Ready or Not

Ready or Not ★★★

Geoff T's Hoop-Tober 9.0 Challenge
Gillett/Olpin Double Bill #1
Ready or Not (2019)

From Matt Olpin and Tyler Gillett of Radio Silence comes Ready or Not a black-comedy that feels like a gonzo, blood-splattered update of The Most Dangerous Game, with a not-so-subtle dig at the rich and privileged.

Foster child Grace (Samara Weaving) is set to be married to Alex (Adam Brody), the son of the wealthy Le Domas family whose longtime traditions are…strange. As some sort of welcoming induction into the family, the rest of the Le Domases organise a game of hide-and-seek for Grace on her wedding night. However, this isn’t just any game of hide-and-seek, and Grace soon discovers that the Le Domases are a Satanic cult who intend to hunt her down for sport (with axes, crossbows and double-barrelled shotguns), so she can be ritually sacrificed before it turns dawn (which will apparently bring upon a plague of death upon the family).

A pretty solid set-up that benefits from it’s simplicity, with Matt Olpin and Tyler Gillett wasting no time introducing the snobbish and unpleasant family of Grace’s new spouce before she is finally thrust into the deadly game. The creepy old mansion and serves as a more then suitable location for its premise, with its elongated wooden hallways, musty basements and a creepy hunting room decorated with vintage weapons and animal heads. Having a strong heroine with Grace also helps. It’s fun watching her slow transition from an unknowing bride to an outright rage-filled survivor as a result of the absolute HELL she is put through.

As much as I appreciate it’s to tendency to not take itself too seriously, I think some of the humour can be a bit on the overly-smug side, but it is generally funny at points. Personally, it’s the gory death sequences where this film had me amused the most, like the Le Domases taking each other out by accident or a rather horrible demise involving a storage elevator. While much of it is played for laughs, there’s some moments of horror that are genuinely quite effective, like Grace accidentally discovering a pile of rotting corpses under the barn.

Unfortunately, one thing that I was not hugely a fan of was the ending. Yeah, it’s kind of hilarious I suppose, and there’s some fun ways that it can be interpreted. Personally though, I felt it was overkill in a movie that up until then, felt somewhat grounded despite its comedic nature. I know there’s others who will like it, but for me personally I just found it to be completely stupid and unsatisfying.

Still, a fun and solid effort, with decent pacing, some interesting attempts at lore-building an amusing (if not a bit try-hard) sense of humour and plenty of violent, zany energy. While I feel it’s conclusion took things a bit overboard, I’d hardly say it’s enough to derail it as a whole.


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