‘Ready or Not’ Plays Deadly Game In The Horror-Comedy Subgenre
by Ben Martin
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, you know that comic book movies are the prominent subgenre these days. As such, the comic book movie has all but shoved the traditional action-thriller out of the movie-going marketplace. If you rewind a bit though, you’ll find that action-thrillers were once a genre king of the box-office. Arguably, the best action flick of all time is Die Hard (1988). So much so, that dozens of acton-thrillers that proceeded it were pitched as, “It’s Die Hard in a *fill in the blank with a location.*.”
Well, I think this pitch is still being used to sell movies; particularly when it comes to the film in review, Ready or Not. “Okay, okay, it’s Die Hard in a mansion. Except, get this, it’s a Horror-Comedy!” If Ready or Not screenwriters, Guy Busick (Stan Against Evil) and Ryan Murphy (no, not the prolific TV series creator) used the Die Hard pitch, I can’t blame them for doing so as it’s a damn fine one.
Ready or Not is about a wedding night gone violently wrong. Grace (Samara Weaving), has just married into her new husband, Alex Le Domas’ (Mark O’Brien) old-money family. Alas, things quickly turn sour with her new in-laws as Grace finds that she must now survive a deadly game of hide-and-seek in their mansion from midnight until dawn. During this time, Grace must survive as her new husband’s family tries to kill her!
Folks, this flick is one fun, violent, and gory ride! Ready or Not throws you right into its thrills, all the while moving as fast as a bullet. As I said, in many ways the film in review is reminiscent of Die Hard, including many of its gore gags. There’s one such gag in Ready or Not that gives the “Shoot the glass!” scene a run for its money. Aside from the thrills, this movie’s cast is also phenomenal. Samara Weaving’s performance as Grace makes her character one of the more endearing scream queens in modern horror. In addition to Weaving, the entire supporting cast is at the top of their game; with Adam Brody (Shazam!), Henry Czerny (Supergirl), and Andi MacDowell (Groundhog Day) rising to the top of the creamiest of crops.
The only technical criticism I have against Ready or Not is that its cinematography is a little too darkly lit. There were a couple of times when I found myself briefly squinting to make out the finer details of a scene. Then again, I did watch this film at my local drive-in; so that could have been part of it. Now, I should note that you have to suspend your disbelief to enjoy Ready or Not. While the reason behind all the violence is pretty predictable, the movie holds back a little too long on revealing the causes for all the killing. Thus, I recommend keeping in mind that Ready or Not is a horror-comedy. If you do so, you’ll be able to simply enjoy the R-rated fun of a film that also manages to be a blatant metaphor for American classicism.
Ready or Not is In Theatres Now!