Film Review: Ready or Not

Samara Weaving leads a stellar cast in one of the most entertaining movies this year, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Matt Gillett’s horror comedy Ready or Not. Even though the film’s title should have served as a warning, I was not prepared for the utter insanity of this flick.

Weaving plays the newlywed Grace, who only hours after getting walking down the aisle is forced to play a game of hide-and-seek with her husband Alex’s (Mark O’Brien) incredibly wealthy family, the Le Domas’, who gather for a bizarre ritual each time one of them is married. Grace quickly learns that she’ll be killed if she’s found, and is stuck with only three options: try to escape, stay hidden until dawn, or fight back.

Once the games begin, Ready or Not never lets up. The tension, humor, and frantic encounters between Grace and the Le Domas’ continuously build to a finale that is completely bonkers. The Le Domas Mansion isn’t anything unique, but the wide variety of rooms and the secrets it holds keep the film interesting, along with the dynamic between the hilariously dysfunctional family and Grace’s evolution throughout the evening. Even though I saw a couple of the “surprises” coming from quite far ahead and there was one character arc that felt pretty rushed, I didn’t mind in the slightest because I was having so much fun. Seriously, it’s a total blast.

Ready or Not wouldn’t have been anywhere near as great if it didn’t have such a… killer cast (not sorry). While the men all deliver easily enjoyable performances (Adam Brody as Grace’s brother-in-law Daniel being the best of them) and there isn’t any weak acting to be found, it’s no question that the women are the most fun here.

Samara Weaving continues her hot streak in the horror genre (if you haven’t seen The Babysitter or Mayhem, you definitely should) with her best performance to date. Grace gradually transforms from a terrified victim to an absolute badass, and the highly underrated actress is perfect in the role.

Melanie Scrofano comes close to matching Weaving while portraying Grace’s brand new sister-in-law Emelie, bringing some of the biggest laughs in the film (both through her dialogue and actions) and helping sell the villainous family’s increasing desperation as dawn grows closer and closer. Elyse Levesque, Andie MacDowell, and Nicky Guadagni are terrific too, each delivering both genuine humor and fright as the more level-headed and unsettling of the Le Domas’.

This summer had more than its fair share of fun in film, and Ready or Not is one of the best. It’s frightening, funny, and fast-paced. Those are the qualities I enjoy in a horror comedy, obviously, but it’s not often I see all of them in equally great measure. There are less than a handful of others within the sub genre that are as well-crafted as Ready or Not.

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