Prism

Film Review: Ready or Not

8 October 19 words: Gemma Finch

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett's gory comedy-horror is in cinemas now... 

Director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett

Starring: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O'Brien

Running time: 95 mins

I had not heard a peep about Ready or Not prior to its release, but I am glad I stumbled across it. The film tells the story of the likeable Grace (Samara Weaving) who cannot be happier to be marrying the man of her dreams, Daniel Le Domas (Adam Brody). The nuptials take place at the wealthy Le Domas family's luxurious estate, but to be a true part of the family - who made their fortune in board games - Grace must participate in a long held familial tradition after the wedding - playing a game. Scrabble perhaps? Kerplunk? No, she must hide in their mansion from midnight until dawn while her new in-laws hunt her down with guns, crossbows and other weapons.

Ready or Not is a gory romp that satisfyingly delivers both gore and levity. The film is an antidote to those who may find that modern horror films sometimes get bogged down in providing overly complicated lore and mystism to flesh out the element of horror. Any allusion to this is done succinctly to make way for the gory spectacle.
Ready or Not plays upon the perceived callousness of the rich in the most delightfully absurd and gory fashion
The film also does not linger on inconsequential backstories  - we route for Grace without time being wasted focusing heavily on her life before she met Daniel, but the information we are given is perfectly adequate to add to her likeability and believability. Despite this succinctness, Ready or Not has an effective emotional heart to it, with the theme of family at its core. This is heavily down to the high standard of acting, by Weaving in particular.

What is most satisfying about Ready or Not is the darkly macabre comedic elements that are consistent throughout, with no joke falling flat. A particular highlight is family member Fitch (Kristian Bruun), who is new to the gory tradition. He privately looks on the internet in haste for videos on how to use a crossbow.

Grace becomes a Kill Bill-esque bride who must escape from the sadistic family, and Weaver plays this convincingly. Ready or Not plays upon the perceived callousness of the rich in the most delightfully absurd and gory fashion, with the elite's love for bloodsports and vigorous competition twisted into a warped and rambunctious tale, that will appeal to those of us with a strong stomach and an ever so slightly twisted disposition.

Did you know? Seventeen different versions of Grace's wedding dress were created by costume designer Avery Plewes to show the progress of Grace's night and how her clothes correspond to her attitude

Ready or Not is in cinemas now