Ready Or Not: A F*cked Up Rich Family

Samara Weaving in the film READY OR NOT. Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures.

After celebrating the biggest day of her life, one bride soon finds herself fighting for exactly that in horror comedy Ready Or Not.

(L to R) Kristian Bruun, Melanie Scrofano, Andie MacDowell, Henry Czerny, Nicky Guadagni, Adam Brody, and Elyse Levesque in the film Ready or Not
(L to R) Kristian Bruun, Melanie Scrofano, Andie MacDowell, Henry Czerny, Nicky Guadagni, Adam Brody, and Elyse Levesque in the film READY OR NOT. Photo by Eric Zachanowich.

Families that play Hide and Seek together stay together.  Probably.  Maybe.  Okay, I really don’t know.  Now that I have your attention, let’s get on with the show.

Anyway, the gist of Ready Or Not is that Grace (Samara Weaving) joins Alex Le Domas (Mark O’Brien) in marriage.  We only cut to their wedding day after a scene from 30 years ago sets the tone.  Prior to the wedding, Grace says she can’t wait to be a part of Alex’s “moderately fucked up family.”  It’s quite the descriptor but the sentiment is certainly true.  Anyway, the family includes Alex’s parents Tony (Henry Czerny) and Becky (Andie MacDowell).  Alex’s siblings include Daniel and coke addict Emilie (Melanie Scrofano).  They’re married to Charity (Elyse Levesque) and Fitch Bradley (Kristian Bruun), respectively.  Grace grew up in the foster system.  Marrying Alex certainly gives her the permanent family she’s been seeking for a lifetime.  Oh Grace, if only you knew!

Samara Weaving in the film Ready or Not.
Samara Weaving in the film READY OR NOT. Photo by Eric Zachanowich.

Within minutes of pulling the card, Grace learns she’s being hunted by her in-laws.  Forget the fact that she probably married into a fucked up family.  They’re also psycho killers!  As a result, Grace goes into bad-ass mode.  I especially love how Weaving portrays Grace as a bad-ass.  There’s a lot of talk online about how Samara Weaving is the poor woman’s Margot Robbie.  Her performance in this film ought to put this to rest.

Henry Czerny is back in the seat again playing yet another unlikable guy.  Unlikable characters cannot escape former Revenge actor Czerny.  This time, he’s starring as the patriarch of a family that requires every new addition to play a game.  Honestly, the whole thing is truly fucked up.  The looks on everybody’s faces are priceless when Grace pulls the card labeled Hide and Seek.  They also know the rules of the game while she’s an outsider.

Aunt Helene (Nicky Guadagni) is someone who shows no love for Grace. Helene knows what could happen should Grace still be alive at dawn.  Family tradition holds that the entire family would get killed should their not be a living offering.  Anyway, Helene offers up a lot of moments that lead to many laughs in the film.  I’m not kidding.  From the first time that we see her on screen, laughter begins to start.

Listen, I’m not a fan of horror films.  I am very open about this.  I was still having doubts within the remaining hours before Monday nights screening.  So much that I tweeted that I don’t know if I’m ready or not for Ready Or Not.  I only made it through the film because of the insane amount of laughs in this truly fucked up horror comedy.  Yes, there were a few times when I did flinch.  More often than not I was laughing up a storm.  Beyond that, there were times when I couldn’t contain myself and was still laughing.  Honestly, Ready Or Not is the kind of film where you laugh so much that it hurts! It’s a classic in the making!

DIRECTORS:  Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett
SCREENWRITERS:  Guy Busick & R. Christopher Murphy
CAST:  Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O’Brien, with Henry Czerny and Andie MacDowell

Fox Searchlight opens Ready Or Not in theaters on August 21, 2019. Grade: 3.5/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.