A film that is able to smoothly transition from its comedic dialogue to horrific situations deserves everyone’s attention, and Ready or Not is that film. The late summer hit that no one saw coming or shrugged off because of the trailer’s kind of showing too much. In recent memory, Blumhouse’s Groundhog Day slasher film Happy Death Day was the last well-done horror-comedy. Surprisingly though, Ready or Not isn’t a Blumhouse production, and it isn’t as heartfelt as Happy Death Day but like Happy Death Day, the film balances two genres so well.
Ready or Not tells the story of a wedding night gone to hell….almost literally. Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, the film follows Grace, a newlywed to her husband Alex Le Domas who comes from a wealthy background. Grace’s wedding night takes a terrible turn when she learns that the Le Domas family intends to kill her before the sun rises to fulfill a family tradition. What Grace initially takes as a simple game of ‘hide and seek’ soon becomes a fight for her survival. This surprisingly hilarious film stars Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O’Brien, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell, and Melanie Scrofano.
What this film does so well comes from its script, which seems to have been executed in the best way possible. It is indeed very delightful to watch snobby rich people get taken out in the most comedic manner by someone less fortunate than them with all of the horrors still in the mix. Written by Guy Busick and R. Christopher Murphy, Ready or Not doesn’t develop much of the Le Domas family outside of Daniel (Brody), Alex (O’Brien), and the newest member Grace (Weaving). Also, the characters will have certain beliefs one second and completely turn around and do something entirely against what they said, which isn’t very believable. However, the script does offer numerous chances to laugh uncontrollably and it gets you invested in the main character by presenting the Le Domas family as the lowest of the low despite their status in society.
Weaving gives an amazing performance as Grace, and it is enjoyable but sad to watch her wedding night go up in flames. Grace doesn’t have the most fortunate background like her new husband, so it is easy to connect to her based on that alone whether you have been in her situation or not. Weaver goes through several different emotions in this film, and the best by far comes in the end when the truth is finally revealed. All of the performances are enjoyable and well-acted by everyone involved.
The film’s direction is almost great until the final moments when it seems like there was a shift from smooth handheld filming to something unpolished. Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett offer some amazing shots of the beautiful Le Domas mansion, which is where the majority of the story takes place. There is a lot of effective tension building and the duo perfectly balances the hilarious moments as well as the horrific ones. Ready or Not’s score by Brian Tyler is one of the year’s best and compliments every moment to be in terror or snicker at the ridiculousness that unfolds on screen.
Ready or Not proves how bad in-laws can be, and it will probably be very enjoyable for those that don’t fancy their own in-laws. A well-acted, well-paced horrific wedding night for Grace Le Domas will end up being a thrill ride for everyone that goes to see it. This movie had no business being this good, but the trailers certainly don’t show as much as many think. Ready or Not is a horrific, but laughable experience with the haves and the have nots.