Ready Or Not: Film Review – A Devilishly Dark Game Begins

Verdict: A wedding night turns into a wicked nightmare in this darkly funny horror film.

Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, Ready Or Not is about a wedding ritual that is followed by the Le Domas. Balancing horror, humor, and social commentary, the film takes full advantage of its ‘A’ rating to turn every element up a notch.

What’s Ready Or Not About:

Grace (Samara Weaving) is excited to have finally found a family when she marries Alex (Mark O’ Brian), who comes from a long-line of ultra-rich gaming moguls, the Le Domas. On her wedding night, she learns that the family has a tradition to play a game whenever someone new joins them. What she believes to be an eccentric ritual soon turns out to be a deadly one as they start to play hide-and-seek. Grace has to hide in their sprawling mansion and try to survive as her in-laws set out to find her with the intention of killing her before dawn.

What Works:

Samara Weaving as Grace makes an excellent protagonist for Ready Or Not – she’s a convincing outsider who’s easy to root for. Her reactions to the ludicrous and horrific situation and the choices she makes are realistic. She’s just a normal person who’s unwittingly been made part of a hellish game and she slowly learns the rules and becomes stronger in her resolve to survive against her crazy in-laws.

The Le Domas family don’t seem to be villainous at first either and it’s only as the film progresses do we get to see the true colors of the various characters. Daniel (Adam Brody), Alex’s brother, seems to be a perpetual alcoholic who doesn’t care what happens around him. Their sister, Emelie (Melanie Scrofano), is suspiciously over-enthusiastic. Their mother (Andie Macdowell) expresses her fondness for Grace but Alex has doubts about her feelings. Their father (Henry Czerny) is the patriarch of the family who’s intent on upholding tradition. There’s even a crazy aunt (Nicky Guadagni) who exudes creepiness. Emelie and Daniel are married too, and both spouses have also become integrated into the ways of the family. There’s also some interesting subtext in the film about the class divide as the wealthy Le Domas don’t even consider the lives of anyone apart from them to be valuable.

Ready Or Not slips in quite a lot of humor in between the blood and gore, which maintains the campy nature of the film despite the excessive violence. There’s also nail-biting tension throughout the film as the stakes are kept high. Loyalties are tested constantly and the characters make surprising decisions. You’re kept guessing who’ll survive and who won’t till the very end as the twists keep coming.

What Could’ve Been Better:

Ready Or Not gets extremely gory as it goes along, which might not be for everyone. The dialogues, especially Grace’s, use a lot of swear words, but their delivery keeps it from getting tiring. The film also subverts many scary moments with humor, so it’s not for those who want a serious horror film.

Why You Should Watch:

Ready Or Not is a must-watch if you’re looking for some bloody good fun. This thrilling film will keep you on the edge of your seat as you watch the world of crazy rich people who are unfazed by murder and can go to far lengths to keep what they have “earned”.

Chavi Pande: