[[caption-width-right:300: Judging by the poster, you would guess that it's a generic crime thriller, right? [[CoversAlwaysLie Hell]] '''[[RefugeInAudacity NO]]'''.]]

->''"Speaking of movies that go over the top, ''Running Scared'' goes so far over the top, it circumnavigates the top and doubles back on itself; it's the Mobius Strip of over-the-topness. I am in awe. It throws in everything but the kitchen sink. Then it throws in the kitchen sink, too, and the combo washer-dryer in the laundry room, while the hero and his wife are having sex on top of it."''
-->-- '''Creator/RogerEbert'''

A 2006 crime film starring Creator/PaulWalker, Cameron Bright, and Creator/VeraFarmiga. It was written and directed by Wayne Knight (''Film/TheCooler, Film/CrossingOver'')

[[HowWeGotHere The movie begins with]] Joey Gazelle (Paul Walker) driving with a boy, Oleg Yugorsky (Cameron Bright). Oleg has a blood stain on his shirt, implying that he had been shot. The movie then flashes back eighteen hours before the unfolding scene. Joey, a low-level mafioso, is attending a drug deal with his boss Tommy and associate Sal when a trio of masked men burst in and try to steal the drugs and money. When Tommy shoots one of the hoods, [[BlastOut a shootout commences]] in which all the drug dealers and two of the hoods are killed, forcing their leader to flee. Tommy then discovers that the men were {{Dirty Cop}}s. As the mobsters [[MassOhCrap flee in a panic]], Tommy gives the murder weapons to Joey, telling him to get rid of them.

Rather than dispose of the guns, Joey goes home to his wife Teresa (Vera Farmiga) and son Nicky, and hides the guns in the basement while Nicky and his friend from next door, Oleg, secretly watch. Oleg returns home to his abusive stepfather, [[{{Jerkass}} Anzor Yugorsky]], the outcast nephew of the [[TheMafiya Russian mob boss]], Ivan Yugorsky, and battered mother, Mila. When Anzor becomes belligerent towards Oleg, Oleg shoots him with [[CoolGuns a nickel-plated .38]] that he had stolen from Joey's basement. Next door, the Gazelle family is disrupted by the gunshots and Joey rushes next door. He finds Anzor [[OnlyAFleshWound wounded]], and Oleg gone. When Anzor describes the weapon to Joey, he realizes that Oleg had stolen one of the murder weapons, and rushes out in a frantic search to find Oleg and the gun.

Oleg runs to a nearby park, where he is caught by a homeless man, who takes his gun and drags him to a drug dealer's den. Joey and Nicky follow, trying to find him. The criminals then fire on each other, alerting Joey and giving Oleg time to escape with the gun. Oleg runs until he finds a pimp named Lester smacking around [[HookerWithAHeartOfGold one of his prostitutes]], Divina. When Lester pulls a knife, Oleg pulls his gun on him. But when he tried to fire, he finds the gun empty. However, the prostitute knocks Lester unconscious and, as she prepares to run, notices Oleg coughing. Indebted to him, she takes him to a pharmacy to get him an inhaler. When the pharmacist refuses, she draws the gun and gets the inhaler at gunpoint.

It gets worse from there.

The movie goes out of its way to crank RefugeInAudacity UpToEleven. Despite negative reviews and being a BoxOfficeBomb, the film still acts as an experience that could be best described as "memorable", to say the least.

And we here at TV Tropes feel the need to implore any readers and tropers curious enough to check this movie for either the belief that it'll be good or [[BileFascination other reasons]] that this isn't an indie movie. This is a film funded by a major-ish studio (Creator/NewLineCinema) and given a nationwide release. This isn't ''Film/TheRoom'' or ''Film/{{Birdemic}}''. All the insanity that happens in this was approved by a major.

Not to be confused with the 1986 [[BuddyCopShow buddy cop]] film,''Running Scared'', starring Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines.

!!''Running Scared'' contains examples of:

* AbusiveParents: Anzor Yugorsky, [[spoiler:he does not kill his kid though, but instead going out JohnWayne style]].
* ActionGirl: Teresa, who gets a CrowningMomentOfAwesome when she deals with the [[spoiler: pedophile couple]].
* AtomicFBomb: Joey gets an awesome one after following a RedHerring.
* AndThatLittleBoyWasMe: Joey relates to Oleg in telling a story about a young boy who [[BatterUp "Mark [=McGwires=] the fucking living shit"]] out of his abusive father to the point of the father being "neutralized". Putting that and the fact Joey lives an elderly man, Joey was relating to Oleg's life and how bad his family is, and also wanting him to live normally for a good couple of more years rather then suffer to his father.
%%* {{Badass}}: [[WorldOfBadass Pretty much everyone]].
%%* BadassAdorable: Teresa.
%%* BadassAndChildDuo: Joey and Oleg.
* BlastOut: Frequent, almost to the point of being a running gag.
* BlofeldPloy: In a later scene, Tommy builds up a lot of tension by acting as though he and another mobster have taken Joey to a place to shoot him, [[spoiler:but ends up turning the gun on the other mobster, explaining that they found out he had been dealing under the table, got caught and was let go as an informant.]]
* ClusterFBomb: The film is in ninth place for the total number of uses.
* CoolGun: The snub-nosed piece the whole movie revolves around.
* CountryMatters
* CrapsaccharineWorld: The home of the torturing, murdering pedo couple, decked out like a kindergarten playroom.
* CulturalCringe: Anzor is a John Wayne fanboy and actually rather dislikes his homeland's culture.
* DisneyDeath: [[spoiler: Joey at the end]].
** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]]; [[spoiler: Nicky]] asks what was in the coffin, and [[spoiler: Joey]] replies that it must have been a few of their rival hockey team's players.
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler: Mila]].
* {{Gorn}}
* HighPressureBlood: Frequently used.
* LadyMacbeth: Played by Creator/ElizabethMitchell.
* MamaBear: ''Teresa''.
* MoralGuardians: A game on the movie's website included a lot of violence and a scene of oral sex. Naturally, Christian groups got upset about this. The sex was removed, then when the movie flopped, the whole game was yanked.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: The [[spoiler: hockey rink shootout]] begins with [[spoiler: Joey]] getting seven shades of shit beaten out of him.
* PapaWolf: Joey, at least to some degree.
* PimpDuds: Lester.
* PrecisionFStrike: "JohnWayne was a faggot." A relatively mild swear, but coming from a 10-year-old boy who has very little dialogue, none of which has any cursing otherwise...
* {{Reconstruction}}: The whole film is basically a scary fairy tale about a boy who ran to TheLostWoods and met numerous monsters, including TheBigBadWolf and a witch living in a GingerbreadHouse. Credits make sure you got the reference with animated sequence showing boy's misadventures in that light.
* RefugeInAudacity: The MO of the movie. ''And it works''.
* RRatedOpening: The opening, where about eight people die extremely brutal deaths, is proof positive that the movie you're watching is in no way safe for children.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler: Anzor has a change of heart and can't bring himself to shoot Oleg in the climax. He puts down his gun, defiantly walks away from the mob boss, and is shot in the back.]]
* SerialKiller: Dez and Edele, a couple who kidnap children to molest them before disposing of their bodies. When Terese arrives to rescue Oleg from them, she can barely resist throwing up when she sees that the couple has ''dozens'' of videotapes in their collection, all with the names of various children marked on them. Being a fairytale-inspired story, they're an analogue for the witch from ''Literature/HanselAndGretel''.
* ShoutOut:
** The local hockey team's slogan of "Red ice!" may be a reference to the Detroit Red Wings.
** Lester makes a reference to ''Film/{{Scarface 1983}}'' at the end, which Joey mocks him for.
* UnholyMatrimony: There's a particularely depraved example in a husband and wife who kidnap children, then molest them, videotape it, and kill them. However, it's ambiguous whether they love each other or if they bonded over their shared proclivity.
* WorldOfBadass