Ready or Not

Ready or Not

Ready or Not

Rating
4.0 / 5
REVIEW AUTHOR

Rhys Pascoe

Director

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett

STARS

Samara Weaving, Andie MacDowell, Adam Brody

Release Date

24 October 2019

RUNTIME

95mins

Distributor

Fox Searchlight

Grace (Samara Weaving) gets an unusual introduction to her new in-laws when they insist she take part in an eccentric – and deadly – game of hide and seek. And you thought your in-laws were bad…

Ready or Not sits at the bizarre crossroads where Get Out and Clue meet HBO’s Succession. Grace, a snarky orphan who spent her childhood bouncing from foster home to foster home, is marrying Alex (Mark O’Brien), the heir-apparent of the Le Domas family, a ludicrously wealthy dynasty driven by eccentric traditions.

At the strike of midnight on their wedding night, Alex’s parents, siblings and extended family join the newlyweds for a family custom – a board game, selected at random by the bride. Determined to win favour with her new family, Grace plays along – not knowing that by choosing hide and seek, she is now the prey in a deadly chase through the ornate halls of the Le Domas mansion. Failing to kill Grace by dawn will lead to their undoing, or so the sinister family believes.

Once you buy into the absurd premise – which centres around a cursed Civil War relic – Ready or Not reveals itself to be one of most surprisingly entertaining films of the year. At just a smidge over 90 minutes, this horror-comedy speeds along at a fair pace, playing fast and loose with the plot and never taking itself too seriously.

Decked out in a torn wedding gown, battered Chuck Taylors and a bandolier slung across her shoulder, Aussie actress Weaving cuts a striking figure as the bedraggled bride whose nuptials have turned into a nightmare. A bonafide scream queen by now (let’s not forget her star turn in Netflix’s The Babysitter), it’s Weaver’s commanding and comedic performance that makes the thin characterisation go a long way and takes Ready or Not from good to great.

When they’re not staging smart action sequences, directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett take aim at the rich, with Grace’s wide-eyed disbelief acting as an effective counterpoint to the Le Domas’ delusional beliefs. Between this, Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite and Jordan Peele’s one-two punch of Get Out and Us, class and wealth are increasingly under the microscope in mainstream cinema – a curious trend of late.

The jokes are hit and miss, but Ready or Not more or less succeeds in having its cake and eating it too, mixing blood splatter and satanic worship with smarts and satire.

Image courtesy of Fox Searchlight

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