Despite some terrific performances from the cast, director Daina Reid‘s “Run Rabbit Run” is a psychological thriller that feels as if it grows bored with itself. Using tired genre tropes and a skimpy story, the movie is akin to treading water for 90 minutes and getting nowhere.
Sarah (Sarah Snook) is a fertility doctor who’s planning a bash for her daughter Mia’s (Lily LaTorre) seventh birthday. There’s an ill-boding feeling in the air, especially when a stray rabbit appears outside their home. In the coming days, Mia’s demeanor begins to change as she starts behaving very strangely. The tantrums escalate into violent outbursts, which force Sarah to face the darkest demons of her own past.
The possibilities of exploring the dynamic between a divorced mother, her daughter, and her own elderly parent are mostly wasted, as are the compelling themes of identity and childhood trauma. Instead of tackling more difficult topics. Reid leans on ominous scenes of haunting dreams to build tension. It’s the lazier, easier way through the story. Screenwriter Hannah Kent leaves many inconsistencies in her script, including a blatant plot hole that has Mia screaming to see “Joan.” It won’t take savvy viewers long to decipher the breadcrumbs that are scattered about.
The film goes into a bit of light horror, but quickly burns through any goodwill it previously earns. You would think that Sarah’s profession would come into play story-wise (it doesn’t), which is a letdown in itself, but Reid expects audiences to put up with a very slow burning, small scale story that has close to zero payoff.
“Run Rabbit Run” is long, drawn-out, and despite a few genuinely creepy moments, it is frustrating how Reid dangles the mystery like an unattainable carrot in front of a crowd of ravenous viewers. This method may keep audiences engaged to a reasonable extent, but it also sets the film up for failure.
By: Louisa Moore