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Our staff heads to the theater to check out “Ready or Not” — a witty, charming, balls-to-the-wall bloodbath that deals a real win for horror fans.

Ready or Not

Intro by Angry Princess (Editor-in-Chief)

One of my favorite features on this site are what we call Morbid Minis. That’s when several of us on the writing staff head to the theater to check out a new horror release, returning to share a brief summary of our thoughts with you wonderful readers. I love it for a few reasons. One, I’m a huge believer in getting out, whenever possible, to support genre films in the theater. For those who are able, investing a bit of your time and money in these films is one of the best things you can do to help ensure us horror fans continue to get more great content. It also helps ensure studios will continue to back more original, intelligent, thought provoking, and entertaining genre films. When horror films are financially successful in the theater and on digital release, we all win.

The other reason these Morbid Minis are so great is that they showcase a strong diversity of opinion — letting you experience a film from different angles and perspectives. Horror fans are as different as the films that make up our beloved genre, and it’s important to hear from different voices. And because we have so many different kinds of horror fans represented on our writing team, you’ll typically find these group articles contain a mixed bag of positive and negative feedback for a film.

However, with READY OR NOT, the consensus is surprisingly unanimous. It may not be the biggest horror film of the year, or the most talked about. But there’s a good chance, when we look back at everything the genre gave us throughout the year, this one is likely to sit comfortably near the top of many “Best of 2019” lists. Brilliant in its simplicity and near flawless in its execution, READY OR NOT knows exactly the kind of film it wants to be — and it delivers in spades.

Although this relatively small dark horror comedy opened on fewer screens than most titles opening wide, it exceeded financial expectations — actually managing to give the indie label Fox Searchlight one of its best openings this decade. My hope is that positive word of mouth (like all the great reviews you’ll read below) will continue to bring fans to this unapologetically nasty and wickedly fun pulp horror thrill ride. Perfectly paced with pitch perfect performances, this is a film that deserves to be seen — and the kind of film horror fans deserve to see more of.


TAKE ONE: FRIGHTENS, BUT NOT FOR ANTICIPATED REASONS

By Marquis Ransom

“Ready or not, here I come, you can’t hide. Gonna find you and take it slowly.” 

Fugees reference aside, Ready or Not was a fast paced flick, with even quicker executions. The gore and violence certainly wasn’t spared as deaths were handed out graciously, especially for maids.

With ancient weapons — making us wonder if Fitch (portrayed by Kristian Bruun) ever got to know his crossbow — vinyl records, and satanic rituals, the film touched on horrors much closer to home.

Classism was presented prominently from beginning to end.

Grace (Samara Weaving), a former foster child, was confronted with the anxiety of being judged a “gold digging whore” by her in-laws. The Le Domas’ wealth is treated as sacred treasure, to be protected at all cost, and any outsider seeking access must first pay their dues.

The rich only focus on keeping their riches and what they do to maintain that status quo is truly terrifying. So, whether it was echoed by Tony (Henry Czerny), Becky (Andie Macdowell), or crazy Aunt Helene (Nicky Guadagni), the family should always prioritize the family, come hell or high water.

Over the course of the film, however, you get the sense of catharsis for Grace.

Given her upbringing, you’d think she’d be eager to embrace any obstacle, if it meant getting a fresh start in life. Instead, she showcased  the opposite; much unlike her sister-in-law, Charity (Elyse Levesque) — appropriately named — who shared a similarly impoverished childhood as Grace. Charity never thought twice about selling her soul for the Le Domas’ fortune, whereas Grace slowly rejected the entire family, including her own husband, Alex (Mark O’Brien).

She is seen ripping apart her wedding dress, scene after scene, until it is no longer recognizable — a symbol for happily ever after. Perhaps the greatest line that summed up the film was when Grace, amidst all the chaos, simply stated, “Fucking rich people.”

Ready or Not was a fun end-of-summer blood fest, that cut deeper than expected. Although, with that said, an alcoholic Adam Brody (Daniel Le Domas) was a comedic delight.

TAKE TWO: A PITCH PERFECT, HIGHLY RE-WATCHABLE BLACK COMEDY

By Todd Reed

A blushing bride on her wedding night does not expect to end her first night running for her life from her in-laws.

But that’s exactly what happens in “Ready or Not”. Grace (Samara Weaving) weds Alex Le Domas (Mark O’Brien), an heir to a family that made its wealth creating games (with a little help from a supernatural benefactor it seems). She soon finds out that one of the many traditions of the family is that she must play a game with them.

She is chosen to play Hide and Seek, but the consequences are far greater than simply being found. If they catch her, she will be sacrificed to their mysterious benefactor. Grace is soon running for her life as she tries to outwit her new family.

While I was disappointed in how much the trailer gave away, the movie still has its share of surprises.

It’s non-stop action from beginning to end. There’s gore aplenty, some decent tension, and it is just damn funny. The minute the credits rolled, I was ready to sit down and watch it again.

Samara Weaving showcased her comedy and horror chops in 2017’s The Babysitter, and she goes all out here, proving what a talented actress she is. She convinclingly displays every emotion, from joy to despair. She’s also buoyed by a talented cast, including Adam Brody, Henry Czerny, and Golden Globe nominee, Andie MacDowell.

Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, working with a script by Ryan Murphy and Guy Busick, do a stellar job with the pacing. Horror comedy can be a tough genre to get right, but they find the perfect balance allowing for some laugh-out-loud moments, as well as some cringe-inducing special effects.

I highly recommend Ready or Not. I can’t think of a movie I’ve seen this year that I had a better time watching.

TAKE THREE: A SOLID SCRIPT AND STELLAR CAST MAKE THIS FILM A STANDOUT

By Jamie Alvey

Ready or Not is a gleefully warped and delicious film that revels in all its bloody, dark humor.

There’s nothing that one can do to ready themselves for a viewing of this film. If you think you’re ready for it, trust me you’re not. It’s twisty and fun and exceeds all expectations.

It feels very much like a lost episode of The Twilight Zone, a perverse Ray Bradbury story, or a slickly updated remake of a forgotten satanic panic film from the 70s. It’s not a film to be missed if you have a soft spot for horror comedies.

Grace is marrying Alex Le Domas, whose family seems like your normal clan of stuck up and eccentric rich people. The Le Domases have made their riches through producing and selling board games for generations. Grace herself comes from a rough background, spending most of her life in and out of foster homes and desperately wants a family to call her own.

She thinks that she might have finally found her place in this world, but her hopes are quickly dashed when her in-laws force her into a deadlier version of the childhood staple hide and seek. The film devolves into truly insanely u