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If you thought Shiv Roy, played by Sarah Snook, had doubts about the upcoming motherhood in “Succession”, Shiv seems to be a model of maternal stability compared to the divorced mother Snook played in “Run Rabbit Run”.

The Australian psychological horror film played like a sampler of greatest hits from films like “The Bad Seed,” “Orphan,” “The Sixth Sense,” “The Omen,” “Birth” and “Hereditary,” but never really built a film of its own. . identity or purpose. It's a great-looking ride with some legit jumps and some imagery to match, but the ending left us frustrated and disappointed, wondering: Is that all there is?

Stylishly directed despite some predictable rhythms by Daina Reid from a compelling screenplay by Hannah Kent that still feels a draft or two away from completion, and filmed in a suitably somber tone, “Run Rabbit Run” is infused with foreboding foreboding. Snook appears on screen as Sarah, a fertility doctor who is still grieving her recently deceased father but tries to put on a brave face for her daughter Mia's (Lily LaTorre) birthday, who is 7 years old and doesn't seem to have it. friends besides his mother, his father Pete (Damon Herriman) and Pete's partner Denise (Naomi Rukavina). Let's just say that we are witnessing one of the saddest and most troubling birthday parties ever.

The “Alice in Wonderland” parallels emerge when a rabbit appears out of nowhere on Sarah and Mia's Melbourne doorstep, and Mia immediately falls in love with it, even as Sarah wishes it would run away. (Sarah's attempt to shoo the rabbit away results in the rabbit biting Sarah. So many fresh, unhealed wounds of various kinds in this film, hmmmm.)

Mia starts wearing a creepy house bunny mask, and we go deeper through the mirror when Mia starts making references to someone named “Alice,” which Sarah finds really disturbing. Sometimes Mia even insists she IS Alice, and when we learn the truth about Alice's identity and how she relates to the story – yeah, that's some weird, wild, and impactful stuff, man.

Sarah Snook of “Succession” stars as a fertility doctor who is annoyed by her 7-year-old daughter's behavior.

We're now clearly in My Precocious Kid is Freaking Me Out movie territory, as Sarah finds an obligatory collection of weird pictures, and Mia talks about how much she misses the grandma (Greta Scacchi) she never met, because Sarah was estranged from grandma. , who is in a nursing home and appears to have dementia. “I miss people I haven't met in all this time,” Mia said in an even tone.

The list of horror movie tropes grows longer when the story shifts to Sarah's childhood home in South Australia, which is located in the middle of nowhere and is conveniently – or should we say, inconveniently – close to a cliff, uh-oh. The framed picture on the wall came down, but then suddenly popped back into place. Nightmare happened in the middle of the night. With an ominous score coupled with creaking and occasional slamming doors, we follow Sarah as she enters a sort of shed filled with rusty knives and tools; looks like Leatherface Man Cave.


Oh, and as Mia becomes increasingly difficult and rebellious, at one point screaming “You're a terrible person!” to her mother, the poor girl had mysterious injuries.

Time and time again, “Run Bunny Run” plays with our perceptions. How much of what we see is grounded in reality, and how much – if any – is a figment of Sarah's imagination? Snook is a gamer every step of the way, playing Sarah as a hurt, frightened, lost individual who occasionally relapses into almost childlike behavior. (We only catch glimpses of Sarah at work, but if any of her patients find out about what's going on in her home life, they'll be vying for a new fertility doctor.) Lily LaTorre never came off as over the top child actor; there is a matter of fact in his almost excellent performance. In the end, however, it emerges as a horror film made by a talented director who loves the genre but couldn't find a truly original path for this particular tale.