Time: 95 minutes
Age Rating: Violence, cruelty & offensive language
Samara Weaving as Grace Le Domas
Adam Brody as Daniel Le Domas
Mark O’Brien as Alex Le Domas
Henry Czerny as Tony Le Domas
Andie MacDowell as Becky Le Domas
Director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
Grace (Samara Weaving) couldn’t be happier after she marries the man of her dreams (Mark O’Brien) at his family’s luxurious estate. There’s just one catch — she must now hide from midnight until dawn while her new in-laws hunt her down with guns, crossbows and other weapons. As Grace desperately tries to survive the night, she soon finds a way to turn the tables on her not-so-lovable relatives.
A lot of people have been talking about Ready or Not, a low budgeted over the top horror thriller that became a massive hit, grossing over 9 times its budget. Outside of the premise I didn’t really know what to really expect from the movie, but with all the praise that was being thrown at it, I was looking forward to it. Ready or Not turned out to be one of the surprises of the year, a simple but entertaining thriller that works incredibly well for what it is.
Ready or Not is short at 95 minutes long, but it makes the best of that runtime, with a very fast pace that has you entertained from beginning to end. It sets up the scenario, characters and locations quickly, all the while giving off an uneasy vibe and atmosphere before the games really begin. It’s definitely got a wacky premise, with the rich family taking part in ‘weird’ games (and its at least somewhat making a commentary on rich people), thankfully the movie leans in heavily with the craziness and doesn’t take itself too seriously. This is definitely a dark comedy and you aren’t supposed to take it completely seriously, and the vast majority of it, from the insane scenarios to the dialogue, are handled mostly well. The third act also takes an insane turn that I will not spoil, worth seeing for yourself. Ready or Not doesn’t break any new ground in the genre, however it didn’t have to.
Samara Weaving excels as the lead character as the bride who finds herself caught up among her in rich in-laws’ deadly games. Although much of the movie works fine on its own, I can’t imagine it being as good without her great performance here. Her character of Grace goes through a lot, physically, emotionally and mentally, and she expresses a wide range of emotions over the course of the film. She’s capable enough to survive, yet is very vulnerable as she’s struggles to survive against the overwhelming odds. I haven’t seen Weaving in much but she’s definitely an actor to keep an eye on in the coming years. The supporting cast making up the rich family also play their roles well, including Adam Brody, Andie MacDowell, Henry Czerny and others. While not all of the characters are fleshed out as equally as each other, they are given distinct characteristics. So they’re more than just a bunch of random human killers that the main character has to go up against, like many movies of that genre.
Ready or Not is directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, and their work on the movie was pretty good. Now the directing style isn’t any special and is pretty familiar to similar to that of You’re Next and other similar thrillers, but I do like how the movie looks. This is a 6 million dollar budgeted movie and they put that money to very good use here. The entire movie pretty much takes place inside this mansion and it does well keeping you contained there for the entirety of the movie. The kills are brutal and what you’d expect, and they only get more insane as the movie progresses.
Ready or Not isn’t going to redefine the horror genre in any way, but it is a short and simple yet bloody and darkly funny horror thriller that entertains quite well. It knows what kind of movie it is, is stylishly and effectively directed with plenty of thrills, and Samara Weaving’s performance at the centre holding everything together. If you like these types of movies and you want a fun time, definitely give Ready or Not a watch.