Ready Or Not is the darkly comedic horror film following Grace’s wedding night after marrying into the wealthy Le Domas family, after marrying Alex who has previously been estranged from the rest of Le Domas clan. Following the family’s wedding ritual she must play a game, but after drawing Hide and Seek she finds herself actually being hunted throughout the Le Domas’ large mansion.
It’s an incredibly simple concept for a film, and that certainly isn’t a bad thing, because it means that directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett could focus on making each little set piece of the film as good as it could be, and on the whole they really succeed. The tone of the film is certainly a horror or a thriller, but one that leans towards levity with its use of humour. Ready or Not doesn’t look to get the viewer with jump scares, instead using tension to drive the film, and knowing the exact right moments to break that tension with a comedic moment.
The cast that has been assembled is also great. This is a star making role for Samara Weaving, who is a delight as Grace. Charming, funny, and utterly badass, she owns the lead role, and you will completely be rooting for her to survive. Of the Le Domas family the pick of the bunch has to be Adam Brody as Grace’s conflicted new brother in law. His weariness at his family’s rituals are clear to see, but that comes into conflict with his loyalty to his family, and Brody brings that internal conflict to life brilliantly.
Henry Czerny and Andie MacDowell are great as Alex and Daniel’s parents, and help the film balance the hard to nail tone between horror/thriller and dark comedy. Without them finding that balance and meshing the tones beautifully then it could really have felt like an awkward hodgepodge of two different films, something we have seen recently. Meanwhile Melanie Scrofano as Alex and Daniel’s sister Emilie and Kristian Bruun as her husband Fitch bring a lot of the dark humor, and really deliver on that side.
When you put all that together then Ready Or Not is one of the most fun cinema experiences of the year. It nails the balance between horror and dark comedy, and does a lot with a very simple concept. Hopefully this can boost Samara Weaving to stardom, as she deserves some big roles after such a brilliant breakthrough performance.