02nd Nov2022

‘Run Sweetheart Run’ Review (Amazon Prime)

by Guest

Stars: Ella Balinska, Pilou Asbæk, Clark Gregg, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Dayo Okeniyi | Written by Shana Festes, Keith Josef Adkins, Kellee Terrell | Directed by Shana Festes

Initially apprehensive when her boss insists she meet 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 bloodthirsty assailant hell-bent on her utter destruction.

The first act of Shana Feste’s Run Sweetheart Run sets the tone for an extremely dark, atmospheric, and downright uncomfortable viewing experience that shows that you simply cannot trust anybody you meet; even those that seem to be totally fine. It got me excited to see what the rest of the movie was going to be like, only to be in for quite the shock: one of the most generic and uneventful horror films of the year.

To be honest with you, the second and third acts felt as if they were written by different people, and if that’s the case, then it makes sense. This film was written by Feste, Keith Josef Adkins, and Kellee Terrell. Is it possible that each writer wrote one act? I’m not saying that that’s what happened, but it certainly feels like it. The first act felt like a creepy thriller executed quite well, whereas the second and third felt like a supernatural film that we’ve seen done countless times before.

The story feels like it needed a significant amount of time put into it to make it more interesting because it’s really kind of boring when you whittle it down. It’s just kind of like a cat-and-mouse horror movie that doesn’t do anything unique to the genre. It’s also a classic case of style-over-substance and includes some genuinely bizarre graphics on-screen. Whenever our protagonist runs away from something, a gigantic font that reads “RUN!” appears on-screen. It’s meant to be funny and stylish, but it was over-the-top in every sense of the word.

All of the performances here, however, are utterly fantastic. Ella Balinska is a revelation in the role of Cherie, who is asked to do a lot with this role. She is constantly running away, screaming, crying, and doing her best to look and feel like a broken-down person, and Balinksa makes it look like a cakewalk. There’s also Pilou Asbæk who delivers one of the year’s most unsettling and understated performances.

Asbæk oftentimes simply stands there and smiles, and it instantly gave me chills. There’s something so oddly fascinating about Asbæk as an actor that I’ve never quite been able to shake. It’s not one of those traditional horror movie performances that you’d expect to see from this kind of movie either. His character is also the most interesting in the film by far, and his backstory and character depth is quite good.

Other than that, though, I can’t really recommend Run Sweetheart Run. It’s definitely a welcomed effort and I respect what the film was going for, but it simply felt way too generic and familiar. And for a horror film, this was certainly uneventful to say the least.

** 2/5

Run Sweetheart Run is available to watch now on Amazon Prime Video.


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