Run Sweetheart Run

Run Sweetheart Run

Amazon Film
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After what starts as an innocent date, Cherie now faces a night of terror when her date hunts her down and tries to kill her. Run Sweetheart Run is a horror with a message, just not a very effective one.

Look for where the power radiates out. Is the battle of the sexes driven by a hidden general with a vested interest? Starring Ella Balinska (Netflix’s Resident Evil series) and directed and co-written by Shana Feste, Run Sweetheart Run has a message. That message is simple: believe women.

What is Run Sweetheart Run About?

After an enjoyable quasi-date with handsome Ethan (Pilou Asbæk), pre-law student and young single mother, Cherie (Balinska) enters his home. The camera, however, stays at the door.

A minute later, she bursts out and is fleeing for her life as the word ‘RUN’ is emblazoned in red across the screen. The chase is on.

Run Sweetheart Run hunts out the source of the daily aggressions women face, be they micro or macro, and in doing so, struggles to balance urgency with potency.

Much of the opening half-hour features Cherie reluctantly shrugging off misogyny. Be it creeps on the bus, dismissive language (‘sweetheart’ features regularly), or a queue of men ready to assume the worst, Feste ensures the point is driven home beyond doubt: the deck is always stacked against women.

Run Sweetheart Run Trailer

Is Run Sweetheart Run Worth Watching?

Horror is an ideal genre in which to explore societal problems. Cherie’s situation goes from bad to worse as the police lock her up rather than believe her. Whilst most women throughout see a distraught and bloodstained woman and try to help, most men instead interrogate her.

Thematically this is rich ground, but it is all too often deployed above and beyond natural-sounding conversation.

Balinska’s terrified flight ensures she is often blood soaked, littered with cuts, and face contorted with anguish. We can just about buy her dismissal by one-dimensional men throughout, but when even her ex-partner Trey (Dayo Okeniyi) skims over her obvious distress, it becomes difficult to see the characters as anything more than a writer’s pen repeating itself.

The presence of Ethan looms large as he stalks Cherie throughout the night, drawn to the scent of her blood.

His unrelenting and supernatural pursuit is chilling; Ethan’s outbursts of violence are visceral in their viciousness. Yet between his appearances, the effectiveness of the horror is frequently undercut by how bluntly the theme is fired out.

When done with more subtlety, Run Sweetheart Run hits some high points. Ethan frequently states he cannot be defeated because he is wanted and forth wall-breaking moments – where our sight is physically pushed away from horrific assault – land the point much better than the characters do.

Such an undercurrent is paid off satisfyingly later in a symbolic showdown; the camera dragged back because exposure is the most powerful way to fight.

It feels ironic, as a man, to criticise Run Sweetheart Run for how overtly it presents the issue of men’s vested interest in keeping women quiet.

The cause is a noble one, and fully justified rage saturates every scene. Yet the movie is at its best when using the camera as a storyteller so that we arrive at such rage independently.

Reduction of all characters to angels and demons betrays the insidiousness that the movie is trying to highlight.

That Run Sweetheart Run sprints through flight to fight makes for a satisfying ‘stand your ground’ narrative, even if it bludgeons you nonsensically in the process (just how well armed does Trey’s group need to be?!?).

The bat needs to be swung, but more finesse ultimately produces a more powerful result.

Words by Mike Record

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  • Great Use Of Camera Tricks
  • The Supernatural Element Is Effective
  • Highlights The Unrelenting Problems For Women


  • Bluntness Overpowers The Message
  • Paper Thin Characters
  • Unbelievable Dialogue And Reactions


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