A bride's wedding night takes a sinister turn when her eccentric new in-laws force her to take part in a terrifying game.
Once again, I didn’t know anything going into the theater regarding this movie. In fact, Ready or Not wasn’t even on my watchlist until the beginning of this week. I thought it was just going to be a passable and cheap horror flick, but the tremendously positive feedback from everyone around the world convinced me to give it a go. Fortunately, I wasn’t disappointed! Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett deliver a dumb yet entertaining film with a childish yet fun concept never really explored in the gruesome and bloody way they do.
It’s one of those movies which the only flaw they might have has to do with the viewer’s expectations. You’ll only dislike this story if you don’t accept its lighthearted tone. If you go in expecting a film filled with truly terrifying and scary sequences, you won’t get that. If you go in expecting a movie with a dark vibe and tonally heavy scenes, you won’t get that. It’s one of the most common issues that audiences have all over the world: unrealistic expectations. After watching the trailers, it’s clear that Ready or Not was always marketed as a horror-comedy with more emphasis on the dumb fun that the concept inevitably provides, so don’t expect something the producers didn’t even think of doing.
Having that in mind, the film definitely delivers what it promises. It’s a fast-paced hide-and-seek game, filled with suspenseful scenes and genuinely funny moments. Its short runtime doesn’t really let us care about every character, but to be fair, it’s not like it truly matters in this case. Samara Weaving plays the bride who has to hide while the rest of the family tries to find her. Overall, everyone gives good performances, but Weaving completely steals the show with fantastic reactions to different situations, always making space for an extra laugh.
Despite the unique exploration of a strange premise, it has a pretty generic and even formulaic development, which is a bit of a letdown. Granted, the ending is, well, unexpected in the way that it is executed, but its final result is still very predictable. There’s a lot of cheesy moments, some do work, but others aren’t near as effective. The score is actually one of the surprises since it’s not usual for this feature to have such an impact in a rather simple movie. It provides a few chuckles with some witty lyrics, and it helps with elevating the suspense in the more tense sequences. It’s also mostly well-shot and set in one-location, something I always deeply appreciate.
All in all, Ready or Not accomplishes exactly what it set out to do. It delivers a fun and entertaining 90-minute hide-and-seek game like we’ve never seen before. Its R rating lets its makers do whatever they please with the amount of blood and goriness present in a scene, which ultimately culminates in a jaw-dropping, hilarious ending. Samara Weaving is brilliant as the main character, carrying the whole film on her shoulders. Is it cliche? Yes. Is it formulaic and predictable? Yes. Is it cheesy? Hell, yes. However, this movie never intended to be a groundbreaking achievement in the genre. It just wants to deliver good fun. And it does.
Mythology Entertainment, Vinson Films, Fox Searchlight Pictures by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, Guy Busick, R. Christopher Murphy.
Stars: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O'Brien, Henry Czerny.
Genres: Comedy, Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Keywords: ritual marriage games murder gore wealth escape wedding wedding dress satanic deal with the devil
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