We have all seen and heard the concept that money can make people do strange things. May see the well-to-do and feel like they do things differently than the average person. Trying to look at it from the other side, being rich is not just glitz and glamour. There are a number of lottery winners who feel that if they could go back in time, they would say it changed their lives actually for the worse, from around-the-clock security to kidnap and death threats and the number of “friends” and “family members” with their hands out, it just seems to never end. It can also make a family very leery of those marrying in, and that is a part of the plot of “Ready or Not”.
Co-directed by two guys that are fairly new to the chair but not to the business in Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, this film stars Samara Weaving as Grace, a woman that is the product of the foster care system and has no real family. It is her wedding day to Alex (Mark O’Brien), who is part of a generations-old family who has gained wealth through board games. They have a family tradition when someone new joins them that they have to play a game together at midnight by drawing a card from a magical box. When she draws the dreaded “hide and seek,” what she thinks is an innocent child’s game becomes a fight for survival that she never thought was possible.
I really liked the cinematography, showing things at really well-done angles. With it being one of those old style mansions with hidden doors and tunnels, the style fit the story very well to the point where the house became its own character. Weaving does a fine job as her character evolves, but my shout-out goes to “Wynonna Earp” star Melanie Scrofano as Alex’s drug-addicted sister Emille, Adam Brody as Alex’s brother who wants to protect the new couple but deals with family obligations, and Kristian Brunn as Alex’s brother-in-law who just wants to fit in and will do whatever he feels is necessary to do so whether he can or not. There are also great actors in the supporting cast like Andie MacDowell and Henry Czerny.
At just barely ninety minutes, this story hits the right beats for the right amount of time. Even for a horror-style film, it keeps the suspension of disbelief in check. There is a lot of violence (some graphic), but it does it in the right way with even a bit of humor. During the screening I attended, the audience reacted the right ways at the right time, even when characters were disposed of. The ending even caught me off guard, so I do recommend “Ready or Not” as a matinee or twilight showing at your local theater.