Run Rabbit Run (2023) Movie Review: Frustrating yet compelling horror flick that mixes greatness with mediocrity

Frustrating yet compelling horror flick that mixes greatness with mediocrity

Prepare to be captivated by Netflix’s haunting psychological thriller, Run Rabbit Run. It features the mesmerizing Sara Snook as the central mainstay. Brace yourself, for this Aussie gem will shatter your expectations and redefine the boundaries of fear. Or something like that. Within its depths lies a psychological thriller that melds seamlessly with supernatural phenomena, reminiscent of the chilling brilliance found in The Babadook rather than the conventional scares of The Conjuring.

Run Rabbit Run takes its own sweet time to show it has meaning, tracing an intricate and suspenseful path, refusing to be rushed by the demands of conventional storytelling. Within this enigmatic Netflix production, there are a trove of startling revelations that may surprise you!

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 an accompanying 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. It is the rabbit that acts as the talisman of change; for better or for worse.

Run Rabbit Run is definitely an enigma of a movie. It deploys a cryptic yet smart layer of narrative beneath which the real issues of guilt, trauma, and torment are buried. The film is Sarah’s confrontation with her dark past but the creators smartly give it a supernatural shape as well.

Run Rabbit Run takes us on a mesmerizing journey into the depths of Sarah’s psyche, masterfully portrayed by the formidable Sara Snook. While it is always risky to hinge a film on the shoulders of just two people, director Daina Reid is not failed by her stars. Through the lens of cinematography, which employs a jittery and disorienting camera, and the hazy visuals and deft editing, we watch Snook and LaTorre disappear into their characters.

Snook immerses herself in Sarah’s mental distress. With each frame, she skillfully conveys the horror, confusion, and underlying fury that accompany the resurfacing of long-suppressed trauma. Although the narrative progression may falter in its impact, Snook’s performance remains a testament to her consummate artistry.

Furthermore, the inclusion of LaTorre, who is among the ranks of exceptional child actors that have delivered spine-chilling performances, is not to be overlooked. She genuinely sends shivers down our spines in scenes that evoke true terror.

The film is good but one cannot help but wonder whether Run Rabbit Run may have worked better within the realm of an anthology television series, rather than a feature. There is so much to unpack here and the film just doesn’t have enough time to burn through everything.

Nonetheless, the film’s commitment to visual storytelling and its evocative score persistently endeavour to sway our opinion. Bonnie Elliott’s exquisite cinematography deserves special mention, capturing the stark allure of the Australian outbacks while concurrently evoking a claustrophobic atmosphere within the characters’ tortured psyches. The strategic use of close-ups and the perpetually dimly lit rooms serve to heighten the very essence of horror. Notably, the deliberate blurring of imagery when the rabbit appears in inexplicable locations lends the film an air of supernatural intrigue.

Yet, one cannot deny the feeling that Run Rabbit Run overstays its welcome within its 100-minute runtime. There are a lot of wasted seconds that could have been easily sacrificed for a shorter, crisper runtime. Perhaps the screenplay by Hannah Kent is partly to blame, with its hasty introduction of the concept of “dementia,” leaving little room for discerning viewers to forge a genuine connection with the unfolding events.

Consequently, the mystery and ambiguity that could have elevated the narrative are regrettably stripped away. Moreover, the revelations concerning Alice and her uncanny similarities to Mia arrive frustratingly late, with the film’s overt horror and surreal elements only truly surfacing within the final half-hour.

Run Rabbit Run teeters on the precipice of greatness, yearning to be reimagined as a distinguished drama when Sarah’s arduous journey to confront her haunting past takes center stage. Alas, as it stands, this isn’t quite as good as classics like The Babadook and Goodnight Mommy. The performances that anchor the film are commendable but the film, as a whole, is unable to leave an indelible mark despite its brazen cliffhanger.


Read More: Run Rabbit Run Ending Explained

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  • Verdict - 6/10

1 thought on “Run Rabbit Run (2023) Movie Review: Frustrating yet compelling horror flick that mixes greatness with mediocrity”

  1. I have read two reviews of Run Rabbit Run. Both seem determined to make sense of a movie that does not make sense. It’s definitely creepy I give it that. And probably worth watching though not in the same league as the real spine tinglers of the past (e.g. the “Haunting of Hill House”) or the more recent “Deep House”.

    One review calls the movie a “slow burn”; a creative way if saying it wastes a lot of time getting to the scary parts. It also leaves loose ends which the reviews seem to think is creative.

    The movie is OK but misses the chance to be a lot better. I give it a B-.

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