Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
Cast: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O’Brien
Release Date: December 3, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
The sanctity of marriage goes straight to hell when a young bride (Samara Weaving) competes in a time-honored tradition with her new husband (Mark O’Brien) and his insanely rich and eccentric Le Domas family (Adam Brody, Henry Czerny, and Andie MacDowell). The bride’s wedding night takes a turn for the worst when she realizes she is at the center of a lethal game of ‘Hide and Seek’ and must fight her not-so-loveable in-laws for her own survival.
Get ready for a wedding ceremony unlike everything you’ve ever experienced in ‘Ready or Not’. The film joins a new bride (Weaving) and her wedding to the love of her life (O’Brien) at his family’s remarkable home, in addition to her official joining of his famous family whose legacy of popular games is well recognized. But when a simple family tradition to play a game with her new family on their wedding night turns into a terrifyingly real game of Hide or Seek with her as the dedicated victim, she quickly begins to realize there is far more to this family and their fortune than simple fun and games; with her happy wedding day swiftly changing gears into a desperate fight for her life.
Directed by duo Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (Devil’s Due, V/H/S) from a screenplay by Guy Busick (TV’s Castle Rock) and Ryan Murphy, Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett do a fantastic job at the helm of ‘Ready or Not’ guiding along the twisted fun with a sense of style and whim that fits perfectly. The film also benefits from a well selected cast that includes Samara Weaving (Mayhem), Adam Brody (Scream 4), Mark O’Brien (TV’s City on A Hill), Henry Czerny (TV’s Sharp Objects) and Andie MacDowell (Groundhog Day) along with more, the majority offering solid overall performances for the most part in each of their respective roles.
‘Ready or Not’ is a smart, brutal and darkly humorous horror comedy that takes off at full speed after the necessary setup and introductions and takes viewers along for a wildly original and incredibly fun ride that only exceeds expectations as it tears throughout the beautifully detailed insanity occurring within this expansive mansion. Often managing to veer from the directions you might expect it to go and embracing a wicked sense of humor that fits splendidly into the mix, it quickly evolves into a unique and beautifully detailed film with a luxurious and seemingly unending labyrinth of a mansion that perfectly resembles a gaming board in its own right, with our characters serving as the individual game pieces vying for victory. It repeatedly finds unexpected ways to casually showcase the love of old school games within while never making it overly obvious for those unfamiliar with them (the number of people attacked in a manner that resembles scenarios in the game Clue for example) and the result is quite a treat, and one you probably won’t want to miss out on. As natural in its approach as it is eccentric in its style and sense of humor, everything comes together beautifully largely thanks to the Radio Silence team, and only benefits all the more from a solid cast led by Samara Weaving. I would strongly encourage genre fans along with anyone that appreciates an original and massively entertaining horror film that’s far more bloody than scary and also filled with plenty of laughs to try and find the time to give ‘Ready or Not’ a chance; you shouldn’t be disappointed with the result.
Overall, ‘Ready or Not’ is a bloody, funny and wildly enjoyable film that’s not to be missed; almost resembling a board game in its own right; with the location serving as the board and the various characters participating within making up the pieces competing upon it. ‘Ready or Not’ is definitely highly recommended, especially for horror fans and anyone who appreciates a somewhat odd, yet equally fantastic and unique film with some brutal twists and a great deal of fun to be had along the way. It’s a wild, humorous and surprisingly clever little ride that is well worth taking the time to check out. Those considering a blind purchase of the Blu-ray release probably won’t be disappointed with the result, and it should be more than worth the cost of a rental for those who might prefer to play it safe (though don’t be terribly surprised if you find yourself wanting to add it to your collection soon after).
The Blu-ray release of ‘Ready or Not’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks fantastic and provides a nice, smooth and richly detailed presentation throughout that captures the gorgeous surroundings beautifully without suffering any noticeable faults or troubles along the way. It holds up perfectly during even the notably dark and fast moving scenes, never resulting in anything onscreen becoming negatively affected, let alone rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a wonderful high definition video presentation that delivers every step of the way and shouldn’t disappoint fans or first time viewers in the slightest.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack makes for a great compliment to the onscreen chaos and fun, offering a fairly active and consistently crisp and clean audio presentation throughout. It repeatedly embraces all five available channels in order to send the music, along with action effects, nature elements and more throughout the various speakers whenever fitting and never conflicting with any dialogue or other audio activity that might be occurring simultaneously. Overall, this is a great 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that should largely please the film’s fans.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Ready or Not’ includes a couple of noteworthy extras that fans of the film should appreciate. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with the filmmaking team Radio Silence’, in addition to the 3-part Behind the Scenes making of ‘Let The Games Begin: The Making of Ready or Not’ (running approximately 42 minutes in length) which includes interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. Also included is a ‘Gag Reel’ (running approximately 4 minutes), the ‘Red Band Trailer’ for the movie (approximately 2 minutes) and a ‘Gallery’ which features two sets of Still Images within; ‘On-Set Photography’ and ‘Le Domas Family Games’.