also, at the memorial, it zooms in on the dark rectangle hole, which is the same hole Sarah looks like she’s drawing on the floor near the end. I think Sarah and her father hid Alice’s remains in the memorial hole, and then they moved away. This also explains why the father feels like he needs to come back and watch over her – to make sure Sarah and the terrible secret are kept safe.

  4. Run Rabbit Run is about rabies and its effect on the mental health of the mother, Sarah. Only once the rabbit appears and bites the mother she starts to experience delusions and flashbacks to previous trauma. Over time, Mia starts to become fearful of her mother and the delusions involving her. Scenes like the one with Mia/Alice in the closet jumping on Sarah is referring to a prior memory Sarah has of Alice bullying her brought to the surface by the onset of rabies. This culminates into the final memory has with Alice pushing her over the cliff to her death. She seems to act this without her own daughter as her guilt builds. These delusions continue with other instances, such as the blood on Sarah’s hand from the bite to the blood of Alice. In the end, Sarah ends up killing her daughter in the same manner she killed Alice, pushing her off a cliff. She also kills her ex-husband out of guilt. Rabies Awareness Content!!

  5. We knew it was going to be a pretty dumb movie from the get go with a rating of 5/10. I watched it in two parts because it was so dumb. The mom is a pretty good actress though.

  6. Clearly, everyone is hallucinating this movie or the irony is just that thick! I’m watching it again to determine whether all these suggestions are plausible, wish me luck. What doesn’t make sense to me is how the beginning, with Sarah laying near the root of the tree in the water, connects in the timeline when she wears the same clothes that become stained and bloody. I also need to verify when Mia started calling herself Alice – was it before or after she met Joan when Joan called her Alice. I know she had memories of things that only Alice would know before she physically met Joan; and the rabbit appeared after she asked if Joan was coming to her party. As for the rabbit’s presence and the title…. of all things unwanted, Mia’s nickname just happens to be Bunny; she pets a rabbit on her birthday and her mother doesn’t want her to keep it… so why call her Bunny if they’re considered pests that need to be trapped or killed? Not to mention, the Bunny is seen only at moments when Mia is presenting as Alice (with or without the mask on), when Alice is mentioned, or when Alice appears in a dark tunnel. My other points of clarity are about Sarah and all the irony surrounding her – she’s an OBGYN? Fertility Doc? The rabbit and nature of rabbits in general? Mia is “supposed” to be an only child (but Pete and Denise are wanting another baby), the fact that Sarah and Alice didn’t get along as kids and she becomes an only child (maybe on purpose); the rabbit biting her and the suggestion that she contracts rabies and hallucinates; the dreams of hiding in tunnels and dark spaces and Alice appears…. and I don’t think she is the one drawing the dark pictures on Mia’s work even though she does it at the end. Which reminds me…. about Mia – her mood swings, panic attacks, hiding, bed wetting, nose bleeds, dark demeanor and defiance all seem connected to Alice’s occupation of Mia.

  7. I think Alice was taking Mia to heaven while Sarah was stuck in the house (her own personal hell) I think that’s why she can’t leave the house and killed her ex husband too. She can’t deal with what she has done but has to live with it and relive it over and over..

  8. There’s no rabies in Australia so the rabbit doesn’t give Sara rabies when it bites her.

  9. Think about this when it comes to Pete. The last time that he is for sure seen alive, he is soaking wet. Now I don’t know about you but I am gonna have to at least take my pants and socks and shoes off before going into a house soaked. Also I can hang my clothes to Dry. It would seem to me that he was killed shortly after making it back to the house and possibly being hit over the head and falling onto the bed. I feel like his feet were even hanging off the edge of the bed. The pillow may have been placed there so she did not have to look at the bloody head wound she created. The same way the daughter hides her bloody face from her mom. Mentally ill and violent people can’t alot òf times or won’t look at what they have done in person or in retrospect. In reality her acknowledging she is a monster would imply that she sees who she is and all the people she has harmed and that would most likely only happen if there was no one left alive. Part of DID is hiding the truth at any and all cost. They are terrified with reconciling the fact that they struggle to be good people as we all struggle. They can not handle people seeing the fullness of who they are and branch off into different identities to cope with all the parts they are uncomfortable with. She is not dead but her mom, ex, and child are. Probably in that order.

  10. At first, I thought Pete was cut with no pants on also. Until I paused it and realized it’s the dark lighting of the scene, light colored boxers, and a boxers crease. Either way, he is facedown in the other bed with a pillow over his head. This would suggest he stayed the night in the other bed out of concern (being in a tee shirt and boxers), where Sarah smothered him at some point.

    I do wonder why people assume she can’t leave the house, though. She does stand there and bang on the window, but she does not try to run toward a door. Maybe that’s why? Again, either way, Mia is dead (whether from Alice or herself).

  11. Yep!! I came here to post exactly what Ashley said. While the movie may hint at some kind of paranormal possession the simple basic truth is that Sarah is mentally ill. The first bit of evidence is well, killing her sister. But as Ashley mentioned at the end of the film when Sarah wakes up and looks around you can see her ex husband lying face down with the pillow over his head.

    This would indicate Sarah smothered him in his sleep and killed her daughter. With everyone dead and her mom with dementia she is left to herself in that old house…

  12. The only good thing about this movie is that it wasn’t longer…..shame on the writers for the lazy ending

  13. I definitely believe and like that this was made to be seen as Mia was the one in the wrong and alice was seen as bad until they got to the childhood house, throughout my time watching the movie I noticed multiple signs towards Sarah having /some sort of traumatic borderline personality disorder or even DID as she seemed to switch constantly throughout the movie but we only saw the side of Sarah that she believed she was, as she accused her daughter of scribbling in the book but then continue to realise that at the end it is sarah drawing on the floor half unaware, sarah had hallucinations with the unwanted trauma coming back into her life and saw blood and danger when she thought she was protecting Mia she was endangering her, the sad truth is either sarah had a traumatic childhood and without thinking did mean things to her sister, or she always had this switch that lead her to be unaware in that moment alice screamed she pushed her out of panic not realising that it would end with a worse result compared to Alice was found the way she was, in the end sarah in thee house symbolizes she is still stuck in her trauma, while Alice and Mia have let go of the past and moved on that is why they are shown walking out of the house. This is my opinion

  14. It seems some of us have a censored version (typical north American bs) as Pete was clothed and injury free on the bed, despite being sprawled on his front with a pillow over his face.
    My biggest question: how did searchers not find Alice’s body at the base of the cliff? That area and the water should have been the first obvious locations to search! Was she never reported as a missing person? It seems sketchy to me.

  15. In the last scenes, she is in an acute psychosis. She don’t know real from fake. I think she is actually locked up in an institution ( ie she trapped-banging on the window) The ex husband ( barely dressed) would not stay in that house with her mental state. Also, previously she called him and told him she was not well. I believe Mia is alive and Alice is free

  16. First of all I love these viewpoints. I actually thought that Alice was reincarnated as the rabbit and at the end she was going to kill Mia the same way Sarah had killed her for revenge.

  17. Obviously Sarah is dead at the end because she’s not able to exit the house. Appears that she murder-suicided everyone. The unnatural way Mia slides out from her arms as if she’s being pulled seems to indicate she is no longer among the living. The ex-husband definitely seems dead, although at least in the version I saw, there are no marks on his legs as indicated in other comments. Alice seems to be taking Mia to a better place.

  18. When the subtitle came up “Pete is snoring” I think that was Sarah’s hallucination, along with the next scene where she was conversing with Alice on the bed. He (and probably Mia too) was already dead at this point. What happened next she woke up and realized Mia was gone, she walked past Pete’s bed and saw his dead body (this is Sarah in reality).

  19. I believe that Alice did come back, reincarnated as the rabbit, on Mia’s 7th birthday. Mainly because of Mia bringing up that the father would possibly show himself as a pelican.

    Joan would have wanted to get rid of the rabbit from the beginning, because her father taught her that rabbits were “pests” as a child, and as mentioned, “that always made Alice upset.” So when she tries to throw the rabbit over the fence.. it bites her.

    Rabbits carry diseases, so I believe Joan got rabies. Which explains the wound never healing, as it kept showing it over and over. Also causing her “enhanced hallucinations.”

    Mia as herself always seemed to be quiet and shy towards the mother, so I believe she was hallucinating every time Alice began to show. Mia triggered these thoughts because she looked so much like Alice did at her age.

    The memories of everything Joan had done to Alice, all came rushing back as she entered her childhood home.

    The father took Joan off to the city after “Mia’s disappearance,” because he always knew what happened and wanted to protect her. This upset the mother because “mothers always know the truth,” though she chose to still believe she was “just missing,” because she always still felt her presence. Even more so when she got dementia. Which just so happened to get worse during the time of Mia’s birthday coming about. This would explain the hatred the mother always had towards Joan throughout her life.

    Joan having done the drawings throughout makes sense because of her lying on the floor drawing the black figure at the end. This would explain her subconscious thoughts happening without her being aware of them. Probably did them during her sleep when these thoughts would have a tendency to come out.

    I didn’t see the “marks” on the ex-husbands legs during the end as others have commented, but I do believe Joan had killed him prior to her going to sleep, when she decided to apologize to “Alice.”

    Because she probably blacked out the fact that she too, pushed her daughter off the ledge before sleeping… it ended with the scene of Alice taking the daughter off herself, so Joan herself did not think she was “crazy.”

  20. When Sarah is attacked by Alice in garage, Alice says “You locked me in” implying that Sarah has done this before. Alice was reacting to Sarah bullying. It’s further confirmed that Sarah is the bully in the scene where Mia asks Sarah what Alice was like. Sarah says she used to like to play hide n seek and Mia being possessed by Alice snaps back at Sarah that she hated hide n seek and that she would lock her in. She is confirming that Sarah was a bully and still is a bully because she is still telling herself that Alice liked to play hide n seek.

  21. Sarah was the bully which is why Sarah agrees with Alice when Alice says “You’re a Monster”. Sarah says “I’m a monster”! She is admitting she STILL is a monster aka bully. Sarah then proceeds to move her hands towards Mia’s head signaling that she is going to suffocate her. Next scene when Mia notices rabbit on floor she is PULLED from the bed by Alice’s spirit. Alice has come to take Mia with her to other side. Another victim of Sarah the Monster aka bully.

  22. Lots wrong in this review, i mean it almost seems like you watched a different version! Mainly tho, Sarah is the bully. Amongst other things, she locked Alice in the wardrobe, which is why Alice then tried to strangle Sarah. The ending is ambiguous. Strangely Pete is face down on the bed with the pillow over his head but this doesnt mean he is dead. There are no cuts. And Mia does blink as she gets up to see her rabbit, so she isn’t dead,…. yet.
    I think, as punishment to Sarah, Alice is taking Mia, but this isn’t clear and I like my endings to be clear. If this IS the ending then I’m not happy with it to be honest, and it’s a disapointment as up till then I thought it was pretty good.

  23. Are there two endings? The one on Netflix doesn’t show Pete naked with cuts over his legs and torso in the end. He is asleep, face down, in his boxers and a shirt with a pillow over his head. However, at the beginning of that scene the subtitles highlight [Pete Snoring] and you can also hear him snoring while Sara gets up to look for Mia.

    Despite this, I do think she has killed them both and the end where Alice and Mia are walking away is Mia’s spirit come to take her spirit to the other side.

  24. I’ve rewatched the scene, while i see the pillow over her exes head, there’s certainly no cuts over him.

  25. He’s definitely dead. And is it possible that Mia died on the bed with concussion? She has un.oving eyes until she blinks and leaves.
    Just like Babadook, it takes the audience a while to catch on to the true horror. Also, what the hell was she doing
    in the nursing home? Murder or her own dementia?

  26. Mental illness, Sarah Killed Mia the same way she killed her sister. She also killed her EX. Check he is butt naked with cuts all over his body

  27. Also that’s not a grave, that’s just a memorial. There was never a body. It’s like we didn’t watch the same movie. Why would they refer to Alice as missing if there was a grave? Why would the mother think that Alice might come back one day, if she was confirmed dead?

  28. You believe it’s Alice who bullied Sarah? And attacked Sarah who was defenseless? Did you miss the part where Sarah, the older sister, had locked her in a cabinet during a “game”?

  29. At the end when Sarah walks past her husband look down at the end of bed the white rabbit is sitting on the floor .

  30. My theory is that when the ex arrives to the house looking for Mia, Sarah had already killed Mia the same way she had killed Alice -pushing her off the cliff,- and this is why she had to kill the ex. Because if he had really found in those conditions – hurt, scared and hiding- why would he calmly stay in that unsafe environment created by Sarah’s mental state? I also think that all those scenes where it clearly shows that Sarah was hallucinating, let us know that this was all about mental issues and fuilt, not spirits or anything like that.

  31. Definitely dead…the slack body, pillow over his head and cut marks on his legs and torso! So creepy! And I thought i saw heaps of blood on the main bed at the end so I don’t think Mia survived the carnage 😒

  32. Is he dead or is he sleeping? I am saying this because they brought Mia together back to the house. And she certainly didn’t have any motive to kill or hurt him. What’s your theory?

  33. In one of the last scenes when Sara get up to look for her daughter look to the right side of the room. She has killed her ex husband he in lying on The bed with a pillow over his face.

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