In Run Sweetheart Run, Cherie is a young, beautiful, single mother, working for a prestigious law firm. She has plans to become a lawyer in the near future, but for now she is working as a personal assistant to one of the CEOs at the practice.

One night, while on the way home from work, she receives a call from her boss. He tells Cherie that he is double-booked for the evening, and needs her to fill in for him, by taking one of his clients out to dinner.

Although Cherie is less than keen on the idea, she agrees to his request, and it’s not long before she finds herself on a (sort of) date with the client. This client, called Ethan, is an influential and charismatic businessman, who appears to be a gentleman.

But shortly after concluding their evening, Ethan reveals his true nature. After taking Cherie back to his home, he violently attacks her, leaving her blooded and bruised.

Cherie flees his property as quickly as possible and runs into the night. However, Ethan is not ready let Cherie go and he soon begins a deadly hunt for her across the city.

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Directed and co-written by Shana Feste, Run Sweetheart Run stars Ella Balinska, Pilou Asbæk and Clark Gregg. The movie is a horror-thriller about one woman’s fight for survival from an abuser, and is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video from today.

If the title of this movie sounds a little familiar, or you have a vague notion that you recall hearing about this picture a while back, it is because Run Sweetheart Run made its debut back in January 2020, via the Sundance Film Festival. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the picture was put on hold from general release until now, where it arrives just in time for Halloween.  

Was it worth the wait? Erm… not so much.

While Run Sweetheart Run has some decent ideas, and parts of it work very well, the film runs out of steam quite quickly, and it suffers from a saggy mid-section. There is also the general sense that this film as a lot to say about some very important topics, but it doesn’t quite now how to marry these conversations up with an engaging or thrilling story.

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With regards to its subject matter, Run Sweetheart Run is essentially a movie about a woman who falls victim to a monster. She then finds herself becoming the object of his obsession, and she must find a way to escape his clutches.

Along the way she discovers that he is more powerful and influential than she ever could have imagined, and there is a supernatural element in play here too. I said this film is a horror and it is, although the majority of the horror is centred around Ethan and his true persona.

There is more to him than just an abuser, although, to be fair, his character is not very well developed. But either way, this is where the horror angle largely appears, which is why I’ve not just referred to this movie as a thriller.

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As noted above, some of the movie works well, and there are some bright spots here and there, especially when it is shining a light on toxic masculinity, the sexualisation of women, and male chauvinism. In fact, this is arguably when Run Sweetheart Run is at its strongest, and it is clear this film has plenty to say about these subjects.

However, in order to really sell its discussions, it needs to develop them further, and it also needs something a little more imaginative to hang them all on; and this is where the picture falls down. After an intriguing set up, and a shocking sequence in which Ethan is first shown to be abusive, the movie loses momentum as it largely becomes one long chase scene that isn’t as exciting or dynamic as it needs to be.

By the midway point the movie begins to show signs of flagging, and it never really recovers. This isn’t to say that Run Sweetheart Run is unwatchable, but it is to say that it drags a fair bit and boredom sets in.

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While I didn’t particularly dislike Run Sweetheart Run, I can’t say I was all that invested in it either. There were a number of points during the movie where I could feel my mind wandering, and I had to will myself to re-focus.

If the internet had crashed, there was a power cut, or my head had fallen off and I couldn’t finish it, I doubt I would have been too bothered. To clarify, I would have been bothered about my head falling off, but not so bothered about the movie.

So, not terrible, not amazing, merely OK in places. The film has potential, but it fumbles its messages on an undercooked story.

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