September is the time of year where all of our television screens are flooded with previews and promotions for the influx of horror movies released for the Halloween season. Some movies seem terrifying, others boring, and some just plain weird. But we never know until we bite the bullet and pay for a ticket to see for ourselves. With everyone anticipating the release of big name horror films such as ‘IT: Chapter 2’, smaller films like ‘Ready or Not’ tend to fly under the radar. Despite being under the looming shadow of a Stephen King film release, ‘Ready or Not’ is a unique and interesting film all on its own.
On August 21 2019, ‘Ready or Not’, a mysterious thriller and dark comedy directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olphin and Tyler Gillett was released. Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett are credited for various other horror films such as 2012 film ‘V/H/S’ and ‘Devil’s Due’ released in 2014. The likes of Samara Weaving, Mark O’Brien, Adam Brody, Henry Czerny, and Andie MacDowell make up the main cast of ‘Ready or Not’. Other notable names credited for the film are writer R. Christopher Murphy and producer James Vanderbilt, a member of the wealthy Vanderbilt family of New York.
The film centers around the wealthy, old money Le Domas family who have made their fortune from games. Despite seeming like a normal rich family, the Le Domas family poses a dark secret. Newlyweds Grace, portrayed by Samara Weaving, and Alex Le Domas, portrayed by Mark O’Brien, hold their wedding on the family estate. At first it is your typical wedding. The photos, the ceremony, the reception, the heart-to-heart talks. But when the clock strikes midnight, the family must engage in a not-so-typical wedding ritual. Whenever a new member joins the Le Domas family, they must draw a card and play a game. Grace, the center of this tradition, pulls the dreaded ‘Hide And Seek’ card and the chase begins.
But like all great thrillers, there is a catch. This is not your typical light hearted hide and seek game of your childhood. This is a much more terrifying game. The members of the Le Domas family are not seeking Grace, but hunting her. The entire point of this game of hide and seek is to find the new family member and kill them before sunrise.
One of the most unique aspects of this film is the comedy. While watching the film, there are just as many moments that make you laugh as there are moments that make you jump and scream. The writers and actors did an amazing job of bringing comedic elements to a dark and suspenseful film without making the humor seem inappropriate or out of place. ‘Ready or Not’ can be categorized as a comedy film, just as much as it is a horror film.
Cinematically, this is an equally stunning and terrifying film. Taking place in a large mansion and the land surrounding it, the film does an excellent job of portraying a chase. The house is filled with so many cracks and crevices, there is something new around every corner and you never know what is coming next. With the combination of the amazing cinematography and intense soundtrack choices, as a viewer you truly get the same sense of fear and uncertainty Grace is feeling throughout the film. ‘Ready or Not’ keeps you covered in goosebumps while on the edge of your seat.
The themes in this film are clear from the start. ‘Ready or Not’ plays off the ‘crazy in-laws’ trope often used in film and television. At the start of the film, Grace wants so badly to fit into the Le Domas family and feel like she belongs. At the same time, the families only motive is to remove her from the family. She is literally dealing with a case of crazy in-laws, complete with odd traditions and a terrifying secret. This is a family you do not want to be apart of.
In short, ‘Ready or Not’ is a must see for this year’s Halloween season. This film is intense, terrifying, beautiful, and hilarious all at once. Nothing in this film feels tired or overused. This is an hour and a half you will not regret. ‘Ready or Not’ is truly a model for future horror films.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment