Humans seem to have a knack for taking things that are innocently mundane and turning them into something really messed up. The number of horror movies based on children’s toys and games is numerous with a new one released seemingly every year.
This year, not only did we get the reboot of doll turned killer series “Child’s Play,” but also an original film based on a playground classic: hide and seek.
“Ready or Not” comes from Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, directors of horror anthology cult classic “V/H/S.” Aside from a few other films that garnered a much more lackluster reception, the director duo hasn’t done much of note in the past few years. When I heard they were directing “Ready or Not," I was excited, yet skeptical.
Thankfully, they didn’t let me down. In fact, they completely exceeded my expectations.
“Ready or Not” tells the story of newlyweds Grace and Alex Le Domas. The Le Domas family is one of the richest in the world, with a board game business dating all the way back to the Civil War. On their wedding night, Alex tells Grace that she must meet with the rest of the family to play a game. When she randomly chooses hide and seek, Grace learns that her husband’s family is more sinister than they appear.
I expected that “Ready or Not” would be a schlocky, dog days of summer horror film that would neither be a good film nor impress me, but I would still get some enjoyment out of. However, I ended up seeing a clever, funny and gruesome film that I un-ironically enjoyed.
The film was a master at capturing my attention and keeping me at the edge of my seat, while also making me laugh at the absurdity of what was happening. Landing dark comedy is extremely hard to do, so I was very impressed that “Ready or Not” had me laughing as much as it did.
While horror can be good without good acting, it certainly helps when the acting is at least watchable. “Ready or Not” was led by the delightful Samara Weaving, who was a delight to watch. She sold dramatic, comedic and messed up moments when she needed to, and I’m excited to see what she does next.
Other highlights from the film were Adam Brody as apprehensive, alcoholic brother in-law Daniel and Kristian Bruun as cousin Fitch. The two were hilarious and, in Brody’s case, carried an impressive dramatic performance.
I would have enjoyed “Ready or Not” much more if it wasn’t for its over-the-top ending. While most of the film sold itself successfully as a dark comedy, the ending went a little bit overboard. I understood the direction that they went in, but I wish they would’ve ended things on a different note.
Even though the film left me on a bit of a sour note, it was still an overall fantastic experience. If you’re in the mood for a fun thriller film that you’ll be able to actually enjoy, “Ready or Not” will not disappoint.