05th Sep2019

Frightfest 2019: ‘Ready or Not’ Review

by Phil Wheat

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


We all know that, for some, weddings can be a tricky experience – the happiest day of your life seemingly running out of control at times; and then there’s the family conflicts, the meeting of the old and new members of a family: some disapproving, some embracing their new family a little TOO much. But what happens when the wedding is only the start of the chaos? That’s the basic premise of Ready or Not, which tells the story of the happiest day in Grace’s life as she marries her fiancé Daniel, from the super-rich and eccentric Le Domas family, owners of one of the biggest games companies in the world. However before taking her rightful place at her new in-laws country mansion, there’s a traditional family ritual Grace must play first prior to heading off on honeymoon…

Ready or Not, the latest film from Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (also known as Radio Silence) is essentially a horrific take on kids game Hide and Seek by way of Cluedo , and by extension the film version Clue – with Samara Weaving, so good as the co-lead in Joe Lynch’s Mayhem, given the spotlight as a put upon new wife turned badass heroine TOTALLY stealing the film from what is a superb cast of actors. Actors that surprisingly include Andie McDowell as the conflicted mother-in-law and Nicky Guadagni as the brilliantly vicious and sardonic Aunt Helene (who almost, almost steal the film from Weaving).

Continuing her action heroine role from Mayhem, Weaving her plays the confused new wife role with aplomb, really taking the character, and the audience, on the roller coaster of a ride that is her wedding night. It’s fun to see the character evolve from the innocent former orphan worried about fitting in to the complex lives of the rich in-laws to the woman who walks away from the love of her life, putting her own life before her new husbands and his family. Literally.

Ready or Not is yet another film released in 2019 that seems to be taking pot shots at the current political climate and the state of society as a whole – with the rich vs. poor motif really coming into play here. The Le Domas family reflecting the idea that the rich will do ANYTHING to keep themselves rich and in the luxuries they are accustomed to, even if that means killing people! It’s slightly heavy-handed in the approach but that is offset by the sheer fun factor of seeing the slapstick-esque way in which the film, and in particular its kills play out. It’s like watching a live action version of Wile E. Coyote at times, only the Le Domas are the coyote and Grace is Road Runner – outsmarting the family at almost every turn, eventually with the Le Domas’ being hoisted by their own petard.

Building to a crescendo of violence and black comedy that LITERALLY explodes across the screen in the final moments of the film, Ready or Not is the kind of fun fear flick that will appeal to both genre fans and those looking for a rollocking good time too!

***** 5/5

Ready or Not screened on Sunday August 25th 2019 as part of this years Arrow Video Frightfest.


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