Notable for its dark humor and solid acting and direction, READY OR NOT (2019) is a fun horror film that titillates even while it may not make you feel much.
The film opens with Grace (the delightful Samara Weaving, who was also great in MAYHEM) in her wedding gown. She’s about to marry the man of her dreams, an heir to a board game empire, at his family’s palatial estate. The product of foster homes, she’s always wanted a permanent family, and she hopes she can win over her strange in-laws.
On their wedding night, a ritual of acceptance begins. Grace must pull a card and play a game to be accepted in the family. Chess, checkers, any number of games.
She pulls “hide and seek,” the one card she shouldn’t pull. Once the game begins, the family will hunt her throughout the mansion until she’s dead or until the sun comes up. If she survives, the family believes, the family’s strange benefactor will come to claim them all.
This was a fun movie, providing plenty of violence, gore, and dark humor. The overall premise is great. Everything about it works and it was overall a fun ride, though for me it has an easily forgettable quality. This is probably because the protagonist has no flaw or meaningful misbelief and therefore achieves no real change, there’s an ending twist that isn’t surprising, and the film flirts with some form of social commentary but never makes its point.
Overall, READY OR NOT is a solid survival horror movie with an interesting premise and plenty of fun.