Currently streaming on Netflix, “Run Rabbit Run” (2023) stars Sarah Snook and was picked up by the streamer after its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. It is an eerie psychological horror film highlighting the importance of releasing past traumas instead of suppressing them long enough. Directed by Australian filmmaker Diana Reid, who co-wrote the movie with Hannah Kent, “Run Rabbit Run” follows Sarah, the protagonist, as she tries to escape her past, which unexpectedly infiltrates her seemingly perfect life in unimaginable ways.

The story is about a working professional and single mother striving to understand her identity after a traumatic event from the past comes up when her only daughter starts behaving erratically. The film also explores loneliness, jealousy, parental favoritism, the constant pressures of single parenthood, trauma, grief, and regret. “Run Rabbit Run” is effectively carried by Sarah Snook’s powerful performance, who shoulders the weight of the film. Snook, known for her outstanding portrayal of Shiv Roy in “Succession” and her role in “Predestination,” once again delivers a noteworthy performance in this film.

In the following article, we look at movies that share the same DNA as Run Rabbit Run (2023). These are movies that share similar themes and plotlines like Run Rabbit Run, delving into intricate relationships, innocence, mistakes, regret, and, above all, trauma.

1. Run (2020)

Movies like Run Rabbit Run (2023) - Run (2020)

Directed by Anesh Chaganty, known for his acclaimed film Searching (2018), Run (2020) showcases his talent for crafting gripping psychological horror thrillers. Starring Sarah Paulson and Kiera Allen, this movie follows an overly protected and sheltered teenager who discovers a dark secret about her seemingly perfect mother. The film effectively utilizes restricted spaces to generate a sense of claustrophobia and heightened tension, much like Chaganty’s previous work. As the protagonist’s world turns upside down, Run keeps its audiences on the edge of their seats throughout its compact 90-minute runtime.

Although Run thrives on solid performances, particularly from Paulson and Allen, Chaganty’s ability to create thrilling narratives within confined spaces shines through in Run. It draws viewers into a world where a mother’s secret threatens to upend her daughter’s beliefs. 

2. Umma (2022)

Sandra Oh stars in the supernatural thriller “Umma,” which follows Amanda and her daughter living a peaceful life on a farm. However, when Amanda receives her mother’s ashes, things take a quick turn. Her life slowly unravels as her past comes back to haunt her with traumatic childhood events.

Directed by Iris Shim, the film focuses on the relationship between mother and daughter. Instead of relying on traditional horror genre scares, the film uses elements of trauma response, grief, and toxic relationships as haunting imagery. Shim’s ability to portray generational trauma and its manifestation in people’s worst nightmares becomes the main plot of “Umma.”

Sandra delivers a noteworthy performance as she depicts an emotionally scarred person who has dealt with a lot due to her nerve-wracking, traditionalist mother. Confronting her haunting past, even after her mother’s death, forces Amanda to relive her dreadful moments, which many women can relate to if they have grown up in a narcissistic environment. Similar to how Sarah in Run Rabbit Run (2023), Amanda in “Umma” can never break free from her terrifying past, which eventually becomes her reality as she tries to overcome her fear of becoming her mother to her daughter.

3. A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

Korean thriller, A Tale of Two Sisters, directed by Kim Jee-woon, revolves around two sisters, Su-mi and Su-yeon, who return home after being in a mental institution. They confront their distant and secretive father, their hostile stepmother, and unsettling supernatural occurrences within the house. As the narrative unfolds, layers of dark secrets and psychological twists are revealed, blurring the line between reality and delusion. You should watch this film because of its consistent suspenseful storytelling with nuanced performances that keeps you on edge and guessing till the end of the film.

The twisty narrative structure blends well with the director’s ability to create a sense of unease for the audience while exploring the psychological depths of his characters. The film dives our attention into trauma, family secrets, and mental illness using horror, thriller, and mystery elements. In Run Rabbit Run (2023), we see the various layers of Sarah’s personality as she undergoes emotional turmoil, dealing with her past and present outcomes. Similarly, in A Tale of Two Sisters, we see characters colliding with one another as they come face to face with suppressed memories, traumas, and the thin line of dreams and reality, which adds more suspense and drama in the film making it more appealing to its audience.

4. Relic (2020)

Movies like Run Rabbit Run (2023) - Relic

In Relic (2020), Australian director Natalie Erika James brings us a story about a woman named Kay and her daughter Sam as they travel to the remote countryside to search for Kay’s elderly mother, Edna, who has gone missing. When they find her, they discover something supernatural and unsettling is affecting her and their family home. As they grapple with Edna’s deteriorating mental and physical state, the family must confront their own fears and face the dark secrets within the house.

Critically acclaimed for its strong performances and exploration of complex family dynamics, the film became an instant hit among horror movie fanatics. Consequently, Relic explores the theme of aging, dementia, and the constant fear of losing loved ones.

James has captured the emotional struggle and the sense of helplessness of her characters as they go through the experience of witnessing the deteriorating mental state of their loved ones. Much like Run Rabbit Run (2022), Relic is one of those movies that uses supernatural elements to represent the fears and anxieties associated with aging, memory, identity, and complex family relationships. In Relic, we also witness how the three generations of women in the family experience their journey while facing their fears, regrets, and challenges as they navigate their vulnerabilities.

5. The Babadook (2014)

Movies like Run Rabbit Run (2023) - The Babdook

Babadook, directed by another Australian director, Jennifer Kent, is another must-watch movie that every horror film lover should watch if they like watching Run Rabbit Run (2023). The film revolves around a widow named Amelia and her young son Samuel. They begin to experience disturbing events after a mysterious children’s book called “The Babadook” enters their lives. As the supernatural presence of the Babadook becomes increasingly malevolent, Amelia struggles to protect her son from its influence and confront her inner demons. The horror film is popular among its audience due to its uneasy, atmospheric tone throughout the runtime.

Kent has explored grief and trauma and used the concept of repressed emotions and how our inner fear manifests into reality in The Babdook. Known for its striking visual style and unsettling presence of ‘Babadook,’ the character has become an iconic figure in the horror genre. Just as Reid explores Sarah’s character in her movie, Kent also delves into the complex psyche of Amelia (played by Essie Davis) as she faces grief and the inexplicable pressure of motherhood. The film establishes the characters intelligently. It allows us to explore Amelia’s mental state, the consequences of her trauma, and the length she would go to protect her son.

6. Hereditary (2018)

Movies like Run Rabbit Run (2023) - Hereditary

Directed by the master of the horror genre, Ari Aster, Hereditary follows the life of the Graham family, who are haunted by a series of disturbing events after the death of their secretive and reclusive daughter. As the family unravels the terrifying truth about their ancestry, they descend into madness and face the evil forces that have plagued them for generations.

Hereditary is a must-watch film due to its atmospheric tension, masterful direction, and superb performances, particularly by Toni Collette, who delivers a standout portrayal of the grieving mother. The film offers an unsettling narrative similar to Daina Reid’s Run Rabbit Run (2023) with its unconventional approach to the horror genre.

Aster’s film digs into the grief and trauma of the family, exploring the psychological depths of its characters. With meticulous attention to detail, layered symbolism, and unsettling imagery, Hereditary challenges traditional horror tropes and offers a more introspective and psychological exploration of fear and dread. Much like the complex characters Sarah Snook portrays in Run Rabbit Run, the 2018 film also examines the dysfunctional dynamics between the mother, father, son, and daughter, exposing their vulnerabilities, suppressed emotions, and the consequences of their actions. In addition to that, Aster also shows us how grief and trauma can shape individuals and their relationships, ultimately leading to their psychological disintegration.

7. The Machinist (2004)

Movies like Run Rabbit Run (2023) - The Machinist

The Machinist revolves around Trevor Reznik, a machinist with severe insomnia. His life turns dark when he becomes increasingly paranoid and haunted by a mysterious co-worker, Ivan. As Trevor’s mental and physical health deteriorates, he begins to uncover the truth behind Ivan’s existence and the events surrounding him. In this film, Christian Bale gave one of his best performances with an incredible transformation portraying the role of emaciated and sleep-deprived Trevor Reznik.

The film’s atmospheric and suspenseful storytelling is similar to Run Rabbit Run (2023), which makes the audience keep guessing until the climax. The Machinist creates a sense of unease and ambiguity, leaving viewers questioning what is real and what is a product of Trevor’s disturbed mind, just as we constantly try to understand Sarah’s past in Run Rabbit Run. 

8. Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)

Twilight Zone- The Movie

The 1983 anthology film is based on the classic 1959-1964 television series “The Twilight Zone,” created by Rod Serling. The film follows a similar format to the original TV series, presenting four stories directed by different filmmakers – John Landis, Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante, and George Miller. The movie holds a common theme of strange, supernatural occurrences, with each segment exploring various aspects of science fiction, horror, and fantasy, blending them with social commentary and moral dilemmas that became trademark elements of “The Twilight Zone.”

Much like Run Rabbit Run, the movies within this film explore their characters’ psychological and emotional journeys as they face moral dilemmas, confront their fears, and ultimately undergo personal transformations. The four stories explore the consequences of one’s actions and the need for empathy, the loss of innocence, and the power of fear, control, and abuse of power. It also makes you question sanity and how paranoia and the fear of the unknown can engulf a person.

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