REVIEW: ‘Ready or Not’ is a fun way to end summer 2019

Before this movie whenever I heard the phrase “Ready or Not” I thought of the Fugees song. Now, I might think of a very bloody wedding reception.

“Ready or Not” follows the character Grace, played by Samara Weaving, on her wedding day. While nerves are nothing new for a person on their wedding day, Grace is having a bit more anxiety than usual because she happens to be marrying into a massively wealthy family.

She’s calmed down a bit, though, by her fiance Alex (Mark O’Brien) and her new family, who provide pleasantries and reassurance. That is until it comes time for the family tradition of having a game at midnight. The family decides to play a game of Hide and Seek, with Grace being the person to hide. At first Grace just thinks it’s a silly quirk, until it turns out the family is actually hunting her as part of a sacrificial ritual. As a result, Grace’s wedding night turns into a fight for survival.

“Ready or Not” goes into territories of a dark comedy and a suspense thriller. I’m happy to report it succeeds at both. While not entirely the most original movie, as similar ideas have been shown in film before such as 2011’s “You’re Next,” it’s still a fun romp with unexpected moments.

The balance of comedy by way of the family members having their schemes foiled and the suspense coming from the clear danger Grace is in is great here. While some of the humor feels a little too obvious, it still is above average consistently.

ReadyNotBlog
Courtesy Fox Searchlight Pictures.

What really drives the movie into good territory, though, is Grace’s character arc. She goes from cheerful bride-to-be, to victim, to survivor and finally to outright warrior.

Weaving is especially good in bringing the arc to life, both through her timing during the comedic moments and displaying her character’s grit in the life-or-death sequences.

All of this put together leads to a fantastic climax that really gives this one a boost. If a person needs just one reason to see this movie, it’s what takes place in the final 10 minutes or so.

With those praises said, the movie isn’t entirely top tier. The satire and jabs could’ve been a bit more stinging and with the tone it was going for, it could’ve probably used even more gore than what was shown, maybe something to an “Evil Dead” level.

The characters could’ve probably been a bit more detailed, too. After some time some of them start to blend together a bit.

But still, this is a really fun entry to close this summer and a perfect movie for an afternoon matinee. It has enough thrills along with laughs to satisfy an audience. 3.9 out of 5.

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Author: Matthew Liedke

I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, and I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2009 graduate of Rainy River College and a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University in Moorhead. At MSU, I studied journalism and film. Outside of movies, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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