Ready Or Not (2019)

Ready or Not 2019 film poster.jpgDirector: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Rating: 18
Starring: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O'Brien, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell, Nicky Guadagni, Melanie Scrofano, Elyse Levesque, Kristian Bruun, John Ralston, Ethan Tavares, Liam MacDonald

Meeting the in-laws is always a nerve-wracking time in a persons life. You want to make a good impression, showing how much you care for your partner, and hope this extended family welcome you into their own. Those anxieties are exactly what Grace (Samara Weaving) is feeling, as she meets her husbands obscenely rich family on her wedding day, for the very first time. But by the end of the evening, she'll be longing for the simple troubles of hoping the mother-in law likes you.

On her wedding night, Grace participates in a family tradition. Having built their empire off widely successful board games, the Le Domas family indoctrinate any new member through playing a randomly selected game. The game Grace gets is "Hide and Seek", so she runs off to find a hiding place. But unbeknownst to her, the Le Domas family are arming themselves, ready to deliver a fatal blow if they encounter her.

Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, the pair craft a damn fine piece of entertainment, as the blackly comedic spin on "The Most Dangerous Game" is brought alive in a completely wacky and utterly fun manner, even if the comedic moments don't always hit their mark. But when necessary, it can also be an unbearably tense experience, with the filmmakers being far from shy in ratcheting up the gore, especially when it comes to the showstopping finale.

None of this would work if we didn't care for Grace herself, the unfortunate soul trapped within this spiralling nightmare, and we most certainly do just that. Samara Weaving is exceptionally cast in the lead role, perfectly capturing Grace's hopes for the future. Having grown up an orphan, the prospect of being welcomed into such a large family is a dream come true, especially when she has such large quantities of love for her husband. But as she fights for survival, the dream has revealed itself to be an utter nightmare, and Weaving does brilliant work in portraying the changing emotions, as Grace becomes fearful, resilient, and bloodthirsty over the course of this awful night.

It's worth praising Guy Busick and R. Christopher Murphy's script, which captures each characters distinctive voice, allowing the viewers to understand everybody's actions. Their reasons for participating in this tradition are very well emphasised, and alongside the casts tremendous performances, each character is made to feel like a real person. It doesn't make the intended actions any less horrifying, but it's a great touch which helps to flesh out a wonderful overall film.