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  • Writer's pictureRob Ervin

Rob Reviews "Ready Or Not"

It’s been almost six years to the day since “You’re Next” hit theaters. Combining elements of horror, suspense, thrills, and even a bit of comedy, I was not only surprised that I brought myself to see it, but I actually enjoyed and recommended it. With “Ready or Not” now being released, I had the same thought process as those who know me well were wondering why I was going to a film like this yet again.

Samara Weaving stars as Grace, a woman from a foster family who comes from nothing and has made it to her wedding day with Alex (Mark O’Brien). Alex is a member of the Le Domas family, who have amassed fame and fortune in the board game industry. On their wedding night, the family gathers under the leadership of patriarch Tony (Henry Czerny), who tells Grace about a generations-old family tradition where a new member’s “initiation” is simply drawing a card from a mysterious box that dictates a game the family plays together. When she draws “Hide and Seek” (which has only been drawn once before), this is the one card that turns what is supposed to be the most amazing and wonderful night of Grace’s young life into something much more dark and sinister.

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett may not be names that the public is not familiar with, but these guys have a lot of different credits to their names and have been collaborating for years. The way they shoot this film gives a more classic and period feel even though it takes place in current day. With a script co-written by Guy Busick and Ryan Murphy that is both simple and layered at the same time, I am not sure that I would put horror as a genre tag on “Ready or Not”. I mean, there is a bit of gore here (the “R” rating is more about the language) that only had me close my eyes once, but really the only way I can describe this is a much darker version of 1985’s “Clue,” holding its same tongue-in-cheek humor without the slapstick element. If I had to classify this one, it would actually be more of an action thriller than a horror film, and for me that is a good thing.

The cast (which also includes Adam Brody and Andie MacDowell) really understands the material and plays it to the hilt without going over the top with it. Weaving, perhaps best known at this point for the series “SMILF” and the Netflix original movie “The Babysitter,” really carries the story by playing Grace as a young wide-eyed girl who turns into a tough and resilient woman in the span of about seven hours portrayed in ninety minutes, while the rest of the family plays things out in a manner that shows the unity of the Le Domas family (perhaps outside of Alex), even to the ridiculous.

The word “fun” does not even start to describe “Ready or Not”. This is the kind of film that needs to be seen in a group of people, where everyone can jump, scream, laugh, and cheer all at the same time. Whether or not that needs to be done in a theater could be interpreted either way, but it should at least be seen on a big screen television to appreciate it’s insanity.

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