Grace (Samara Weaving) has just wed Alex (Mark O'Brien) and thus marries into the wealthy Le Domas clan. But before she can be properly welcomed into the family, she must participate in a generations-long tradition. At midnight on her wedding night, Grace must play a game of hide and seek. But there’s a twist as it entails the whole family –including matriarch Becky (Andie MacDowell), patriarch Tony (Henry Czerny), Alex’s brother Daniel (Adam Brody) and crazy Aunt Helene (Nicky Guadagni) – seeking to kill her. Now Grace is in a fight for survival.
More comedy than horror, ‘Ready or Not’ is led by a terrific, winsome performance in Samara Weaving (‘The Babysitter’) that has you cheering her on from the get-go, and some familiar faces in ‘The OC’s Adam Brody and Andie MacDowell. Rounding out the main cast are Mark O’Brien, Henry Czerny, Nicky Guadagni, Melanie Scrofano, Elyse Levesque and Elyse Levesque, and you couldn’t pick a standout performance among them. As an ensemble, they work perfectly in sync, with each getting their moment to shine, and you’re never in doubt that they really do form this dysfunctional, deranged mishmash of a family.
Based a pretty messed up concept, the execution of ‘Ready or Not’ is exquisite. Bloody gruesomeness is expertly blended with a tonne of humour. Starting out innocently with undertones of creepiness, the comedy is there from the start but it kicks into full gear once the first victim of the Le Domas is (accidentally) claimed. It’s all so mad, over-the-top and entertaining that it’s truly a joyride of a movie experience.
The design of the Le Domas estate lends an eerie, beguiling, labyrinthine backdrop to the events while the candlelight-like cinematography from Brett Jutkiewicz effectively adding to the ambience. The script from Guy Busick and Ryan Murphy – full of F-bombs, given this is a family affair – is in equal parts thrilling and hilarious, integrating a sharp socio-economic commentary that recalls the shrewdness of contemporaries like Jordan Peele and Ari Aster, high praise for directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett. Now there are certain plot developments that push credibility (which forever seems to be the way with these kinds of movies), but it really is a lot of fun and one for all the family (jk, don’t bring kids to this, unless you want them to turn into freaky murderous children).