Ready or Not

Ready or Not ★★★★

aka The Other Blood-Spattered Bride

I saw this, for a couple of logistical reasons, Friday night at the AMC Empire in Manhattan. For those who don't know, this is a theater on 42nd street right in the heart of Times Square that has *25* screens in one building (spread over several floors), and this and a Regal multiplex across the street make up for the fact that the days of going into a little crappy Grindhouse theater in the area are long gone. Yet this doesn't mean the theater doesn't have some of its own share of problems (and looking at some of the seats, which looked like they hadn't been changed since... Ever, I thought there could be a chance I might catch something). And yet, despite this uneasy feeling - and in a completely packed house with over 150 people - it was the absolute ideal environment to take in a glorious hard-R exploitation flick like Ready or Not.

And the filmmakers dont pretend it to be something else (this is by directors I'm unfamiliar with, outside og a segment they did for one of the V/H/S flicks); this is a violent, wildly fun black comedy that also exploits to great effect how much rich 1%-er white people are, if not actually then at best perceived as, ready to take whatever from those who aren't in their circle. The conceit is that if someone marries in to the family, they have to play a game - from midnight to dawn - and if the one card of "Hide and Seek" is pulled, then... Well, they better get him or her, or something very, very bad will happen to the blue-blooded lot ot them. Or maybe not. We'll have to seed.

The writers and directors keep up the thrills and set pieces that relish in suspense first and horror second (but when it goes for horror, it doesnt chicken out), and what we respond to is the delight in seeing this young Bride (Weaving, who is great) get back at these fucks, while also going in for the terror in the cat-and-mouse stuff of it all. The pacing is tight, characters only sometimes (that is to say an acceptable amount) do some dumb things in moments of panic, and you also arent sure if a couple of those in the family might turn to not be, like, ritualistically murderous villains.

It's not a movie I find goes deep into the ills of society or why this woman (conveniently, with foster parents), and it doesn't have to do that. This pays off just showing us with the clever casting that this family is totally capable of wanting to go through with this, while may be not, you know, being professional or trained at it, so the fun comes with the sloppiness and the unexpected. It's 95 minutes of the directors basically saying, "we liked You're Next well enough, but how about we cut the BS, throw in a bit of Bunuelian Bougeoisie Madness in one setting, use that R rating for all its worth, and have FUN, man!"

And for all those minutes, it'e a blast and a half of watching the upper class act like violent morons and a protagonist we really care for try to stay alive - and once it gets to the climax, we (or I) embrace it for just... Going for it!

PS: 😄 this is a Disney movie now

Jack liked these reviews