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Review: Ready or Not

Samara Weaving stars in Fox Searchlight's READY OR NOT

I wanted Ready or Not to be as insane as possible. Just by looking at the premise, you could see why someone would think it had the ability to deliver that type of cinematic experience. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite accomplish that, although it still manages to provide some form of entertainment with what’s actually presented to us.

We follow Grace (Samara Young), a young woman who’s about to join the rich, eccentric Le Domas family. By marrying the love of her life (Mark O’Brien), she correctly predicts that her life is about to change, but not in the way that she thinks. As she begins her next chapter, she’s also required to take part in a long-standing ritual that the entire family takes part in. It’s a game that seems innocent enough at the start, but the new bride soon realizes that her life hangs in the balance.

To see why it looked like Ready or Not could have been a crazy movie, all you need to do is look at the poster and maybe watch the commercial to see how they’re marketing it. Obviously, someone knew what this could have been and is trying to sell it as such. I guess you can say that its promotion is kind of misleading. That’s usually risky for studios to do to its audience, but I don’t know if it will hurt it as much in this instance.

In spite of it not delivering exactly what you may expect, there’s still a solid movie here that isn’t too far off from that. The only thing is that it’s nowhere near as crazy as it should be. This is especially true in terms of the violence. There are a few moments of brutality, but most of it is fairly tame. I’m not even saying that it needed to be more gruesome necessarily, but they could have found more impressive ways to push the boundaries with the violence they chose to bring to the screen.

I also found myself wanting to laugh more. This could have meant laughing at the wacky violence or laughing at the comedy. Nonetheless, I wasn’t able to do much laughing any way you look at it. That’s mostly due to Ready or Not being played more seriously than it probably should have been. Some of the comedy included is funny, but there just isn’t much of it. 

Although Ready or Not is not all it could have been, they managed to do some things that I liked. Most of this has to do with how they handled some of the characters. What they gave us with some of these guys are things that we don’t get to see as much in film. This makes the movie a little less predictable and makes you want to keep watching to see how things are going to unfold.

At the center of it all is Grace played by Samara Weaving. They don’t spend a significant amount of time delving into her backstory but we’re allowed to learn enough about her in order to feel connected to her as the protagonist. Although this portion of the setup is quick, none of it appears rushed and it gives the movie a chance to move forward in a smooth manner. Of course, we also learn a good bit about the surrounding family as well and see how everything presented is all meshed together.

There’s not a whole lot wrong with Ready or Not, but it could have been more than what it is. Some of the acting is good and the premise catches your attention, but not much else really stands out. This should have either been extremely violent or contained the type of dark comedy that would have you laughing consistently. Since it didn’t get close to going in either direction, what we get is a movie that’s decent and very well may still be good enough to at least satisfy many of those who watch it.

Rating: R

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin
Tyler Gillett

Guy Busick
R. Christopher Murphy

Samara Weaving
Adam Brody
Mark O’Brien
Henry Czerny
Andie MacDowell
Kristian Bruun
Elyse Levesque
John Ralston
Ethan Tavares
Liam MacDonald
Nat Faxon

Film Length: 95 Minutes

Release Date: August 21, 2019

Distributor: Fox Searchlight

  • 6.5/10
    Score - 6.5/10
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