August 19, 2019

GENRE | Here Comes 'Ready or Not' – Cheap Horror Fun

"F*cking rich people!"
Samara Weaving Matt Bettinelli-Olpin Tyler Gillett | Ready or Not'

Ready or Not, Radio Silence indie horror filmmakers Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett's deceptively simple hide-and-go-seek slasher flick about the obscenely wealthy, is such a well-delivered genre exercise of black horror-comedy fun. Set in a single location (a palatial mansion estate), the film rests almost solely on Australian actress Samara Weaving's newlywed bride character in a star-making turn.

Imagine the wedding scene from the Kill Bill unfolding over ninety-six minutes as a deranged ritual game and you have the basic structure of Ready or Not. When Weaving's Grace marries Alex (Mark O'Brien), she must play a randomly chosen ceremonial game on her wedding night/mare as is tradition. Unfortunately, she chooses hide-and-seek and must be hunted for sport by her in-laws, the ultra-rich Le Domas dominion.

What follows is efficiently told horror fun that wisely paces out its bleak laughs, ritual slasher kills, cheap thrills, and sense of suspense rather well. Everything unfolds nicely without being too rushed for the overly simple meets high concept nature of the hunting game.

Adam Brody Henry Czerny Andie MacDowell Nicky Guadagni Melanie Scrofano Elyse Levesque Kristian Bruun Matt Bettinelli-Olpin Tyler Gillett | Ready or Not'

Co-starring a stellar cast made up mostly of familiar Canadian actors, it's Adam Brody as Alex's alcoholic brother, who does some fine dramatic work that's the stealth MVP of the family. Grace's in-laws, played devilishly by veteran actors Henry Czerny and Andie MacDowell, scream diabolic old money white privilege in contrast to Weaving's eager everywoman.

Screenwriters Guy Busick and R. Christopher Murphy's basic script lets the actors and direction take over with enough dark humour, amusing horror gags, and inventive genre turns that make the entire affair a violently pleasing ride. However, there are a few too many catch-and-release escape reversals that get repetitive despite the filmmakers' purposely using repetition and motifs to subvert genre conventions and replicate the nature of playing a game.

All the elements of Ready or Not—most notably Weaving's dynamic performance—make the horror-comedy of terrors so entertaining and watchable despite the preposterous premise or any lack of greater ambition. It's a half-hearted yet timely satirical commentary on the simultaneous apathy and cruelty of the wealthy or powerful while echoing a greater lack of morality in high society yet it takes few cheap shots.

More | YVArcade / AV Club / Indiewire / The Playlist

0 reactions:

Post a Comment