Ready or Not

MPAA: R

Release Date: August 21

Director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett

Starring: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, and Mark O’Brien

Mister Marquee Says: LEGENDARY

Number: 5/5

Grace (Samara Weaving) marries Alex (Mark O’Brien), the youngest son of an insanely wealthy family who made their fortune in board games. On the night of the wedding, Grace is forced to a play a game as initiation into the family. Unbeknownst to Grace, the game, hide and seek, is for the highest stakes; the family are hunting Grace intent on killing her in a ritual. If she survives until dawn, there will be dire consequences for the family. 

Ready or Not is flat out hilarious. It’s a real contender for comedy of the year. The characters, the situations, the absurdity…it’s a riot. Ready or Not skewers tradition in a darkly hilarious way, and the trope of eccentric rich weirdos doing weird stuff has never been used to better effect. 

The family feel they must do this ritual to appease “Mr. Le Bail”, who made a faustian bargain with Alex’s great-great-grandfather in exchange for the success the family has had in board games. They believe there will be dire consequences if they don’t kill Grace…but is anyone really sure? The bickering between the family is so strong. 

At one point family patriarch Tony (Henry Czerny) rationalizes cheating by using the house’s surveillance cameras to find Grace. After all, great-grandfather would have used them if they had been invented in his time, right? He then immediately shoots down a request to use a modern gun because they have to use the weapons from great-grandfather’s time. Sometimes, we can stretch traditions around in logical knots to serve our purposes, other times we pick and choose. Sometimes we slavishly follow traditions even if they make no sense in the light of day and we don’t understand them. 

Most people at one point or another can feel torn between loyalty to their family and their partner. Ready or Not just takes that feeling and cranks up the volume. Samara Weaving really shines as the lead who is pushed to the absolute breaking point. If you’re not into gore…yeah ignore this one. If you can handle a Tarantino movie you’ll be fine. If you can hang, you’ll get one of the best black comedies in ages and a wildly fun time at the movies. 

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