Running Scared (2006)

I grabbed this film to help balance out our renting of Touch of Pink. Wasn’t sure what to expect. Paul Walker plays a low-on-the-rung mob guy that stashes guns used to do dirty business. When the next door neighbor’s kid gets a hold of one of the guns, all hell breaks loose. Very violent. Some nice camera work.

But there’s an interlude in the middle that is pretty special.

Spoiler alert!

So the kid from next door bounces around Hoboken and ends up being abducted by a relatively nice looking suburban white couple who just happen to have a bigger-than-life playroom in their house and an addiction to young children. The kid calls Walker’s wife on the suburbanite woman’s cellphone which he pilfered from her purse – who so far has been relegated to the Suffering Spouse role. The kid reads a prescription bottle in the bathroom to get the address of the house he is at.

In true Sigourney Weaver/Linda Hamilton style the wife goes to the house and busts her way in the door. She finds two children sleeping in the bedrooms – and yet notices that the couple has no pictures of these children. She comes upon the huge playroom and rips open a closet where the kid falls out, bound and with a plastic bag over his head. She resuscitates him while she holds the couple at gunpoint and then finds that the couple has empty body bags hanging in the closet next to the children’s costumes… and then further in the back… DVD cases with the names of young children on them. She calls 911 and says ‘There’s been a gunshots in the apartment across the hallway,’ and she gives the address. Then she blows the pedophile couple away with a gun and resuces the two children out of the bedrooms as well as the kid she’d come for. Tight, well-executed, lurid, disturbing and allows the actress to shatter the role of suffering spouse and take action herself. The DVD cases is what really was effective – because of what it implied. So much of the film was about show show show that it was important to be reminded how effective implied violence or implied harm can really hit home in a narrative.

Not the best movie – not as stylish as it wants to be (reminds me a bit of Tony Scott’s theatrics?). But Paul Walker does a nice grungy alternate to his usual surfer golden boy persona. And I think Johnny Messner might be someone to watch.

3 thoughts on “Running Scared (2006)

  1. JB

    More Messner. More!

    I agree totally with that kiddy-fiddle sequence, it was a complete surprise and really disturbing, right from the beginning where those kids were in the back of their van, to the bit where she shot them (yay!)

    It was all so incredibly “neat” and “perfect” and sort of 70’s style? Reminded me a bit of a nightmare where everything is sort of normal but something isn’t quite right.

  2. Andy

    Yeah and the implication of what was going to happen since the mother was wearing a silk robe and was presumably naked underneath made my skin crawl.

  3. Randy

    You know what really, really freaked me out about that scene? The woman playing the the sick ass “Mom” (Elizabeth Mitchell) with the playroom also played Mrs. Santa in “The Santa Clause 2 & 3”. EEK!

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