Updated: Nov 16, 2019
Comedy/Horror can be a difficult thing to pull off. The trick for making it work lies in finding the right balance between the funny moments and the dark ones. If executed successfully the result will be something like Shaun Of The Dead or Severance. Done poorly however and you’re stuck with another Seed of Chucky or Piranha 3DD. Ready or Not, for the most part, succeeds in combining these elements. The film benefits by recognising the absurdity of its story.
It’s the wedding day of Grace (Samara Weaving) and Alex (Mark O’Brien) and it’s very soon established that Grace is feeling the pressure of meeting the expectations of her husbands family, who happen to be ridiculously wealthy and have insisted that the wedding take place at the family mansion. Her in-laws don’t even try and hide the fact that they believe that Alex has married beneath him.
No sooner have they exchanged vows, the film skips to their wedding night where Grace is informed that as part of their family tradition, she must take part in a game, picked by Grace at random by selecting a card.
The game in all likely-hood could be something innocent like Chequers or Cluedo. There is however one not so innocent selection thrown in for good measure, which of course Grace picks. Her selection is revealed to be a game of Hide and Seek which she finds equal parts amusing and ridiculous, but decides to go along with in the vague hope of pleasing her new husbands relatives.
Grace doesn’t take the game as seriously as she should because unbeknown to her those unfortunate few who select this game become the prey in a hunt to the death. The reason behind this being that the family believe that if they fail to succeed in killing their would-be victim before sunrise Lord Satan, who has showered them with wealth and privilege, will become displeased and kill them all.
What follows for the majority of the films runtime is a ludicrous, gore soaked, game of survival with Grace using the Houses vast size and sheer dumb luck to evade being murdered.
This is where Ready or Not runs in to a problem. It’s luck that seems to be keeping Grace alive and it starts to become a little too convenient. Whenever she finds herself in a seemingly inescapable situation, blind luck intervenes, benefiting her escape. Some of these moments are amusing, for example, the Cokehead Sister-in-law with no control over her weapons, constantly dispatching the hired help. Other times it’s just annoying, as characters switch sides to aid Grace’s escape from hopeless situations.
If Ready or Not is meant as a satire on the horror that can be the In-laws, it’s an inventive one. Tonally the film reminded me of the superior You’re Next mixed with Jordan Peele’s Get Out. While both of those films had comedic moments, Ready or Not is a more blatant Comedy.
There are plenty of laughs to be had. The sight of a small child getting punched out for being a little fucker being one of them. The film culminates to an (literally) explosive finale, that, while some may see it coming is still both funny and satisfying.
Ready or Not is not without it’s flaws but boasts an impressive and amusing lead in Samara Weaving (The Babysitter) and for anyone looking for a fun, bloody, comical trip to the cinema, it won’t disappoint.