Ready or Not
Ready or Not cleverly balances horror and comedy in a way that makes for one of the freshest films of the summer. Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett have crafted a film that's a lot of gory fun, while actress Samara Weaving proves herself a Goddess, commanding the screen and making for one of the most memorable on-screen characters in modern horror history.
Ready or Not is one of the leanest, meanest and most fun horror films since You’re Next and The Cabin in the Woods, cleverly balancing its horror and comedy in ways that will both shock and entertain you. Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett have created a future cult-classic, while actress Samara Weaving becomes a bonafide on-screen bad ass that knocks this film out of the theater and into the parking lot.
Ready or Not is built on a simple premise: pick a game, survive the game and live to see another day as part of the family. The wealthy Le Domas family believes in this age-old tradition that not only built their wealth, but allowed them to live successful and plentiful lives.
Daniel (Adam Brody) brings his soon-to-be wife Grace (Samara Weaving) home to wed and to finally meet his crazy family that he’s mostly avoided for the past 30 years. Naturally, Grace just assumes that the in-laws are “a bit much”, but she soon realizes that their true intentions are as sinister and as unforgiving as they look.
Grace finds herself at the mercy of a good old-fashioned game of hide-and-seek, with deadly consequences if she’s found before dawn.
Writers Guy Busick and Ryan Murphy have conjured up the perfect script, allowing for room to include both horror and comedy, without ever dipping too far into one genre or the other. Part of Ready or Not‘s immediate success is its concept, which is light and simple, yet loads of fun, while leaving room open for endless possibilities.
I could totally see Fox (or now Disney) turning this into the next big franchise, exploring past games until eventually showing us the first actual game played, because the writers have wisely inserted enough backstory to answer all the asked questions, while also leaving mystery surrounding the entire situation.
Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett direct Ready or Not with a sharp sense of humor and timing — almost every single beat lands hard, making for a film that moves at a wicked fast pace. The setup takes mere minutes, leaving the rest of the running time to explore the house, the characters and the family legend.
Actress Samara Weaving commands the screen as the bride-turned-bad ass Grace, giving us a character that’s every bit as iconic as Ripley or Sarah Connor. I know that sounds like high praise, but man does Weaving go full-on without ever looking back. At one point, I started to feel bad for the family hunting her, because she absolutely will not stop fighting for her life.
There’s a few twists and turns that feel somewhat given, but they don’t hurt the film’s lasting effect and instead feel like the only true way to continue through the film.
There’s a sort of satisfaction that is felt while watching this film that feels fresh and untampered with. I respect the big ol’ balls that Ready or Not dangles with pride, reminding us just how important horror is in the year 2019.
Ready or Not is a metric shit-ton of fun that I suspect will only get better with repeat viewings. I laughed and I gasped within a matter of minutes, because the film does such a wonderful job bouncing back-and-forth between tones without ever making you second-guess just what kind of movie it really is.
If the trailer looked like your kind of jam, then I urge you to seek out Ready or Not, because it’ll knock your socks off. It’s very reminiscent of The Cabin in the Woods and You’re Next, which are two of my favorite horror films of recent memory. I can confidently say that Ready or Not can hang with the best of ’em.