Run ending explained: What the creepy twist in the Sarah Paulson film actually meant
The film’s tagline is ‘you can’t escape a mother’s love’ and they really meant it
Run is the latest psychological thriller film everyone is talking about. Since its release on Netflix in the UK, it hasn’t left number one in the top 10 list. It’s full of dark plot lines, and it’s no surprise that a lot of people have been frantically Googling “Run ending explained” after watching it.
The story follows Chloe and her mother Diane. Chloe is clearly very ill, and has been living under Diane’s care since she was born. Diane insists she has spent her whole life caring for her daughter and doing what’s best for her, but that’s before we start to learn the truth. The tagline for the Netflix and Hulu movie is “you can’t escape a mother’s love” and there really is no lying there.
Here’s everything that happened in the movie unpacked, and the creepy ending of Run fully explained.
*Contains spoilers for Run on Netflix and Hulu*
At the start of the film, we are presented with a list of conditions Chloe has been living with, seemingly since her troubled birth. We then skip to 17 years later, when Chloe is in a wheelchair, reliant on her mother’s care, and taking a whole load of medication which she doesn’t really understand herself.
Chloe begins to get suspicious about some of the medication she is on, as well as the control that her mother Diane has over her life. Chloe heads to the pharmacy and discovers the pills she is on are actually for dogs, and could be the reason behind her paralysis.
Diane finds her there, brings her home and locks her in her bedroom. After she finally escapes, Chloe discovers a box. It’s full of keepsakes, including a picture of her walking and healthy as a child, confirming her thoughts that her mother has been poisoning her. She also finds a college acceptance letter, and a certificate of death – for herself.
It’s now that the penny really drops. Chloe finds a newspaper cutting saying that a family had their baby stolen from the hospital on the same day she was born. So, the real Chloe, whose birth we saw as being complicated and extremely premature at the start of the movie, actually died when she was just hours old. 17-year-old Chloe was actually stolen from her parents by Diane, who then raised her as her own.
Diane appears to have Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a mental health problem in which a caregiver makes up or causes an illness or injury in a person under his or her care, such as a child, an elderly adult, or a person who has a disability.
So, here’s *that* ending of Run fully explained
When Chloe finds out everything, Diane tries to poison her with something that will make her forget everything she just found out. Chloe retaliates by saying “you need me” and poisons herself with a deadly toxin. Chloe ends up in hospital, where she thinks she may be safe enough to tell the doctors everything.
But Diane has other plans, and sets up an emergency in the hospital which the staff all run to assist with, leaving Chloe alone. Diane snatches her, but Chloe had just started writing out a note to her doctor, which alerted them to something being wrong. Chloe and Diane end up in a stand-off with hospital security.
At the end of the film we see a bedridden Diane, after her she was shot and fell down the stairs trying to flee the hospital with Chloe. Chloe appears to have gone to visit her, and is still calling her “mom” despite everything they’ve been through together. It’s not until right at the end that there is a huge twist – when Chloe coughs up pills that she has smuggled into the hospital with her.
You can clearly make out that the pills are the same distinguishable green ones (meant for dogs) which Diane was giving Chloe and paralysing her with. She then creepily says to Diane: “I love you mom, now open wide.”
The ending of Run explained? Chloe is now doing exactly what her “mom” Diane did to her for all those years. How the tables have turned.
Kiera Allen, who plays Chloe, said of the ending: “She’s keeping her [Diane] sick, she’s keeping her as non-threatening. This is coming from a place of her having been traumatised by this person. She wants to have a relationship with her mother and she’s rationalised it to herself as this being the only way she can feel safe around her mother.
“The only way she can give them both what they need is to incapacitate her, to make her not a danger anymore… And who couldn’t argue that Diane doesn’t deserve it? I think that’s where the character is coming from and I believe that’s how she’s justified it to herself.”
Speaking to Collider, Sarah Paulson explained her character’s actions, saying: “Diane was a victim of terrible abuse and neglect by her own mother and I think in a somewhat twisted, but initially valiant and probably somewhat pure effort to do the very thing that was never done for her, which was to give the utmost care and attention to her child.
“She just took it to a place where something else took over and it may have accelerated. And certainly her needing to live in some kind of seclusion and all the secrecy, that is connected to having taken a child that was not hers biologically. But what she did to Chloe, I think she would have done if the child had been hers.”
Run is now available on Netflix UK and Hulu in the US. For all the latest Netflix news, quizzes, drops and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.