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Review – Ready Or Not

(L to R) Kristian Bruun, Melanie Scrofano, Andie MacDowell, Henry Czerny, Nicky Guadagni, Adam Brody, and Elyse Levesque in the film READY OR NOT. Photo by Eric Zachanowich. © 2019 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

It doesn’t quite seem fair to laugh at the expense of a bride in her wedding dress facing ultimate death. Except that, Ready or Not manages to turn a horrible and gruesome experience into a hilarious poke at families who take games night far too seriously. 

The latest family member to the wealthy Le Domas dynasty, Grace, can’t help but feel her new family is watching her every move. A feeling that wasn’t without warrant. On the evening of their wedding day, Grace must pass one last test before taking her place with the family. A family who has built their wealth on board games. In true spirit and a long tradition, Grace must play a game. 

With only a box and fate to pick the game, Grace is dealt a card to play Hide and Seek. To the shock of her new husband, Alex and the rest of the family, Grace laughs as the family are in shock for what is about to come.

Running around the house Grace does her best to hide while the family attempt to kill her with traditional weapons such as crossbows and rifles. With the help of Alex who had tried to rid himself of the tradition, Grace manages to bide her time until dawn when the game ends.

But the only way Grace will win this game is by turning the game back on itself and hunts the hunted in a race against time.

Resembling one of cinema’s biggest hits of 2017, Ready or Not is not by any means an original idea. Despite its attempt at copying Get Out, it flips it and gives it a hilarious, albeit gruesome journey to escape a murderous family. It’s the comedy side of it that drives Ready or Not. Take away the comedy aspect of accidental deaths, learning to use a crossbow and the supernatural side of the film, there isn’t a great deal else that would give it substance. It would otherwise be a slasher film that isn’t very creative. 

Lead by Australian actress Samara Weaving (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, The Babysitter, Mayhem) as Grace. Weaving manages to give her character a carefree attitude but deep down inside has a great desire for love and belonging. She sways between the two major emotions almost making excuses for what’s happening to her, but ultimately laughing it off. 

Ready or Not also stars the wonderful and charming, Adam Brody (The O.C., Welcome to the Jungle, Scream 4) as Daniel. He captures the essence of wanting to impress and be part of his family, but also not wanting to take part in the horrific game of killing Grace. Trying to find a balance between pleasing the family and playing the game made for an even more exhausting experience and somehow a relatable character. 

Visually the film tends to capture the blood and guts of a slasher film easily. There are a few scenes that are a little too realistic as people are killed out one by one. These scenes are so real but also so unbelievable that they become rather humorous. It’s the scenes with major visual effects such as the supernatural elements that take away from what was otherwise a well-done film, visually. It’s on the basic cheaper scale that pulls the viewer from the somewhat realistic storyline and puts it in the b-grade budget style film.

Overall, Ready or Not is a fun slasher film that will leave you grimacing at the gruesome scenes and laughing at how over the top they are. Some of the one-liners will have you giggling to the next burst of blood as you get a fly-on-the-wall look at this unfair welcome to the family game of hide and seek.

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