Who’s ready to play a game? Ready or Not is a darkly satirical, horror thrill ride where we witness a comedically timed take down of a bloodthirsty upper-class family. Directed in an unapologetic style by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett and with a devilishly clever script by Guy Busick and R. Christopher Murphy, this dark (and we mean dark) comedy isn’t short on gore or social commentary.
Samara Weaving (The Babysitter, 2017) stars as the lead role in Ready or Not as Grace, a blushing bride who has just married the love of her life, Alex Le Domas (Mark O’Brien), a member of the mega-rich, blue-blooded Le Domas family. On the night of their wedding, the family invites Grace to engage in a tradition that dates back to the family’s patriarch who made a dark deal to allow his family line to build their massive gaming-based empire. As part of the tradition, Grace must participate in a randomly selected game with the family—in her case, a game of hide-and-seek. As she goes to hide, it isn’t long before she realizes that the entire family is hunting her down with a slew of antiquated weapons. In order for her to win, she must remain hidden until sunrise.
Samara Weaving (Grace) in Ready or Not (2019)
As poor Grace, still adorned in her snow-white wedding gown, makes her way through the decadent, gothic, candle-lit Le Domas mansion (designed by The Handmaid's Tale [2017-2019] production designer Andrew M. Stearn), she relentlessly dodges her groom’s murderous relatives. Weaving really sticks her neck out in this movie as a striking heroine who hikes up her wedding dress and proves to this deranged clan of murderous millionaires that she isn’t going down without a fight.
As Grace inches her way closer to dawn, and the bodies pile higher, we find the movie slipping deeper into the void of absurdity and a delightfully twisted take on the institution of marriage. What is most unexpected in Ready or Not was the crassly stark moments of comedy that interjected themselves between moments of pure gore and brutality. The comic delivery by the wonderfully tormenting cast of characters gives this movie a whole new take on a dark comedy. It’s The Purge (2013) meets Clue (1985).
(left to right) Fitch Bradley (Kristian Bruun), Emilie (Melanie Scrofano), Becky Le Domas (Andie MacDowell), Tony Le Domas (Henry Czerny), Aunt Helene (Nicky Guadagni), Daniel Le Domas (Adam Brody), and Charity Le Domas (Elyse Levesque) in Ready or Not (2019)
It’s the over the top violent scenes, juxtaposed sense of humor, and unabashed social commentary that makes Ready or Not a new gem in the genre of horror. All you gorehounds, dark comedy lovers, or just fans of the macabre, make your way to Regal for the surprisingly hilarious slasher movie of the summer!