Run Rabbit Run Movie

The theme of motherhood has long given the horror genre some of its greatest stories. From “Rosemary’s Baby” to “the Babadook,” it’s inherently scary to watch your beloved child get overwhelmed by the forces of evil, or to reckon with the idea that parenting makes us vulnerable to pretty much all the terrible things in our world (and beyond). In Daina Reid’s new movie, “Run Rabbit Run,” fertility doctor Sarah (Sarah Snook) faces these tensions when her precocious seven-year-old daughter Mia (Lily LaTorre) pretends to actually be Alice, Sarah’s sister who disappeared when she was Mia’s age.

Reid’s ghost story uses harmless objects to highlight the film’s sense of unease. First, Mia shows up with a fluffy white rabbit and is quickly passion with it until she starts wearing a pink bunny mask that she made herself. The rabbit, which she calls rabbit, jumps into the house menacingly, a harbinger of the bad things that are about to come. When Sarah tries to get rid of the rabbit, he bites her, the first of many issue she will suffer as she recalls memories of her not-found sister, estranged mother and her recently expired father. The conflict of the film revolves around mother Sarah and daughter Mia, but also involves a prickly relationship with Sarah’s mother Joan (Greta Scacchi), which creates a cycle of guilt for childhood sins and the feeling that she is not doing enough for her child.

The Rabbit is not the only disturbing thing about Hannah Kent’s script. By putting Sarah’s narrative together, Kent shows the audience how much Sarah was marginalized before anything unexplained even began. She is annulmented and has parents together with her ex-husband Pete( Damon Herriman), who has moved and started her own family. Sarah also has to deal with the passed away of her father, her things are still stacked in her garage, still to sort out. And then there’s her mother, a worrying figure who is also losing her memories of dementia. When Mia’s problems escalate, she initially tries to be the strong parents who do the right thing for her child, but then she starts hurting herself in the process, hurting Mia in a broader sense.

In a wonderful departure from his best-known role as Shiv Roy in “Succession,” Snook brings a motherly sense of attention and duty to his character. She is attentive and loving in a way that many of us have not seen her. His calm and collected attitude quickly erodes in the face of uncertainty and stress. Snook’s attention and care for Mia de LaTorre are deeply felt, and their connection is obvious from the first scene, when the mother wakes her daughter with a birthday present. LaTorre looks at Snook with big, expressive eyes that burn from confused and scared when she’s inexplicably bleeding, to angry when she’s screaming that she’s actually Alice. But in Mia’s moments of clarity, LaTorre runs up to Snook and hugs him tightly to safety to establish the close relationship between the two early on and give us an idea of what will be lost when Rabbit enters the frame.

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