Skip to main content

Cottonwood Heights Journal

Dan's Review: "Ready or Not" Has a Few Hidden Treasures

Aug 24, 2019 01:58AM ● By Dan Metcalf

Samara Weaving in Ready or Not - © 2019 Fox Searchlight.

Ready or Not (Fox Searchlight)

Rated R for violence, bloody images, language throughout, and some drug use.

Starring Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O'Brien, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell, Kate Ziegler, Kristian Bruun, Melanie Scrofano, Elyse Levesque, Nicky Guadagni, Elana Dunkelman, John Ralston, Ethan Tavares, Liam MacDonald, Nat Faxon, Etienne Kellici, Chase Churchill.

Written by Guy Busick and R. Christopher Murphy.

Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett.



It’s all fun and games until someone kills the bride. If you think your in-laws are a little crazy, buckle up for Ready or Not, a new dark comedy/horror film about a family that relies on a bloody ritual for its existence.

It’s the story of Grace (Samara Weaving) the beautiful young bride of Alex Le Domas (Mark O’Brien), heir to the Le Domas family fortune built on the success of a gaming empire (think: Hasbro or Milton Bradley). On their wedding day at the family mansion, the young couple’s nuptials are put on hold until she participates in a family ritual of playing a game at midnight as part of an “initiation ceremony.” The type of game is chosen by the newcomer at random, and Grace, unfortunately, pulls the “Ready or Not” card, summoning a round of Hide-and-Seek. Problem is, this game is really a hunt that is intended to capture and sacrifice Grace to a hidden entity that has granted the Le Doma family its fortune through evil means. As Grace hides, her new in-laws use crude weapons to hunt her. Grace has an ally in her new husband and his brother Daniel (Adam Brody) who do not want to participate in the ritual, even though their secret benefactor’s bloody oath might result in the Le Doma family demise for failure to complete the ritual. The patriarch of the family is Alex’s dad Tony (Henry Czerny), mom Becky (Andie McDowell), sister Emilie (Melany Scrofano), her husband Fitch (Christian Bruun), and Aunt Helene (Nicky Guadagni). As the night progresses, Grace barely escapes with her life as the female “help” (a trio of women who look like the backup dancers in Robert Palmer’s 1985 “Addicted to Love” music video from) fall victim to the family’s ineptitude for killing. Grace is eventually wounded and taken to a Satanic altar where she needs a little luck and a lot of strength to overcome the family’s evil game.

Ready or Not is a gory, irreverent, and occasionally fun ride if you can stomach such gross humor. It’s a film served with a lot of obscenities and dark humor not to be taken too seriously. Some of those gory elements stretch into overindulgence, especially in the final climactic “ritual” scene that ends with more blood than you might have expected.  

Samara Weaving (who could easily pass for Margo Robbie’s little sister), does a fine job of a keeping the suspense going, but her Aussie accent occasionally slips in between a long series of incredulous F-bombs. The rest of the cast is formidable, especially Czerny as the cold-hearted patriarch and Nicky Guadagni as the sullen aunt without any ethical boundaries over shedding human blood for the sake of the family.

Ready or Not, like the real game of Hide-and-Seek has its moments, even if it’s a simple premise. It isn’t a great comedy or very clever, but it’s good for a little naughty fun.

"Ready or Not" Trailer