Ready or Not

Ready or Not ★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Never expected I'd be the buzzkill guy not super into a fun R-rated horror movie but I am not super into this fun R-rated horror movie.

Had heard a few too many You're Next comparisons that required me to recalibrate my expectations—it's a movie about a group of rich people hunting a girl, obviously she fights back a bit, but not as much as that comparison could lead you to expect, and the R-rating here is mostly for language, it never gets even close to that movie's splatter carnage. All good, I like all kinds of movies and I don't need this movie to be a replica of a movie I've already seen. But mostly I was bored. I felt like I'd seen this movie before beat-by-beat and better.

Samara Weaving is great and all the movie's best moments belong to her, but nearly everything happens to her. It works, sure, with the movie's class allegory "the rich are literally murdering normal people to maintain their power" story, but she doesn't even get to cause the movie's climax or punchline, it's the fucking ghost of the rich guy devil. You could make an argument that Samara is reduced to a piece being moved around the chessboard and that's why she doesn't do anything but, sorry, this isn't Fassbinder, it's a horror movie, and watching her get saved, captured, spared, stabbed, abandoned, etc., always at the mercy of the rich family, is booooooring, whether or not it works with the subtext. It leads to a fine punchline but why even tease that image of her with the wedding dress and the gun on the poster when the gun doesn't work and leaves her immediately powerless? The thing is the more I write this the more I'm certain the movie wants us to hope for her to reclaim her power and intentionally denies us that satisfaction but, still, it's so start-and-stop in its pacing that I started to just think "Jesus is this thing gonna start letting things happen and finally fucking end???" I did enjoy the movie but it'll probably be like five years at the least before I feel even the slightest urge to watch it again. I dunno, really expected to champion this thing but it doesn't even want to occupy a campy "easy to watch" state. Huge disappointment, because I fully thought I'd love this.

[small note that spoils the end of You're Next]

I was almost certain that this would do the same punchline You're Next had where the police come and, obviously, assume she killed them, like here it'd make too much sense to kill the rich family you just married into and the story is soooooo crazy, but it didn't, which I really appreciated. The final punchline made me chuckle, actually.