It is Grace (Samara Weaving) and Alex Le Domas’ (Mark O’Brien) wedding day. Grace is convinced Alex’s family hates him. Alex gives her the chance to back out before the wedding, but Grace loves him and is excited to finally have a real family. The wedding goes well and Grace is ready to start her life as Alex’s wife.
The Le Domas family has built their fortune making games. Because of this, they have a ritual where everyone who marries into the family must play a game on their wedding night before they can truly become a part of the family. The whole family, Alex’s parents Tony (Henry Czerny) and Becky (Andie McDowell), Aunt Helene (Nicky Guadagni), Alex’s brother Daniel (Adam Brody), sister Charity (Elyse Levesque) and their respective spouse, gather in the music room at midnight. Grace must pick a card that determines which game they will play. As luck would have it, Grace pulls Hide and Seek.
Grace doesn’t realize that this is no ordinary game of Hide and Seek. While she hides, the rest of the family is hunting her. Due to a pact made generations ago, they must kill her before sunrise or the whole family will die. Once Grace realizes what the stakes of the game are, she is in a fight for her life.
Let me start by saying that I am not really a fan of horror/”scary” movies. Never have been. Probably never will be. But if you take a horror movie and mix it with some clever, dark comedy, you’ve piqued my interest. Ready or Not sits in that niche of horror/comedy (horredy?) that works so well.
What helps with the success of the film is that the story is pretty original, at least original enough that it doesn’t feel like it is ripping anything off. It twists what could be a typical thriller into an absurd, over-the-top film that is really entertaining. Comparing it to The Dead Don’t Die, from earlier this year which tried to fall into the same “horredy” category, Ready or Not is a much more successful movie. Where The Dead Don’t Die starts strong then tries to go too far, ruining what could have been an excellent movie, Ready or Not knows the story it wants to tell and how it wants to tell it. The script, acting, directing, and just overall execution works so much better.
Ready or Not isn’t just for scary movie people. In fact, it may not be for them at all. It is a gory, bloody, hilariously dark comedy. The jokes are sharp and hit hard. Samara Weaving is a delight, as is the rest of the cast – my second favorite being Nicky Guadagni’s Aunt Helene. It is a fun movie that, at an hour and a half, knows how to tell is story and not overstay its welcome. You don’t want to miss this one.