Film Review: Ready or Not

With Ready or Not, directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett may just have made this year’s most entertaining horror movie. 

On her wedding day, Grace is nervous about joining her new husband’s wealthy family. They invite her to play a game in an initiation ceremony, which turns lethal…

Ready or Not boasts an outlandish premise, but one that is played in exactly the right key. Written by Guy Busick and Ryan Murphy, the film is directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett. Within the world that Ready or Not creates, the game seems plausible despite its craziness. 

The narrative unfolds fairly quickly, although Busick and Murphy are careful to keep viewers guessing. Characters are introduced succinctly, and given enough depth for the narrative. The motivations of all are not not clear cut, which adds to the intrigue. Situated with Grace, audience members will wonder if she has any allies in the cat-and-mouse chase. The filmmakers dangle the prospect of escape in creative ways. 

Ready or Not mixes a horror thriller with a comedy. The dark aspects functions to drive plot, although any supernatural activity is wisely left up in the air. The are real nervy moments as the film continues,  as well as sufficient gore. The film is frequently funny, which adds immensely to the fun. Even the gore is often played for laughs. 

The film is exceptionally well paced. Running at 95 minutes, Ready or Not never outstays its welcome. Tension is interspersed with humour. These breaks work well to reset for the next build up; Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett realise it would be very difficult to maintain such a tense atmosphere throughout. 

Samara Weaving delivers a winning performance as Grace. Weaving is both charismatic and convincing as the protagonist. Among the assemble cast, Andie MacDowell and Adam Brody are on good form. Kristian Bruun also brings the laughs. 

Ready or Not is a lot of fun. The perfect movie for those who like their horror gory and very humorous.