Buried trauma and resurrected guilt get quite the workout in Daina Reid’s “Run Rabbit Run,” a ludicrous Australian psychodrama that forces the fabulous Sarah Snook to interact with a creepy bunny.
Snook plays Sarah, a fertility doctor with a small daughter, Mia (a remarkable Lily LaTorre), and a genial ex-husband, Pete (Damon Herriman). From the start, Sarah appears fraught, coping poorly with the recent death of her father. When Pete confides that he and his new wife are planning to have a child, Sarah’s distress only increases: There is a reason she doesn’t want Mia to have a sibling.
While we wait for that to be revealed, we watch Mia transform into a stranger and Sarah photogenically fall apart. Demanding to visit the grandmother she has never met, Mia begins experiencing tantrums and panic attacks, mysterious bruising and nosebleeds. Rather than consult a doctor, Sarah accedes to the child’s wishes, with predictably disastrous results. In movies like this, rational adult behavior is counter to requirements; instead, we have a lolloping white rabbit, which materializes on Sarah’s porch and violently resists expulsion.
Gloomy and vague, “Run Rabbit Run” is a moody, noncommittal tease replete with the usual spectral signifiers: clammy dreams, scary drawings, unsettling masks. Snook does everything but rend her garments in a performance that only emphasizes the busy vapidity of Hannah Kent’s script. At times, though — when Bonnie Elliott’s uneasy camera creeps into a dank shed filled with gruesome tools, crawls through a forbidding tunnel of twisted vines, or flinches from a shocking incident with scissors — a more vital, more incisive movie peeks out. At the very least, I’d like to have learned more about that darned bunny.
Run Rabbit Run
Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 40 minutes. Watch on Netflix.