Ready or Not: A dark comedy

Film: Ready or Not

Cast: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O’Brien, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell

Directors: Matt Bettinelli- Olpin & Tyler Gillett

Rating: * * * +

There’s quite a lot going on in this film which demands that you to laugh till the very subversive end. Is it a stalk-and-slash film? Yes. A horror comedy? Certainly. A survival drama? Yes, yes. A satire on family/marriage/the rich? Yes, yes, yes. All this rendered at a brisk pace by horror meisters Matt Bettinelli- Olpin and Tyler Gillett.

Me, I’m not a fan of the horror genre (with honourable exceptions like Hitchcock) and must confess to a sense of relief when young people in the cinema burst paper bags or holler. It breaks the tension, for me, at least. The film under review, of course, is not the first to present over – the-top violence as comical.

Certainly, Lucifer is a ludicrous figure and should be shown up for the murderous lying fool that he is. Sadly, the world is full of people who think nothing of making Faustian pacts. Like the immensely rich but stupid family in "Ready or Not" who have sold their soul to the devil.

As poor Grace (Samara Weaving, terrific) just married to Alex (Mark O’Brien), heir to the wealthy game manufacturing Le Domas dynasty, discovers, to her dismay. She learns she must abide by a family tradition for new members who must play a game which is harmless, unless he or she selects the card marked “Hide and Seek,” as Grace, unsurprisingly, does.

Then all hell breaks loose as the family including Alex’s wacky siblings Daniel (Adam Brody) and Emilie (Melanie Scrofano and parents Tony (Henry Czerny) and Becky (Andie MacDowell) pursue the poor girl in a macabre game of death. Actually, anyone who entertains and acts upon such beliefs has got to be wacky.

But what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul? Only the poor are collateral damage. Like the rain that falls on all, both rich and poor, the poor must get wet. And also die. Screenwriters Guy Busick and R. Christopher Murphy glorify revenge in this moodily shot, well acted gory thriller during which you will laugh your head off while others lose theirs.


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