Wedding night jitters are taken to gory extremes in this lively horror-comedy.
Marriage is a beautiful thing but the in-laws can be hell, as Grace (Samara Weaving) discovers when she weds the youngest son (Mark O’Brien) of the wealthy Le Domas family, whose empire is built on gaming – from the card and board variety to sports team ownership.
Appropriately, those marrying into this dynasty must undergo a wedding night initiation that involves playing a randomly selected game. Grace is hoping for checkers but instead winds up running for her life in a blood sport version of Hide and Seek, with the family armed with antique weapons and determined to take her down before dawn…
While it’s not hard to second-guess the reasoning behind this murderous ritual, Ready or Not plays with audience expectations and operates as both a playfully gory pursuit thriller and a witty satire on the evils of the rich.
Blue bloods also bleed red, and class warfare is a popular theme in the horror genre – from The People Under the Stairs and Society, to the more recent Us and Get Out. It’s the latter film that immediately springs to mind when watching Ready or Not‘s innocent outsider facing off against a homicidal elitist family.
Andie MacDowell is nicely cast as the murderous matriarch, but this is primarily a vehicle for Aussie rising star Weaving, who received her scream queen training in The Babysitter, Mayhem and eps of Ash vs Evil Dead. As the blood-spattered bride, Hugo’s niece delivers a dynamic turn perfectly in tune with the insane premise, veering from WTF incredulity to resourceful survival tactics. She could well be stealing roles from Margot Robbie before long.
A demented mash-up of Clue, Get Out and You’re Next, Ready or Not is wonderfully wicked, undemanding and bloody good fun.
In cinemas: October 24, 2019
Starring: Samara Weaving, Andie MacDowell, Adam Brody
Directed by: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett