“Fuckin’ rich people.”
Ready or Not is an absolute blast. A film that looks at what is supposed to be the happiest day in ones life that actually turns into a nightmarish hell. It’s a creepy, exciting, bloody good time with tons of humor, a great ensemble, and an absolutely insane finale.
Grace (Samara Weaving), a girl who came from nothing and grew up in foster homes, is getting married to Alex (Mark O’Brien), member of the incredibly rich Le Domas family who made their money from games in dating way back to the 1800’s. After their gorgeous wedding ceremony, the Le Domas family has one more ritual Grace must do in order for her to become part of the family: play a game. The games are simple ones, like checkers or Old Maid, and all Grace has to do is play the game and she’s in. However, grace pulls the one game she shouldn’t have pulled: hide and seek. Though Grace thinks it’s the simple game she played when growing up, the Le Domas play the game a little differently. Rather than trying to find Grace, the entire family wield old weapons and hunt her in order to keep a satanic ritual they’ve been doing for centuries. Grace realizes what the family is up to and spends the rest of the evening trying to survive.
Ready or Not is a movie that had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I can usually figure a twist here and there, but I was surprised the entire movie. We never know what the Le Domas family is up to or what they have planned for Grace. The things this family pulls out are shocking, insane, and something I’ve never seen before. But it isn’t just what the Le Domas family is doing that is surprising, it’s Grace doing what she does to survive that surprises even more. Watching her slip in and out of every room in the mansion, use her toughness, grit, and wit to duck and dodge this family kept me on my toes the whole time.
I do wish the film did a better job of showing us the layout of the house. I wish we knew how many rooms and doors and secret passages were in this mansion and we knew a little more of the lay of the land so that we could put Grace and the Le Domas in certain places. It felt like Grace and the Le Domas were only running in the same hallways and same couple rooms, and with the size of that mansion, we know there were probably dozens of hallways, room, and even side houses that could have been shown.
Samara Weaving is a star in the making. What a performance she gives here. It was great watching Grace grow from a timid newly wed into a certified badass who knows she has to do everything and anything to survive this psychotic family. The Le Domas are all great and have such a weird dynamic. Every member is different, from the insane father (Henry Czerny), to the horrifying, no-nonsense Aunt Helene (Nicky Guadagni), to Adam Brody’s hard-drinking Daniel, who questions his family’s methods, to Andy McDowell as Daniel and Alex’s mother, a woman who is so calm and in control, I was never sure if she was really with the Le Domas or trying to help Grace.
The whole time watching Ready or Not, I was waiting for the ending. I had no idea what was going to happen and was interested to see if it stuck the landing or not. The ending that happens might be favorite finale of any horror movie I’ve seen in the last few years. It’s pitch perfect. It’s a bloody, gory, glorious finale that slapped a smile a gigantic grin on my face. I don’t want to give away any details of what happens, but it is one of the best scenes of 2019.
Throughout all the blood, gore, and chaos of Ready or Not, the movie is darkly hilarious and also touches on family tradition and the insanity of rich people and the nonsense they believe in to stay rich, which seems fitting for the current state of America. This rounds out Ready or Not and makes it more than just a gore-show. This is a great movie-going experience and one of best horror movies of the year.
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