An end-of-summer surprise treat has arrived in the form of “Ready or Not”, a horror comedy that delivers both laughs and squirms.
Despite not getting much attention, “Ready or Not” is an entertaining romp of a film. It’s a nearly perfect blend of humor, horror and good writing. “Ready or Not” takes a simple premise and makes the most out of all of it.
I hadn’t even heard of this film until this past week and I’m pleased to say it’s an enjoyable surprise.
Grace is marrying into the affluent Le Domas family, who made their fortune on board games and playing cards. But the family has a rather grotesque tradition: every time somebody new joins the family they get hunted for sport. Grace soon finds herself on the run from her out-for-blood in-laws as their palatial mansion becomes their hunting grounds.
“Ready or Not” is a fun, compact movie that really digs into its premise and mines it for both comedy and some skin-crawling horror. It also makes the most of its R-rating, with some well-timed cussing and enough blood and gore effects to make the horror worthwhile.
The comedy comes mostly from the bumbling nature of the WASPy Le Domas family. None of them were around when the tradition started, so none of them really want to go through with it, but outside forces are compelling them to try to kill Grace. It’s like taking over a family tradition long after the parents you learned it from are gone, and you don’t really know what you’re doing or why.
For example, the tradition calls for the family to use old-timey weapons, like crossbows and blunderbusses, but none of them know how to actually use those weapons. There’s also a funny exchange where they argue among themselves whether or not it would be against tradition if they used their house’s security cameras. Would it really violate the tradition if the tradition was started before security cameras were even a thing?
The horror elements are handled nicely by lead actor Samara Weaving as Grace. She’s put through the wringer by her killer in-laws, and she is equal parts ready to fight back and struggling through some truly horrible injuries. This movie has some scenes that are not for the squeamish.
“Ready or Not” is one of those little movies that fly under most people’s radar, released in theaters right when summer is winding down and everybody is going back to school. But it’s a fun flick, easily mixing horror and comedy in all the right ways.