This was a film that snuck up on me, and I guess a lot of other people. When the trailer for this came out, having heard nothing about it beforehand, I got excited for the film, and watching the film, I had a great time with it.
The film follows Grace, a newlywed who has joined the Le Domas family who operate a board game empire. As part of the wedding traditions, Grace has to play a game with the family, with Hide and Seek being chosen. However, that game results in the rest of the Le Domas family hunting Grace to be sacrificed to satisfy a deal with the devil made by the family generations previously, with Grace having to survive until dawn. Now the main element that works about the film is the tone. Whilst this is a horror film, there’s a tongue in cheek nature to the whole thing which makes it a lot of fun to watch. There are a lot of great comedic moments in the film, which I won’t spoil here, with a good bit of subtle satire about the attitudes of the upper class and how they are willing to kill to maintain their wealth. Sure it’s not exactly subtle but it works in the context of the film. This playful nature makes it a thoroughly entertaining film and, whilst I do think the ending was a bit rushed in terms of how some characters behave, it is still a blast to watch.
The performances really help to sell this tone. I remember when I did my review of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and I specifically praised Samara Weaving’s performance there and said I was excited to see what she would do next. Here, Weaving continues to show her comedic skill, a lot of the best jokes coming from her, along with her general fear and exasperation with everything going on being very relatable, along with doing great work in the more tense and action focused scenes. Adam Brody and Mark O’Brien do good work playing more conflicted characters, whilst a lot of great comedy comes from Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell, Nicky Guadagni, Melanie Scrofano and Kristian Bluun, which adds to the overall tone of the film and works to show how isolated and peverse this section of the upper class is.
The technical side of the film is impressive as well. The production design for the Le Domas house is excellent, having this creepy, gothic feel with this working with the direction and cinematography to create a great atmosphere in the film and a solid geography of the house. The gore effects meanwhile are entertaining and actually a good contrast with Rambo: Last Blood. In that, there was a sense of sadism to the gore, relishing in the suffering that it inflicts. Here, the tongue in cheek nature works to the films advantage, with there being a bit more irony to the gore, with the dark humour helping to offset the impact of the gore, showing how to use gore effectively in a film.
Overall, I had a lot of fun with Ready or Not. I did think it was a bit rushed at the end but the dark humour and thrills create a solid tone, with the performances helping to make this a great bit of fun.
My Rating: 4/5