Ready or Not: Wickedly Fun Mix of Dark Humour and Horror

Ready or Not is the other late-summer horror movie about hunting people that wasn’t cancelled (see The Hunt). Don’t worry, horror fans. Yes, its title is indeed a play on ‘hide and seek’. Fortunately, Ready or Not is not another lame horror spin on a childhood game, like Truth or Dare or Would You Rather. No, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillet’s Ready or Not is a dark horror comedy. And it’s ready to take on the 1% of America. Ready or Not also proves that late-summer releases don’t have to suck. Critics and audiences alike have loved this August thriller.

Synopsis

Marrying into the wealthy Le Domas family, Grace expected a chilly reception from her in-laws. As it turns out, she had no idea just how chilly. After the wedding ceremony, new husband Alex informs Grace that it’s a Le Domas tradition that new family members must play a game. When she draws ‘Hide and Seek’, Grace chalks it up to the eccentricities of the rich. But when her new in-laws actually begin hunting her, Grace finds herself in a fight to survive until dawn.

Ready or Not a Bloody, Clever Mix of Horror and Comedy

Horror has skewered the ‘1%’ in the past with mixed results. Movies like Us and Them, Would You Rather, and The Purge series have previously used social class as their source of horror. Even George A Romero’s Land of the Dead examined class divisions. But few movies have been so good at eviscerating the rich as Ready or Not. Guy Busick and Ryan Murphy’s screenplay aptly mixes horror and comedy. Expect the dark humour and blood to come in equal measures. In addition, there’s a fun mythology at the movie’s core, which keeps the audience fully engaged with what’s happening. Do the Le Domas’ really have a ‘deal with the deal’? Aside from the fun twists the premise provides, it’s also a devilish bit of social commentary.

There Will Be Blood … And Laughs

For horror fans, Ready or Not offers a tightly paced thriller with plenty of uproarious gore. Like Happy Death Day, Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett’s movie is more suspenseful than scary. But it’s also bloodier with its inspired mayhem designed to inspire laughs. A running gag involving the Le Domas’ hired help, for instance, hits the mark. And then a car crash gives the directors a chance to boast some impressive visual style. All the violence and gore is played for intentional laughs. Similar to Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead and Drag Me To Hell, Ready or Not will make you cringe and chuckle in equal measures.

Samara Weaving Continues to Shine in the Genre

By the end of Ready or Not, you’re likely to agree – the ladies own this movie. Rising genre favourite Samara Weaving delivers an outstanding performance. To date, Weaving’s movie resume includes Bad Girl, Mayhem, and The Babysitter. As her first theatrical starring role, Ready or Not represents a huge step forward for the gifted performer. Weaving gives her character, Grace, a range and depth that shines through the blood and guts. Hopefully, Ready or Not will do for Weaving what Happy Death Day did for Jessica Rothe.

Rising genre favourite Samara Weaving delivers an outstanding performance.

Playing opposite Weaving, veteran actress Andie MacDowell bites into her role as the Le Domas matriarch. MacDowell is equal parts malevolent and maternal. But she also provides her character with an extra dimension that occasionally grounds the material. As a result, her villain is more ‘flesh and blood’ than caricature. In addition to Weaving and MacDowell, The O.C’s Adam Brody is a delight to watch. Not surprisingly, Brody offers up some of the movie’s best lines with trademark deadpan delivery. Yet like MacDowell, Brody gives his character a surprising amount of depth. Touches likes this elegant Ready or Not from standard genre fare.

Ready Or Not Inventive and Wildly Fun Genre Entry

Over the last few years, we’ve seen several horror movies released that illustrate the genre can be more than ‘bumps in the night’ and slasher sequels. Movies like Jordan Peele’s Us, Happy Death Day, and Midsommar – to name a few – prove that horror can be whip-smart and damn fun. Now Ready or Not joins the club. Bloody, clever, and smart, Ready or Not nails its mix of black comedy and thrills. Finally, horror has given us a take on the ‘1%’ we knew the genre was always capable of delivering.

THE PROFESSOR’S FINAL GRADE: A

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I am a Criminology professor in Canada but I've always had a passion for horror films. Over the years I've slowly begun incorporating my interest in the horror genre into my research. After years of saying I wanted to write more about horror I have finally decided to create my own blog where I can share some of my passion and insights into the films I love.

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