Directed by: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
Written by: Guy Busick, Ryan Murphy
Whenever I finally tie the knot, there are a few things I know I absolutely want in my wedding: a tea-length dress, lilacs and lilies of the valley in my bouquet, my little sister as maid of honor. And there are things I absolutely do not want: a veil, people clinking their glasses to get my husband and me to kiss every other minute during dinner, and a game of hide and seek where my in-laws try to murder me as part of a ritual sacrifice. That last one should probably go without saying, but the bride in Ready or Not might have appreciated it being brought up during the wedding planning process.
Ready or Not follows a new bride, Grace (Samara Weaving), as she tries to fit in with her husband Alex’s (Mark O’Brien) rich and eccentric family by participating in a post-wedding tradition of playing a game. Unfortunately, the game chosen is a version of hide and seek where, if Grace is found, she’s sacrificially killed as part of a dark and mysterious pact the family made long ago.
This is one of the most fun movies I’ve seen this year. It’s a great balance of horror and comedy; the suspense is high all the way through, keeping you guessing the whole time, and the performances had me cracking up, thanks to a stellar cast. Samara Weaving, who’s already made a name for herself in horror through the Showtime series Ash Vs Evil Dead and the Netflix movie The Babysitter, is a great final girl, and she shows some fantastic emotional range in this role. Melanie Scrofano as Alex’s sister Emilie and Kristian Brunn as her husband are especially hilarious (no surprise for anyone who’s watched him in Orphan Black). John Ralston as the butler, Stevens, is simultaneously funny and terrifying. And Nicky Guadagni as the cartoonishly villainous Aunt Helene is an absolute delight.
This movie has a lot going for it visually as well. There’s this yellow-ish gold filter that gives the film this gorgeous vintage vibe. The hair, makeup, and costumes are beautiful overall, but the standouts are Grace’s romantic, lacy wedding gown and simple braided updo, Alex’s cold and cunning sister-in-law Charity’s (Elyse Levesque) glittery evening gown, and Aunt Helene’s deep purple blazer, short, spiky, white hair, and dark makeup. Still, this is a horror movie, and despite all the pretty bits, there is plenty of blood–not gratuitously so, but definitely enough to satisfy fans of the genre, so if you’re squeamish, be prepared for that–especially toward the end.
My one gripe with this movie is that the relationship between Grace and Alex isn’t very well-developed. I can partially understand this, because it’s established early on that they’ve only been together for a year and a half, but showing a little more interaction between the newlyweds throughout the movie would have made a particular important moment toward the end either make a little more sense or be a more interesting twist.
Despite that one complaint, I genuinely enjoyed this movie and would love to watch it again. Maybe I’ll suggest it to my boyfriend for our next date night. Then again, if I hope for him to eventually to pop the question, this might not be the best movie to show him.
Have you seen READY OR NOT? Let us know what you think!