Movie Review: Run Sweetheart Run

October 31, 2022

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of HorrorFuel.com. She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email: [email protected]

Once in a while, I stumble across a movie that is more than just blood and guts and jump scares, one that goes deeper, one that’s not just about entertainment, but that has something to say. That’s the case with writer-director Shana Feste’s Run Sweetheart Run. I want to talk about it. But don’t worry, there won’t be any major spoilers shared here.

 

The plot given in press releases goes like this: “Initially apprehensive when her boss insists she meets with one of his most important clients, single mom Cherie (Ella Balinska) is relieved and excited when she meets charismatic Ethan (Pilou Asbæk). The influential businessman defies expectations and sweeps Cherie off her feet. But at the end of the night, when the two are alone together, he reveals his true, violent nature. Battered and terrified, she flees for her life, beginning a relentless game of cat-and-mouse with a blood-thirsty assailant hell-bent on her utter destruction. In this edge-of-your-seat dark thriller, Cherie finds herself in the crosshairs of a  stranger more evil than she could have ever imagined.”

 

The plot is hiding something big and I couldn’t be more thankful that Blumhouse, Automatik, and Quiet Girl Productions made the decision to hold something back. I got blindsided and I loved it! It’s a rare thing.

 

Run Sweetheart Run is intense and had me on the edge of my seat yelling directions at my TV, “Run! He’s coming!!” I REALLY got into it, maybe because I identified with the main character because I identified with what she was going through (that’s a discussion for another day).

 

The movie goes to great lengths to comment on the patriarchy and equality, as well as how women are treated when they are assaulted like they are overacting or like it’s their fault. Let’s not forget how wealth buys you a free pass. There are also statements made about motherhood and women’s bodies. This movie has A LOT to say.  While, yes, this a horror movie about a woman being hunted, at its heart it is really about the patriarchy, represented by Ethan, and feminism, represented by Cherie. And the shift in gender equality. It’s all about power.

 

Our star, Ella Balinska, who plays Cherie, did a phenomenal job. The way she portrayed this character’s fear was so realistic. You can really buy that this character is scared shitless. I became truly invested in her fight for survival. When it comes to Pilou Asbæk, who plays the role of the too-smooth-to-resist Ethan, he was a perfect choice. Ethan has that unmistakable masculinity, confidence, and power that many powerful men have. He’s a prick, but for some reason, you’re still drawn to him.

 

There were several unexpected aspects of the movie, but one of them is a bit taboo and may gross some of you out, the lead character’s period is a HUGE part of the movie and things get a bit graphic, to say the least. I mean how often do we see used tampons as part of a plot? It caught me off guard. To see it upfront and in your face, like it is in Run Sweetheart Run, was a bit shocking, but that’s not necessarily in a bad way. We are taught at a young age that periods are gross, something to be ashamed of, and should be kept under wraps, which is wrong. In a world of “let’s not upset anybody” and cancel culture the subject was a bold move by the filmmaker and I think it only adds to the commentary about womanhood. It’s clear that a female writer-director is behind the movie, no man would ever dare tackle the subject as boldly as Feste did.

 

I only have one small complaint about the movie, there are two brief moments that irked me. It’s when our main characters briefly break the fourth wall. It was strange and unneeded. They were distracting and took me out of the headspace I was in.

 

In my opinion, this is a movie made with women in mind, though men will enjoy it too. It’s non-stop action. It’s entertaining and brutal as hell. And if it doesn’t leave you thinking about a hundred different things after the credits role then you missed the point.

 

The question is, do I recommend it? Hell yeah, I very much do, Run Sweetheart Run takes the subjects of women finding their inner strength, the patriarchy, assault, and one woman’s fight for survival and puts a fresh spin on it all and does so while filling the movie to the brim with horror and action.

 

I do urge you before you head over to Prime Video to watch it, to make sure that no underage people are in the room because things are going to get rough and subjects will be brought up they probably aren’t ready for. This is a grown folks movie.

 

 

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