ready or not
DIRECTOR: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (devil's due)
STARRING: samara weaving, adam brody, henry czerny, and andie macdowell
REVIEWER: purdie picot
A bride's wedding night takes a sinister turn when her eccentric new in-laws force her to take part in a terrifying game.
Grace and Alex are getting married, his family is big on tradition, a luxurious white wedding at the family’s luxurious estate. Grace has always dreamed of having a big family that accepts her, so she was to win the approval of the Le Domas domain however, an incredibly wealthy family whose money comes from the board gaming empire built Great Grandfather Victor Le Domas with help from Mr Le Bail. The traditions continue into the night, and Grace has to play a game to be finally accepted into the family - a deadly game of Hide and Seek.
Ready or Not has a simple premise, a young woman must survive the night playing Hide and Seek while being hunted, the plot evolves to be so much more. Like a game of Cluedo, picking up hints, working out the twists and turns throughout the movie, it’s certainly a rewarding film to watch. I thoroughly enjoyed assembling the puzzle pieces of foreshadowing all while still questioning - how is this going to end.
It’s a horror film coming out into a slightly-saturated market. But thankfully it’s smart enough to have fun with the audience, flirting closely with the black-comedy genre. Grace, played by Samara Weaving, is set up perfectly as the scream queen, the hopelessly-in-love blonde bombshell who is going to trip and stumble her way through all while the audience shouts out that she’s doing it all wrong. But that isn’t Grace at all, from very early on, when she realises that her life is on the line, she rips that long wedding dress and dons some sneakers. She’s fierce and fights back, she is smart, and there is a long line of profanities she screams which made me think “now this is a relatable heroine”. I loved her so much, I was rooting for her, and cheering when she threw a punch, or armed herself.
The rest of the family are also fantastic. Each has their own quirk which brings the character to life, they might all be a little cartoonish but all the more fun. This rich white family has a bunch of flawed people, but each are strangely lovable, I couldn’t pick which side character is my favourite, whether it’s the hopeless Fitch, the coke-snorting Emilie or the brutal Aunt Helene. There wasn’t a character I rolled my eyes at waiting for their moment in the spotlight to end. Chasing them all like a game of Tag around the house brought a mixture of laughs and scares.
Ready or Not plays around with the concepts of classism, the 1% and ‘rich white people’ - never dragging you down or putting too much into the themes. It’s enough to have a good laugh, and have a fun take-away message uttered by Grace in the final act. It’s the kind of film that will reward your ‘smart horror fans’ as well as your more casual viewers. Samara Weaving is no stranger to this type of horror, if you want more of her check out The Babysitter. She’s pretty, fun and a great actress. It’s a great game of cat and mouse, dashing around this huge house trying to outwit the other players.
Fantastically fun with thrills, Ready or Not proves itself to be a standout horror flick.