04th Oct2019

‘Ready or Not’ Review

by Alex Ginnelly

Stars: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O’Brien, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell, Melanie Scrofano, Kristian Bruun, Nicky Guadagni, Elyse Levesque, John Ralston | Written by Guy Busick, Ryan Murphy | Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett


Ready or Not sneaks into the theatres as the last gasp of the dying summer season, and it’s exactly where it belongs. With over the top violence, laugh out loud comedy, and top draw lead performances, Ready or Not is some of the most fun you’ll have this year.

Directed by duo Matt Bettineelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, Ready or Not tells the story of a bride’s wedding night that takes a sinister turn, when her new in-laws force her to take part in a terrifying game, all part of their family tradition. The game, as shown in the film’s trailer, is hide and seek – with a twist, the twist being that once found the bride will be killed in a sacrificial ritual before dawn. It is a movie that sounds like a terrifying horror, but never actually goes down that road. From the films opening 20 minutes, it’s unclear to see which direction the filmmakers are trying to take us. We’re not sure if we should be scared, having fun, or laughing, but once chaos ensues we know exactly where we stand. The road instead takes us down one with over the top violence and gore, yet cleverly spills over the edge into comedy. It works for the dynamic of the film and in its path creates an original, refreshing take on what could have been another run of the mill horror.

Including a mixed bag of characters, with all shades of personality types, the humour is tightly held within their grasp. They do such a good job of allowing it to slip out just at the right time, never letting us linger on the gore, which is in overdrive. From foolish, scary, and even incompetent family members, the group of killers tasked with hunting down the bride are not your typical movie villains. In the case of Ready or Not, it’s all the better for it and allows us to have fun with these characters so much so that sometimes you forget what’s at stake.

The highlight of the film, however, is a strong and breakout performance from Samara Weaving whose terrified bride drags us through the bloody horror that unfolds. After a small appearance in the critically acclaimed Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, this hurtles Samara to new heights and will surely secure her as a new talent to be reckoned with. It is her real, honest, and terrified reactions amongst the craziness and often silliness, that gets us through to the end credits. This leads me into the films finale, which massively turns the volume up on the gore where the filmmakers make a brave and bold choice. The choice they make is shocking and hilarious, perfectly summing up the entire ninety minutes we have just sat through, producing one of the best endings in years.

What Ready or Not delivers in the end is one of the best, most enjoyable, and fun times you’re likely to have in a cinema this year. It’s a great new take on something we think we’ve seen a hundred times over. So, take as many friends as you can and laugh out loud along with them.

**** 4/5

Ready or Not in is cinemas now.


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