Run Sweetheart Run

Run Sweetheart Run, an indie horror thriller which had its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, has been acquired by Amazon Studios and will be heading to Amazon Prime Video, according to a new report. The movie, from writer/director Shana Feste (Endless Love, The Greatest), stars Ella Balinska (Charlie’s Angels) as an L.A. woman who goes on a first date with a handsome guy played by Pilou Asbæk (Game of Thrones), only for the date to spiral out of control and her to discover that the man is not what he seems.

Here’s the movie’s official description from the Sundance Film Festival’s programming guide:

Timid and hardworking single mother Shari (Ella Balinska, Charlie’s Angels) brushes away hesitations and decides to dip her toe back into the dating scene after being spurred on by her coworkers. She’s thrilled when her boss sets her up on a blind date with Ethan (Pilou Asbæk, Game of Thrones), who initially proves every bit as charming and magnetic as his photo. Ethan can’t hide his true nature for very long though—and when things quickly turn sinister, Shari must find a way to escape. Forced to navigate the streets of LA after hours on foot, Shari learns Ethan is far more connected and violent than she ever imagined.

I missed this movie at Sundance earlier this year, but I’ve since seen some footage from it, and it looks like a stylish, disturbing, unnerving thriller. Producer Jason Blum originally gave Feste the go-ahead and greenlit the project for Blumhouse, which was going to release the movie theatrically through its Blumhouse Tilt label on May 8 before the pandemic changed everything. Now Deadline reports that Amazon has purchased it, and it seems as if it will be released straight on its Amazon Prime Video platform. “We can’t wait to bring this thriller to our global Prime Video customers,” said Matt Newman, Co-Head of Movies at Amazon Studios. “Filmmaker Shana Feste takes the audience on a knuckle-bending ride that is sure to keep genre fans on the edge of their seats.”

“As crazy as audiences may find the film protagonist’s experience, I wrote and directed a film that is based on a very personal story for me and I’m thrilled that a global audience will have the chance to see it soon on Amazon Prime,” Feste said. In additional interviews, she’s explained how this movie was based on a horrible experience she had on a date in Los Angeles and how she wrote this film as a cathartic experience so it could serve as a sort of warning for her daughter.

“It was based on a bad date that I went on when I was going to UCLA,” Feste said. “I went on this horrible date with this guy that looked perfect on paper. I was so excited for it. I was wearing my perfect little black dress. And the date went wrong very fast, and I literally – without a purse, shoes, cell phone – just ran home from Hollywood Hills to West Los Angeles. I think every woman can relate to something like that because every woman has their own real life horror film to tell.”

The footage I’ve seen indicates that Balinska is a compelling protagonist and Asbæk’s character is a memorable villain (to say the least), so I’m excited to check this one out as soon as it arrives.

Aml Ameen (The Maze Runner), Dayo Okeniyi (Shades of Blue), Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad), Clark Gregg (The Avengers), and Shohreh Aghdashloo (Star Trek Beyond, House of Sand and Fog) co-star. No release date information has been revealed yet, though Blum said in a press release that audiences will get to see it “soon.”

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