“After what seems to be an innocent date, Cherie now faces a night of terror when her date hunts her down and tries to kill her. She now must run for her life throughout the city and escape his grasp.”

Director: Shane Feste
Writers: Shane Feste, Keith Joseph Adkins, Kellee Terrell
Staring: Ella Balinska, Pilou Asbæk, Clark Gregg
Rated: R
Release Date: October 28, 2022
IMDB

I was in the mood for a quick horror movie. I turn to Amazon Prime and I flip on Run Sweetheart Run (2022).

Cherie (Ella Balinska) is a single mother trying to work her way up the corporate latter under he tutoring eyes of her boss James R. Fuller (Clark Greg). Cherie barely has any time for herself, so when James asks her to attend a dinner with a friend by the name of Ethan (Pilou Asbæk), she gingerly hops at the opportunity.

Ethan proves to be a charming man, even with his irrational hatred for dogs. Cherie is admittedly taken a bit by Ethan and agrees to extend the evening with a drink at his fancy house.

That proves to be a fateful mistake. Who could have guessed?

Cherie ends up on the run from Ethan. She screams, pleads and begs for help from various individuals, including but not limited to friends, her boss, her ex, and a mysterious women called the First Lady. Despite all of the aid, Cherie always finds herself within eye line of her pursing foe. How is it that Ethan always picks up Cherie’s scent?

Cherie

Ethan is a demonic monster, literally. He is a corrupted angel turned demon who can not be out during sunlight. His idea of an ideal world is one where men are domineering over women. He is fed women by James, in the figurative sense, and then he eats them, literally.

Run Sweetheart Run starts out well due in large part to the story’s mystery. Once the truth about Ethan is brought into the light, the slow burning flame of interest in Cheri and Run Sweetheart Run burns down to disappointing embers.

Run Sweetheart Run debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2020 but rewrites and reshoots were happening in early 2022. I have to think that the final 20 minutes of the movie had the most butchered bits.

The final act of this movie, which really steps into high gear after Ethan proves he is essentially superman against mortal weapons, takes a dive down a well of zaniness that even the most go with the flow movie watchers will have a hard time understanding. There is a women empowerment concept throughout Run Sweetheart Run, and Cherie was the face of it…until The First Lady (Shohreh Aghdashloo) pops up on screen. She runs a spa that cleans up and hides women from Ethan, and she conveniently has a plan to stop the mad demon god for good.

You want to know what this plan is that The First Lady, who is an angel herself, came up with?

Yup, Cherie is bait. She needs to lure Ethan out. Why does Cherie have to do this…when there are plenty of trained women who are literally fighting each other with martial art skills in the First Lady’s spa? Why does it need to be Cherie?

You could presume it is to appeal to Ethan’s thrill of the hunt. Or that he knows what her blood smells like, or that he has toyed with Cherie more than most and therefore he must like her more.

The fact of the matter is that we don’t know why it has to be Cherie, and we don’t know why The First Lady thought that RIGHT NOW, THIS NIGHT would be the best night to unleash her unstoppable plan of…having Cherie bait Ethan and then throw rocks at windows to let the light in.

Yup, that will fore sure do it.

It really is the most frustrating thing because Run Sweetheart Run was perfectly passable as a bad but fun horror movie, until this over-stuffed final gets sets up and has its final payoff. The movie was at it’s best when Cherie was running and Ethan was killing everyone around her with reckless abandon. It was hard to imagine her surviving or winning at all, but that is what made it interesting. You were wondering…how is she going to do this? How is she going to make it out?

The First Lady and this angel turned demon arc sends Run Sweetheart Run off the plank into shark infested waters. Why ruin a perfectly average thing!?

In terms of actors, everyone in the world will welcome the friendly face of Clark Gregg, most known for Agent Phil Coulson in the Marvel Universe. Those who are a fan of subpar Amazon Prime streaming products will recall the name Pilou Asbæk. Remember Samaritan (2022), the Sylvester Stallone hero movie that pinned Samaritan vs. Cyrus? Asbæk played the part of the absolute asshole, and played it amicably. While the majority of Run Sweetheart Run was made a couple years ago, one could swear that Asbæk was playing both parts at the same time. He is very good at being the bad guy. He also looks the part. I mean he was born for it. You remember Overlord (2016)? The Nazi zombie horror movie? Asbæk played the psychotic Captain Wafner. This man was just meant to play the bad guy.

Ella Balinska plays a very good damsel in distress. Her performance in this was far better than her efforts as Jade Wesker in the truly horrendous Resident Evil show on Netflix. She is a young up and comer with only 13 credits to her name thus far on IMDB. Run Sweetheart Run gets me back on her good side and I am willing to buy just a bit of stock.

Run Sweetheart Run tramples on its own promise, It results in a sweaty slog where you are happy to have watched it, but are upset that it didn’t push any new boundaries. The movie is on Amazon Prime, and it is slop. It is not middle school lunch sloppy joe bad, but maybe late night dinner at college dining hall quality. If you are hungry it’ll work, but don’t expect it to fill you up.

STANKO RATING: D+ (2.0/5 Stars)


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