Sarah Snook has made a lot of noise as the smart and suave businesswoman Siobhan Roy in the Emmy-winning series Succession. After the series came to a resounding end in recent months, Sarah Snook is back once more, and she even plays a character named Sarah. However, this time, the character is nothing like the confident and charismatic Shiv, but a woman who struggles to come to terms with the events that happen around her. Snook plays Dr. Sarah, a single mother in Run Rabbit Run, who starts noticing certain strange behaviors in her daughter Mia ever since the child celebrated her seventh birthday. Here’s a detailed look into the complex character of Dr. Sarah Gregory in the movie Run Rabbit Run.
From the get-go, Dr. Sarah seems rather indifferent towards the repeated calls that come from the old-age care facility that houses a woman named Joan, while catering to every need of her daughter, Mia. The sweet and beautiful little Mia has just turned 7, and Sarah has been single-handedly preparing everything for the party when a rabbit dropped off at their porch takes Sarah by surprise. Although Mia immediately begins caring for the stray rabbit, Sarah can’t help but look at the little carrot-muncher with a tinge of suspicion. The birthday party she’d planned for her daughter is soured multiple times because her ex-husband Pete decides to drop the bomb that he and his wife Denise are trying for a child on Sarah’s daughter’s birthday. Moreover, the annoying stepson of Pete hits Mia on the head, and to make it worse, Denise snaps at Sarah for cursing at the petulant infant. To close off the night, the stray rabbit scratches Sarah’s hand when she tries shooing the animal off, and strangely, the wound gets infected rather soon.
Ever since her 7 th birthday, Mia’s behavior becomes more and more concerning, with the child refusing to open up to her mother, constantly wetting the bed, and demanding to see Joan. Sarah tries ignoring the child’s repeated demands to meet Joan, who happens to be Sarah’s mother, whom she has been estranged from for many years now. Soon, the doctor’s dreams turn into night terrors as scary images flutter into her mind, and concern for her daughter makes her sit upright in fear. With a growing strangeness in Mia’s behavior when she dons a badly-made rabbit mask, Sarah decides to give in and take Mia to meet Joan in the aged-care facility. The shocking thing that leaves Sarah terrified, however, is that her daughter, who’d never met her grandmother before, clings to Joan as the dementia-ridden woman holds onto Mia for dear life while calling her Alice repeatedly.
Sarah fails to understand what has gotten into her daughter Mia later, as she repeatedly “pretends” to be Alice and blames Sarah for being a bad person and says that she hates her. Mia’s schoolteacher shows Sarah the terrifying drawings Mia made at the back of her homework, where a little girl was seen trapped inside an enclosed space with a rabbit. Panicking and scared about this new mayhem descending on their lives, Sarah frantically calls her husband, Pete, but he’s conveniently unable to receive her calls. Sarah goes on to find several more such ‘drawings’ on the backs of every childish scribble Mia had made, and when Pete finally does answer, he suggests letting Mia have a relationship with her grandmother. Sarah feels so completely alone in the world that she crawls into a box with her father’s sweater and hugs the cloth for comfort while repeating, “You’re a good girl.” We can assume this is what Sarah’s father used to tell her to calm her down when she was a child, but Sarah’s reverie is interrupted by the rabbit clomping around. What Sarah doesn’t see, however, is a little girl standing behind her with her face hidden in the dark. By now, it’s painfully obvious what the key plot of the movie is: Mia is being possessed by the ghost of Alice, who is the sister of Sarah, but for some reason, Alice never crosses her path. It’s a shame that Sarah never once understands what’s really happening, and the rabbit is how her sister has manifested herself in this world. Alice at times possesses Sarah’s daughter, and it’s in those moments that Mia’s nose starts bleeding after she behaves in a rather eerie manner, although Sarah never once understands that this couldn’t be her sweet, little daughter.
The mother and daughter visit Sarah’s childhood home, and Mia immediately finds comfort in the room that used to belong to Alice, although she doesn’t want to say that to Mia. It becomes very difficult to get Mia to listen to reason as she continuously brings up Alice and demands that she be referred to by that name, even going as far as claiming that she’s Sarah’s sister and that she’s come back when Sarah finally opens up about Alice. This erratic and downright terrifying behavior doesn’t start any alarm bells ringing in Sarah’s mind, and she sticks to asking Pete’s voicemail if someone told Mia anything about Alice. Sarah takes Mia to meet Joan one more time, but this time, the grandmother seems incredibly lucid, and she’s glad to finally meet her granddaughter, Mia. However, it’s the child who starts acting in a weird manner and says her name is Alice, discomforting Joan visibly.
This should have been enough of a sign for Sarah to take Mia and run out of that accursed place she used to call home as a child, given that this is where Mia’s erratic behavior had gone into hyperdrive. In fact, Sarah did try talking to Joan about selling the house, but when her mother expressed her airy hopes of reuniting with Alice when she returned, Sarah couldn’t help but express a little exasperation about how absurd it was for Alice to return. There was a sudden change in Joan’s countenance as she grabbed onto Sarah’s hand and insulted her until Sarah had to run away from her mother. Things had been becoming increasingly difficult for Sarah to handle on her own, and she had nowhere to turn for help. However, it feels like an oversight on the makers’ part that they didn’t show any of the flashbacks where young Sarah was shown to be comforted by her dad. This is why the dreamlike trance where Sarah found herself standing at the edge of the cliff with her father calling out to her didn’t make much sense because he wasn’t shown to be connected to Sarah in the past. However, seen in a different way, this probably expresses just how lonely Sarah was, with her own daughter turning against her—throwing hands at her mother, cursing her out, and even going as far as scratching out her mother’s face from an old photo of Sarah and Alice.
Of course, this wasn’t Mia doing all the lunacy, but Alice, who’d possessed her niece, something Sarah couldn’t fathom for whatever reason. Sarah was often going to the shed, a little bit away from the house, and the massive closet attracted her repeatedly. We, the audience, can obviously understand that this closet had something to do with her sister Alice when the girls were young. The suspicion is proven true when a bloodied and feral Alice jumps out at Sarah and starts choking her. Sarah somehow manages to whack her sister across the head with a rabbit trap, only to find her daughter Mia running away with blood on her forehead. This, combined with the wounds Sarah had caused on Mia’s arms the previous night because she kept seeing blood pouring out of her daughter’s forehead, could only point towards Sarah slowly losing her mind. While running after her daughter, Sarah was suddenly caught in a trance where she was transported to her childhood and saw her sister screaming because of the deep wound on her forehead that Sarah had caused. To shut her up, Sarah had pushed Alice off the cliff, and that’s how the little girl had gone missing.
Sarah’s consciousness returns from Pete banging on the door frantically, and she finds herself making scratches on the floor exactly like Mia had been doing. Pete and Sarah scour the land, searching for their daughter, and Sarah jumps into the water because she can swear she saw Mia under the water. However, this is nothing but Sarah’s guilty conscience, and lo and behold, they find Mia hiding in one of the little hedges. That night, Sarah confesses to Mia, thinking that it’s Alice lying beside her, all the crimes she committed against her sister, and in the morning, Mia leaves the house. Sarah runs to the window to find her sister Alice leading her daughter Mia away towards the cliff.
We can’t say for sure whether Sarah saves her daughter, but this is for certain: she had lost touch with what was and was not real by the end. After vehemently denying that the dead don’t come back, Sarah struck her daughter across the forehead, mistaking her for Alice, whom she had pushed to her death as a child. This shows just how out of touch with reality Sarah had become by the end, and the sole reason for such behavior is the guilty conscience. Guilt can wear on a person heavily, making them lose track of reality and even their sanity, and this is why Sarah could only scream and pound innocuously against the glass window while her sister carried her daughter away. It didn’t strike Sarah to run after her daughter because, in all probability, there was nobody beside Mia, and she could have been a figment of Sarah’s imagination manifesting itself in Mia. However, it was because Sarah had chosen to hide her crime for all these decades that it came back in the worst possible way and affected the one person she loved the most in the world—her little daughter, Mia.