Ready or Not

08/23/2019 06:22

Film: Ready or Not

Year: 2019

Director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett

Writer: Guy Busick and Ryan Murphy

Starring: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody and Mark O’Brien



This was a film that I was excited to check out as I caught part of the trailer. When I saw that it starred Samara Weaving that was when I knew I was on-board. The concept was something that had me intrigued as well. I hadn’t seen this since the theater and am now giving it a second viewing as part of the Summer Series for the Podcast Under the Stairs. The synopsis is a bride’s wedding night takes a sinister turn when her eccentric new in-laws force her to take part in a terrifying game.

We start this film off with two little kids running away from someone. They are Daniel and Alex. Daniel has his brother hide in a closet and when he turns, a man asks for his help. He yells for others to come and when they do, the man is shot with arrows. He’s then taken away while a woman named Helene breaks down.

The film then alerts us that we shifting 30 years into the present. It is the wedding day of Grace (Weaving) to Alex Le Domas (Mark O’Brien). The Le Domas are a rich family that made their fortune off of board games. Daniel (Adam Brody) is an alcoholic, but still fairly close to his brother.

Grace is scared the family doesn’t like her, because of how rich and snooty they are. We get to know them through the pictures before the ceremony. The father is Tony (Henry Czerny) and he’s married to Becky (Andie MacDowell). Daniel is married to Emilie (Melanie Scrofano) and they really don’t get along. There’s also Aunt Helene (Nicky Guadagni) who keeps giving Grace the evil eye.

As the night progresses, Alex finally reveals to his new bride that at midnight they are required to play a game. It is family tradition. Showing up just in time is Alex’s sister Charity (Elyse Levesque) and her husband, Fitch (Kristian Bruun) with their two kids. They go into a room reserved for family only. There’s a box that will decide the game they have to play that night. You can guess what it is from the title of the film. Grace doesn’t take it too seriously, but her in-laws do. She has to survive until dawn, but they have a lot riding on her not making it.

That should be enough of a recap without spoiling anything. I want to start this off by stating that this is a fun film. I had a blast with this one and it is actually quite hilarious. To be honest though, as the film progresses, I did see some deeper things here that I really enjoyed as well. Regardless, this is a fun, popcorn horror movie that doesn’t shy away from the violence and the gore.

The first of which to cover is the symbolism of Grace vs. the Le Domas. She is wearing a white wedding dress and they’re wearing mostly dark clothes. I took this as she is good and them being the evil. It is even more interesting in this idea as some things get revealed as to why they have to play this game and what they think will happen if they don’t complete what they need to do. I also like that she is wounded and her dress gets dirtier, she becomes stronger in fighting back. It is showing that change that comes over her as she grows harder.

As it went on, I also picked up the idea of old traditions against the new ways of life. The Le Domas are old money. I like the idea how they earned it and they are trying to adhere to the rules of the game. The problem is that as it goes on, they get scared. They want to break tradition for the sake of winning. I thought this is a fitting look at the rich, who tend to bend the laws for their own gain. Going from there though, Alex is torn between protecting his new wife and the life that they could be making for themselves and his duty to his family. It is funny how inept this family is at hunting her. It definitely sounds like it was much easier as the ancestors were actually hunters. The deeper the generations go, the less skilled they are due to their easier upbringing.

I do have to admit there is something that happened late in the film I could have done without after my first viewing. After listening to others talk about it and now giving it a second viewing, I don’t have my issues there. It makes sense for what the movie is building to and that fear of what could happen if they fail.

The pacing of the film though is something that is good as well. The film really just gets right into introducing the characters and getting to the game within the first half hour or so. I do like that we see a gradual change in Grace as she has to go to greater and greater lengths of surviving. There wasn’t anything in the film that really bogged it down for me and I had fun all the way through.

Something that was really good here was the acting. On a podcast I heard them compare Weaving to the horror Margot Robbie and I love this comparison. She is such a beautiful woman, but she is an amazing actress as well. I love how quirky her character is and she gives off that vibe that she is down to Earth without realizing how good looking she is. I love the change in her character as things happen to her. Brody is good here as well. There is an issue I have after this viewing with decisions this character makes. It feels like it is there to push the movie and doesn’t make sense. Much like O’Brien, who is fine in his role, they’re dealing with keeping up with traditional or finally breaking it to move on. I thought the rest of the family and staff was fitting for what was needed, they definitely rounded out the film and they all kind of bring their own humor to their specific roles.

As for the effects of the film, I think there was some CGI, but to be honest I was stoked to see that they went practical. This film can be quite brutal at times and there are some things that Grace goes through that had me cringing. The CGI that was used looked good to me and I didn’t notice it. There was good amount of blood and gore for me, so no complaints. The film is also shot very well as it does do some interesting angles so credit to the cinematography.

The last thing to cover would be the soundtrack of the film, which I have to admit didn’t really stand out. It did fit the scenes for what was needed and it helped to build tension. The only time I remember it was when they play this ‘Hide and Seek’ song. It is an old timey one and was quite eerie if I’m honest. I might see if I can find it actually. Regardless, I like the vibe that song gives.

Now with that said, this film is definitely a fun one. I heard that, but I like to check things out for myself and it didn’t disappoint. I thought it had an interesting concept, by taking a children’s game and turning it deadly. I like the social commentary we are getting here and how it is plausible a family like this could get away with it. It is paced well, it built tension and I never got bored. I thought the acting from Weaving was good while the rest definitely rounded out the film for what is needed. Even the comedy worked for me as it doesn’t take anything away from the movie or the tension. The effects were great, both the practical and the CGI. The soundtrack didn’t stand out aside from one song, but I don’t have a lot of complaints either. I’m not always the biggest horror/comedy fan, but there was something about this one that I liked. I thought this was good, bordering on being great for me.


My Rating: 8.5 out of 10