Ready or Not movie cast: Samara Weaving, Mark O’Brien, Adam Brody, Henry Czerny, Andy MacDowell
Ready or Not movie director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
Ready or Not movie rating: 2.5 stars
Martial homes are always tricky terrain for brides, with or without the monsters-in-law. But what if the in-laws were indeed monsters? Treading Get Out territory, but not as much a social commentary as it would like to be, Ready or Not is a comic-horror flick that is not shy of blood, gore or pushing the envelope, but isn’t finally as good as it promises to be.
Like mentioned above, directors Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett are on fertile ground from the moment we are introduced to Grace (Weaving). Having grown up in a series of foster homes, she is getting married into the Le Domas family, a gaming business royalty who are openly hostile to her. Is it normal in-law tension, is it the class difference, or is it something else altogether? All are possibilities as husband Alex (O’Brien) tells Grace about the family initiation ritual on their wedding night, which involves a game starting midnight. There is a family lore behind it, and the bizzare meets the macabre as Grace is thrust into a round of ‘Hide and Seek’.
A perfect bride in her blonde hair, blue eyes, wide smile, lacy wedding dress, and her overeager cheer, Grace (Weaving) is up for a night in hell. It isn’t just her wedding dress that will be left unrecognisable by the end of it, as she is hunted down the Le Domas mansion with an array of armour. There is humour aplenty, as domestic help get killed one and one by accident, and die completely unmourned. A comment is sought to be made on the blood lust that hasn’t left even the children of the household untouched, but you are not sure what the filmmakers intend given the deaths that otherwise occur with so much blood and detail here.
Some of that violence is truly far-out (not a mean achievement given how much of it is all around us), and will put a smile on your face inspite of yourself. But some of it is plain gratuitous.
All through, the one message the film keeps underlining is the divide between the rich and poor — the reason a foster girl (a delightful Weaving) is pitted against as wealthy as they come. However unsubtle as that message may be, it is another that is more insightful: the power and influence our families have on us, and can we ever break away.