Ready or Not: Movie Review
It’s pretty much a dead cert that as soon as a new horror movie hits the cinemas, we Valks will be front and centre; Ready or Not was no exception.
The plot is perfectly horror-trope-simple. Grace is about to marry into the Le Domas dynasty. Her husband-to-be, Alex, and his family earned their money at the helm of a board game empire (but they prefer dominion…). Brought up in foster care, Grace is keen to find a permanent family, though she is concerned that her blood may not run blue enough for her to truly fit in with her in-laws. Turns out, however, that should be the least of her worries. In a wedding night ritual, the newlyweds must play a game with the family – just don’t pull the hide and seek card…
Here I come…
Ready or Not is so good that I didn’t even eat all the snacks we had. This film is just as much a comedy as it is a horror – except in this famously rocky union, the jokes actually land. Too often when horror and comedy come together, they do so at the detriment of one element or another. Not this time, though. The humour isn’t forced and doesn’t feel scripted to the point of being hollow. Each joke and interaction feels as natural as it would be…y’know, given the circumstances. I laughed as much as I hid my face from the scary stuff – and I did both a lot.
The jewel in the viscera-drenched crown of Ready or Not is undeniably, unquestionably, Samara Weaving (and that isn’t just from my position as a ride or die Home and Away fan). I lost count of how many time I whispered “okay, but I love her though” to Mama Valk Heather. Take note, every horror film director, producer, casting agent, and wardrobe department; this is how you do a final girl. Grace has to tear the skirt of her wedding dress but only does so to the middle of her shins. She bites her nails. Her hair doesn’t fall in a choreographed frame around her dewy and slightly muddied face – she is absolutely haggard by the end. She snorts when she laughs.
My favourite part though? You get to see her lose her shit (as you would if about seven people were all trying to murder you on your wedding night). She makes jokes, she verges on panic attacks, her weapons fail, she throws up and reacts in a far more human way to the absolute hysteria around her than I have seen in any horror film of late. Okay, but I love her though.
Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous
Whilst the film could certainly err toward a heavy social commentary, it doesn’t lean too heavily upon a class war. The inference, however, is always there. The whole film takes place in the opulent, elegant house and grounds of the Le Domas family. Trophy hunts and art adorn the panelled walls – as do extensive security systems. You have the drug-addled sister, the alcoholic brother, and the fantastically bizarre auntie. It’s perfect, and not just because I got to see Adam Brody on a big screen. The family dynamics are dysfunctional in ways both anticipated and wildly unexpected and provide a hilariously damning caricature of the morality and lifestyles of the uber-rich.
Call it a satire, call it a comedy, call it a horror – whatever you call it, Ready or Not is a film the horror genre desperately needed right now. Who said horror has to be serious? You’ll laugh, you’ll baulk, you’ll peek through your hands, and you’ll air-punch.
Now, run and hide, won’t you?
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