Ready or Not is directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett. The film stars Samara Weaving, Mark O’Brien, Adam Brody, Henry Czerny, and Andie MacDowell.
Grace has just married Daniel, the man she loves, becoming a part of his wealthy but eccentric family. Going by an old family tradition, she must play a game drawn from a stack of cards at the stroke of midnight. When she draws Hide and Seek, she find it’s no ordinary version of the game. Before long, she’s on the run from her new in-laws, who plan to hunt her and sacrifice her to Satan as part of a ritual, or else they’ll die, as per the curse. Will Grace outwit and outlast the family, or find herself the latest sacrifice?
Here’s a movie which just came out of nowhere and caught me completely by surprise. Ready or Not’s premise and execution alike are ridiculous and over the top. The end result feels like a mash-up of The Hunger Games, Jane Austen novels, The Most Dangerous Game, and even Castlevania. It’s extremely violent, and also one of the funniest and most fulfilling films of 2019. When I left the screening, my entire body hurt from laughing so hard. When’s the last time you could say that about a movie?
The casting is fantastic, even if I wasn’t familiar with most of the actors and actresses. Not surprisingly, it’s Samara Weaving’s portrayal of Grace which will get the best audience reactions. A beautiful and innocent young lady unsure of her future, her entire life is flipped upside down when she finds herself on the run from her in-laws, who plan to hunt her and make her a sacrifice! She behaves how you’d expect a real woman in this situation to, which makes it all the more believable. As an audience member, you’ll totally buy her performance. Here’s hoping we’ll see her in more feature films in the coming years.
The supporting cast is nearly as good, with plenty of deadly-yet-hilarious persons a part of the experience. From a cold-hearted axe-toting aunt who lives for the hunt, to a man who doesn’t have a clue how to fire the weapon he’s been assigned (and settles for learning via YouTube videos on his phone), it’s a great cast of eccentrics. Despite their heartless and bitter agenda, I found myself rooting for both sides.
A warning to any prospective viewer: This film is extremely violent. There’s plenty of blood, gore, death, and gruesome moments. If you’re easily offended or squeamish, go watch another movie. But if you can stomach the sights on screen, you’ll be treated to one of the best movies of the year.
The razor-sharp wit of the movie never dulls. There’s a hilarious one-liner and laugh-worthy moment around every corner, some of which are bloodier than others! That screenwriters could brilliantly pull off a genre mash-up like this, creating something which feels fresh and original, speaks to the talent of the cast and crew alike. Hell, this one may very well simultaneously be the best horror/suspense film and the best comedy of the year!
Ready or Not is ready for audiences with its laugh-out-loud one-liners, strange premise, original combination of ideas, a hilarious cast, fantastic writing, and an unflinching share of violence. Easily in the ten best movies I’ve seen all year, I can easily give this one my absolute highest recommendations. Just stay at home if you’re easily offended or disgusted by gory moments!
Rating: Four stars out of four.
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