These past couple of years have seen a resurgence in horror films and it seems that a lot of writers and directors are using the genre to push forward ideas and responses to the current political climate. Ready or Not is definitely among this class of horror film, incorporating messages on classism in an increasingly divided landscape where the rich appear to be getting richer against limited social mobility for the poorer. Led by rising star, Samara Weaving plays Grace, a woman who was raised in foster homes who finds herself marrying her dream guy who just so happens to be a part of a huge family dynasty that owns a large gaming company. When face with the odd tradition that she has to play a game before being a part of the family, it becomes a game of cat and mouse as the family attempt to kill Grace as part of a ritual.
The film definitely lives up to its 18 rating with f-bombs everywhere and gore galore that makes Midsommar feel like a Disney film. If Netflix’s The Babysitter was a mere introduction to Samara Weaving then Ready or Not has cemented her status as the newest Scream Queen. Grace is a brilliant character who is fully aware of her position as an outsider from the beginning. At first she attempts to resist playing the game but seeing the seriousness in their attempt to kill her, she is forced to become efficient and do things she never thought she would. With a brillient supporting cast including Mark O’Brien as Alex, Grace’s new husband, Adam Brody as Alex’s conflicted brother, Daniel and Andie MacDowell as Alex’s mum. It’s a film that shows the complexity of human nature as each of the characters are thrown into this unexpected situation.
The screenplay is brilliant and makes use the singular space that the film inhabits. Written by Guy Busick and R. Christopher Murphy and directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, this film could have easily fallen flat with so many creatives at the helm, particularly given the limited setting and characters but they fought the odds and came up with a film that is smart and tied together. The scene in which Grace is told the backstory of the family before selecting her game is hugely intense as the audience knows that they cannot trust anyone. The film is full of symbolism and pay offs, the most obvious being Grace’s wedding dress. The difference between how it looks at the start and the end really hits home the events of the film. Another aspect of the film that was unexpected is how funny it was throughout. Even in the most gruesome scenes, the writing is witty and on point as the clueless relatives try to deal with the prospect of actually killing someone. One hilarious relation, Fitch (Kristian Bruun), spends some of his time learning how to use a crossbow on YouTube.
You’ll have to withstand a lot of gore but it’s a fun film to watch and is definitely worth watching on the big screen if you get the chance. I think it’ll go down as a modern favourite for horror fans and I look forward to seeing what Samara Weaving does next.
What did you think of the film? Let me know in the comments below!