Ready or Not is a great example of a film working on every level. From the film itself and all that it entails which I will get to in a minute. Particularly I want to bring up the marketing for it which can often make or break a movie. You can have the biggest A-list cast, the most sought after director working today but if the advertising is shit then none of those other things will likely end up mattering. Of course there are exceptions but those are outlier situations, more rare than anything. I bring this up because almost six years to the day that I write this, a film was released by the title You’re Next. I’ll admit, I was in the minority for this one having hated every minute of it. I absolutely blame this on poor marketing. If you watch the trailers for this movie you’ll see a far more serious, more intense survival horror but instead the final product is quite similar to the film I’m reviewing now, Ready or Not. I loved this movie, hated the other. The difference, the marketing. This all said, the marketing for Ready or Not was perfect showcasing the feel of the film without giving away the entire plot. The balance was key to a successful marketing campaign. I promise I won’t write the word marketing in this review again.
Often when people watch something or listen to music we compare it to other things we like, it’s just natural. When you watch a movie like this it brings about thoughts of Clue and The Purge to name two. And for the most part these comparisons are quite accurate if not completely encapsulating. It features similar themes but ultimately achieves its own voice. I believe it does this by really going for the throat, by relentless, over-the-top brutality featuring the glitz and glamour of wealth clashing with the other 99%. Like the movie says, the rich really are different. Holy shit are they ever!
Leading this familiar-faced but mostly unknown cast is relative newcomer (and Emma Stone look-alike. Brandon says she looks like Margot Robbie. Personally I don’t see it but I guess my point is, she’s beautiful.) Samara Weaving who does what any protagonist would do in a horror movie, she adapts and survives and it’s in the details of that survival where the movie can shine or fall flat. In this case she absolutely nails her role as the once bride-to-be now turned bride-warrior. She balances the shock of discovery and the need to focus on surviving creating a formidable foe to her hunters who just happen to be her in-laws. With family like this, who needs enemies?
Set during a single night, Ready or Not is a brutal, merciless thriller that takes all kinds of pleasure in the grotesqueness of murder and mayhem. As horrifying as this might be in real life, in this scenario it all couldn’t be funnier. This movie is very much a horror film but its comedic side shines through just as much taking every moment to appreciate the funnier side of murder. Ha ha am I right? A maid takes an arrow to the throat, hilarious! Another crushed by a dumbwaiter, fucking hysterical. That’s the basic idea here so the easily offended need not apply.
Much the same in many science fiction stories, horror films often entail putting the hero through absolute hell, survival is never guaranteed. And believe me when I say that little ol’ Samara Weaving is put through the wringer, tenfold. She is stabbed, shot, cut and beaten to within an inch of her life but you should never underestimate the tenacity of a bride on her wedding day. Talk about Bridezilla.
While the movie as a whole is nothing unique or difficult to predict, it still succeeds by never trying to be something it’s not. It never loses sight of this being not just violent and bloody but silly and frivolous as well. Because it maintains a constant awareness of balancing horror and comedy, Ready or Not raises itself from just another throw away to something more memorable and worthwhile.
If you like what you’ve seen of the film so far I can say confidently you will thoroughly enjoy Ready or Not. It’s as advertised I promise. The violence is plentiful and satiating, the comedy is timed perfectly and rarely forced. The heroine is fun to root for and the end comes bringing with it an ultimate finality that is sure to surprise and induce some giggling. The aim was for a fun film about murder and chaos and it comes out swinging for the fences. Homerun.
Rated R For: violence, bloody images, language throughout, and some drug use
Runtime: 95 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller, Comedy
Starring: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell
Directed By: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 4/ Acting: 4/ Directing: 4/ Visuals: 4.5
OVERALL: 4.5 Nerdskulls
Buy to Own: Yes
Check out the trailer below:
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