Ready or Not Review

Ready or Not, is another take on the survive the night horror film. In this, Grace is led to a creepy candle lit room on the night of her wedding by her new in-laws – the insanely wealthy Le Domas family, made rich from a board game empire. It is in here that Grace begins her final initiation: surviving the night in a deadly game of hide and seek.

While Ready or Not is another form of a well-trodden sub-genre, it is supplemented by a funny cast, grizzly gore and tight script. It’s strength really lies in its ability to keep up the pace. Sitting at a brief 90 minutes, it manages to paint a picture of family tradition, history, and relationships built prior to the film’s setting. It sprinkles a fine amount of exposition here and there, giving brief outlines to each character, but never beats you over the head with any of it.

Bringing the less seasoned horror fans in may be the film’s humour. Although never laugh out loud, perhaps besides one bloody scene, you’ll find yourself chuckling at the demise of maids, the fumbling incapability of the spoilt elites, and an undying butler. This is a ridiculous film that finds humour in its violence, but also does not hesitate to have you squirming in your chair.

A tight script is nothing without a fantastic cast, and Ready or Not definitely has one. Each of the Le Domas’s are funny in their own ways, but it is when they are together bickering and whining that they really shine. However, the star of the show of course is Grace herself, played by Samara Weaving. She portrays an incredibly likable character, bringing a sort of goofy charisma, that grounds her character in a surreal setting.

Coming to a criticism of the film, is a contradiction on part of the script. While it keeps things simple, its biggest problem is its ability to build tension or momentum. The film never feels as though it is dragging however, it works on a scene by scene basis. Grace is stuck in a kitchen, as an unsuspecting butler lingers nearby, or she tries to escape a pit with a rickety ladder. Each is individual, lacking an arc of situational obstacles. Whereas the recent Crawl used this to excellent effect, with the whole film being one big evolving obstacle.

Ready or Not is an entertaining film, with a great cast, some contained tense moments, and funny/gruesome gore. It effectively does what it says on the tin. However, its lack of building narrative. While it is a shame, as it has its merits, it will likely be left to fade in the audiences memory.  

Published by Aaron Bayne

I’m a film and video games journalist based in Scotland. I write stuff about them on my website, talk about them on my podcasts and film videos about them for BBC The Social.

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