UK Based Travel & Disabled Blogger


‘Run’ Movie Review: Disability Representation in Wheelchair User, Kiera Allen’s Film Debut

Let’s face it there aren’t many films with disabled characters or disabled actors for that matter, and certainly, not many that are Hollywood films. So when I stumbled upon a trailer back in early 2020 for an upcoming movie called “Run” I was intrigued. A few seconds in and my interest was instantly piqued. Not only was this in the thriller genre I enjoy watching but it also featured a main character who was a wheelchair user.

Run was directed by Aneesh Chaganty who’s debut we also recently watched called “Searching” was a brilliant film. If you haven’t seen it already, check that out after giving Run a whirl. Both thrillers with great twists that keep you guessing until the end.

A scene from the movie 'Run' of a mother and daughter. The daughter is a wheelchair user and the mother is bent down to her level with her hand placed on her daughters face. The daughter looks worried.
Image courtesy Hulu

The initial release date for Run was set for May 2020, then COVID-19 hit causing several schedule changes before Hulu acquired the rights and released the movie in November 2020.

Although I am no movie critic, I have reviewed movies about disability, specifically Muscular Dystrophy, here on my blog before with my friend Joe from Dystrophy Dad, so I thought I’d go ahead and share my thoughts on this movie.

Read more: Here you can find all my disability movie reviews.

What is Run about?

Run is about a mother (Sarah Paulson) and daughters (Kiera Allen) close relationship, which we see from the get-go. The movies opening scene is of a newborn in a hospital incubator after premature birth.

We are then transported seventeen years later where we see Chloe homeschooled and cared for by her loving and overly controlling mother, Diane.

It’s clear things aren’t all sweet and innocent with Chloe becoming increasingly suspicious when she finds medication prescribed in her mother’s name instead of her name.

Chloe is led to believe she has diabetes, asthma, arrhythmia and lower body paralysis. She starts to question this and whether her mother really does have her best interests at heart.

Desperately trying to find answers, Chloe tries to do her own research, but her mother controls every part of her life including supervised phone and internet access and she will do anything to keep it that way.

Her suspicions and worst fears are confirmed when she finds out that the medication her mother gives her may cause leg paralysis if ingested by humans.

Scene from the movie Run showing actress Sarah Paulson screaming while standing in a door way.
Image courtesy Hulu

Clearly, Diane wants to keep her daughter at home, isolated and dependent on her. But Chloe also had plans to go off to college and is impatiently waiting for her college acceptance letter to arrive any day.

Mother dearest has other ideas and will do whatever it takes to stop that happening, with sadistic and deadly consequences.

As fans of the 1990 Stephen King movie Misery, we couldn’t help but get Misery vibes as we watched this new age version with Chloe being kept under house arrest and given daily meditation that might actually be prolonging her conditions.

Did I mention the mother is controlling and sadistic? A lot like the Misery’s famous character, Annie Wilkes played by the award-winning actress Kathy Bates.

Disability in the Media

I’m aware not to give away too much and spoil it for you, but I would recommend watching it if you are able. I enjoyed the movie and I loved that it included a real-life disabled actor, which is very rare.

“So rare, in fact, that Hulu’s advertising of “Run” emphasizes it’s been over 70 years since a disabled actress led a thriller for an American studio, that being actress Susan Peters in 1948’s “The Sign of the Ram.” – IndieWire

There is still a lot of progress to be made in terms of the representation and inclusion of disabled people in TV and media. But hopefully, movies like Run will add to the conversation and lead to good representation.

Scene from the movie Run showing actress Kiera Allen pushing her wheelchair in the street.
Image courtesy Hulu

For a more detailed discussion on the conversation about disabled actors, check out the following article on IndieWire.

‘Run’ Hopes to Change the Conversation on Actors with Disabilities

Have you watched Run? What other movies show disability representation?

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Meet Emma

Hello I’m Emma. My mission is to show you the possibilities of accessible travel through my travel guides, tips and reviews. I also share personal stories, live event reviews and more.

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