Ready or Not

Ready or Not ★★★½

Ready or Not is a good example of a movie where the trailer feels like it not only doesn't do the movie itself justice, but actively mars it. I had seen it so many times before other movies, and the jokes in them looked really mediocre at best out of context. But the reviews were surprisingly solid and I definitely didn't expect the RottenTomatoes scores to be as high as they were, so I ended up checking it out. Turns out it's a great movie. It's still kind of dumb and fun at its core, and I can't say it really does anything particularly new, but the writing is so much stronger than what I expected. It's the type of writing that doesn't translate well into trailer format, where jokes are recurring ones that reference things that happened before without being in-your-face about it, where the characters are subtle about being caricatures that are all-too-recognizable within your own family, and where the themes can actually be read quite a bit deeper than you might expect and feel both particularly relevant yet also timeless. The most obvious way to read the movie is about how the rich suck. It's certainly not false, but I think the movie is a bit more clever than that. Throughout, we're shown that the Le Domas family lives in their own world, so much so that every time an outsider marries into the family they have to go through a specific ritual. That ritual is a game, one that discloses the outsider's virtue and presages what must happen. Should the outsider be one who's willing to bend their morals to remain rich, the game is just that. But if they are one who isn't, if they are someone whose scruples stop them from really entering the lifestyle of the rich, then the game is their eradication. They don't belong and their existence will bring about the downfall of the Le Domas, and so the family must kill them to survive. Given what we know about Grace, the newlywed, it's not hard to surmise that outsiders are the poor who aren't willing to kill to be rich.

"You’re just another sacrifice."

There's a fair share of problems I have with the movie, but I'm very much willing to overlook them for something as fresh and fun as Ready or Not, and I'm happy to see an original horror-comedy that doesn't sequel-bait and has beautiful production values on a low budget get played in theaters. I personally believe this has all the makings of a cult favorite ten years down the line for whatever the equivalent of a 2040 Netflix hangout is.

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