READY OR NOT

★★★

NOT QUITE HORROR, NOT QUITE COMEDY, BUT A WICKEDLY GOOD TIME

THEATRICAL REVIEW
By Jess Fenton
23rd October 2019

Fuck the rich! We’ve long been taught to be curious, even strive to see how “the other half” live, but 2019 seems to be the year of violent cinematic commentaries on the class system. Each have their own merit, tone and underlying humour, but if you want to move away from the eventual Oscar nominees and possible winners (sorry ‘Parasite’ and ‘Joker’) and on to wild rides with a killer (figurative) female and her killer (literal) family, then have I got the movie for you - 'Ready or Not', and it's just in time for Halloween.

Grace (Samara Weaving, Netflix's ‘The Babysitter’) is about to marry Alex (Mark O’Brien, ‘Arrival’), a member of the Le Domas gaming empire - a family described as being “richer than God”. But despite the money, a future father-in-law that hates her and a future brother-in-law that always hits on her, Grace is doing it for love. Well, let’s see how far love can take you when the family engage in a midnight games session on the wedding night - a sort of initiation for new family members. Grace unfortunately draws the Hide and Seek card (from a deck where Chess and Old Maid were also possibilities, go figure) and thus begins the game where Grace hides and eventually runs for her life while the rest of the family have until dawn to track her down and kill her to avoid dire consequences. Don’t worry, the how, when and most importantly why all get explained, but I won’t go into it here.

SWITCH: 'READY OR NOT' TRAILER

First and foremost, this deliciously wacky concept would have been nothing without Samara (Oi! Oil! Oil!) Weaving. In the hands of many others, Grace would have just been yet another throwaway female lamb for the slaughter, but in Weaving's grasp, she stuffs Grace full of so much sass, fire, drive and character that it oozes out of her. Yep, that’s not blood you see throughout the film’s 95 minutes dripping from her wounds, that’s Aussie-made moxie and talent. Adam Brody (TV's ‘The OC’) takes home the comic relief trophy for his efforts, but the film isn’t really all that humorous. Brody simply dabs the murderous plot with the occasional light-hearted moment while also trying to hunt the love of his brother’s life down and drown his conscience in alcohol. The same goes for Melanie Scrofano (‘Wynonna Earp’) as the cocaine-addled sister Emilie with a terrible shot and Kristian Brunn (TV's ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’), her bewildered husband who spends most of the film watching YouTube clips on how to use his weapon of choice.

In Samara Weaving's grasp, she stuffs Grace full of so much sass, fire, drive and character that it oozes out of her.

‘Ready or Not’ doesn’t sport as many laughs as you'd want for this ridiculous story, nor is it dark enough to be a true horror; it's just gory and violent with the occasional jump scare and anxiety-ridden scene. So while it doesn’t meet expectations or desires, it’s still a fun, thrilling, wicked romp through the blood-soaked mansion and goat barn.

So prepare yourself for squeals of fear, squeals of delight, squeals of patriotism and the occasional giggled “WTF!?”... because here it comes!

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