Ready or Not Review: The horror/comedy you should be seeking
With a sadistically fun sense of humor and thrilling twists and turns, Ready or Not is horror/comedy at its finest and game that’s too good to resist.
The film follows Grace (Samara Weaving), a soon-to-be newlywed that’s more than excited to be the newest member of her fiancé Alex’s (Mark O’Brien) family. With Alex’s family being incredibly wealthy from a lineage of board game makers, they have a special tradition to welcome anyone new into the family – they play a game. While most of the games they could play are mundane and lead to nothing too special, Grace picks Hide and Seek and it’s the one game that has a sadistic twist to it. The game takes a violent turn when Grace realizes that the family is actually hunting her through the night in order to fulfill some demonic ritual that will keep their family safe. Now, Grace must fend off the family in order to survive until dawn and do anything to stay alive.
Ready or Not has an incredibly unique look and environment that makes the sadistic game of Hide and Seek that unfolds on-screen an absolute joy to see. The set design is truly inspired and with secret passages, dumb waiters, and plenty of nooks and crannies to hide, there’s definitely an effort to explore every inch of the Le Domas mansion. While the sense of detail and exploration of secretive spots leads to some suspenseful moments, the film doesn’t have many elements of horror. Aside from the premise itself and the blood and gore the film provides, the film is less of a terrifying and scary game of Hide and Seek and more of a thrilling and, at times, darkly humorous game.
Really, Ready or Not plays up its darkly comedic tones to great effect and it leads to some great interactions between characters. From Alex’s Aunt Helene (Nicky Guadagni) only referring to Alex’s sister, Emilie (Melanie Scrofano), as “brown-haired niece” to everyone’s disappointment of the maids being accidently offed, the more darkly comedic moments make the film a great watch. Even everyone’s reactions to the idea of them having to hunt everyone down and questioning the strange traditions of them using old weapons and no tech to hunt Grace down is hilarious every time because of the great performances from everyone. Adam Brody gives a perfectly sarcastic performance that makes Daniel a comedic delight and his arc is actually one of the strongest parts of the film. Kristian Brunn also has some funny moments as Emilie’s husband Fitch and every time Guadagni’s scowl came into frame, it was hard not to laugh.
The best performance, though, definitely comes from Weaving as she proves to be both a more than capable leading lady and a formidable final girl. Seeing Grace take action definitely reminded me of similar leading ladies from films like You’re Next and Hush and regardless how much the film clearly tries to keep Grace, and the story, within the house, there’s definitely moments where Grace shows some grace under pressure. Weaving definitely makes the character her own, though, and through her great blend of solid comedic timing and confidence in tough situations, she really makes Grace the kind of heroine that audiences will rooting for.
The most surprising aspect of Ready or Not, though, was how compelling and intriguing the mystery behind the Le Domas’ curse was. There’s a lot of questioning of whether or not the “curse” is actually real and if it’s even worth it to be hunting down Grace. Not only does this build suspense around the premise, but it actually leads to some great conversations about traditions and family ties between the family members. All of this leads to an ending that’s surprising, hilarious, and incredibly satisfying, and will have viewers talking about it all the way home.
Regardless if you’re Ready or Not for the thrill ride that Ready or Not offers, it’s coming for you and it won’t leave you disappointed. There’re are very few films like Ready or Not and if you’re looking for a fun, gory game of Hide and Seek to end the summer on, then this is a must-see.