READY OR NOT – A Review

I have to admit, I went into Ready or Not with very low expectations. I had not seen much promotion for it and honestly it slipped past my radar until my wife asked me about Margot Robbie slumming it in a cheapo horror flick while also starring in the new Tarantino. I was confused and found out that, no Ready or Not does not star the once and future Harley Quinn. In fact it’s Samara Weaving, of Ash vs Evil Dead, SMILF and the upcoming Bill and Ted Face the Music. And if she’s mistaken for other actresses now (I’ve also heard her confused with Emma Stone though I don’t really see it), she won’t be for long.

Samara Weaving is a goddamn star and Ready or Not is a absolute blast. I loved every single second of this movie.

From directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (most notably having directed the segment 10/31/98 from V/H/S, my favorite of the film by the way) and writers Guy Busick (of Stan Against Evil) and Ryan Murphy (not the American Horror Story guy, you’ve likely never seen any of his movies), Ready or Not is a smart, funny and inventive horror comedy that feels like it wants to be a Jordan Peele movie (like all those Tarantino and Kevin Smith clones in the 90s). It might not be at his level, but damn if it’s not entertaining as hell.

The film follows new bride Grace (Weaving) and her groom Alex (Mark O’Brien, of Halt and Catch Fire and Bad Times at the El Royale) as they deal with his very, very rich and very eccentric family. It seems that on the night of a wedding, to prove their worth to the Le Domas family the new spouse must play a game. Sometimes it’s chess, sometimes it’s backgammon, and sometimes, just sometimes, it’s hide and seek. In this case, hide and seek means the family hunts their unfortunate new in-law and tries to kill them before dawn. Unfortunately for the family, hide and seek isn’t played very often and they are not very experienced murderers.

Ready or Not also stars Adam Brody (The OC, Shazam and unfortunately not Justice League: Mortal) as Alex’s brother Daniel, Henry Czerny (Mission: Impossible, Revenge) as their father Tony and Andie MacDowell (Groundhog Day, Four Weddings and a Funeral) as their mother Becky. The cast is rounded out by a bunch of people who you probably won’t recognize (except for Orphan Black‘s Kristian Bruun) as the rest of the family. The coked-up sister (Wynonna Earp‘s Melanie Scrofano) and the very intense aunt (The Handmaid’s Tale‘s Nicky Guadagni) are particular stand-outs.

And can I just say, this movie killed at the screening I went to? Every joke landed. Every injury and death got huge reactions. I understand most people will end up catching it at home later, but seriously, go see this movie in the theatre with a crowd. It is an experience. It is consistently funny throughout while still being just straight-up brutal.

Speaking of which, let’s discuss the violence in Ready or Not. It’s graphic, gory and often shocking (sometimes hilariously so – the first death is just so wonderful). The film walks a very fine line, where neither the violence nor the comedy undercut the other and both work exactly as you’d hope.

The red-band trailer gives perhaps too much away, but it might be worth watching if you’re on the fence.

In a year where Endgame and Far From Home didn’t exist, Ready or Not would very likely be my favorite film of the summer. As it stands, it’s already earned a spot on my year-end list. I absolutely loved this movie and can’t wait to see it again.

I give Ready or Not 10 YouTube videos about how to use a crossbow out of 10.