Ready or Not had a great trailer. The trailer did a reasonably sound job of confirming that the sub-genre where horror is mixed in with the protagonist playing some sort of sick game (kind of like Saw but this time it’s an actual game) is alive and well. There are plenty of movies based on this plot, and some of them are not even in the horror genre (The Hunger Games) even though horrible things can or will happen. So where does that leave Ready Or Not? Somewhere near the bottom half seems about right.
The biggest win in this film for me is the lead actress and protagonist in this twisted little tale, Samara Weaving, who plays the bride-to-be, Grace. Grace meets Alex and falls in love. Alex just happens to be part of the Domas Gaming family heirdom that makes him a very nice catch indeed. The couple finally gets to the big day where their lovely vows are exchanged, but most of this is just a facade. Unbeknownst to Grace, the Domas family have a very dark and ugly secret, and she’s about to find out just what that secret is by, you guessed it, playing a game!
Samara Weaving is fantastic as Grace. Weaving seems to be going from strength to strength in her films of late. That said, it would be a fair comment to also suggest that there might be a little bit of pigeon-holing going on in terms of the genre and roles she has been cast in. Nevertheless, she pulls it off with finesse, kicking and screaming all the way. She’s very believable, and that’s important because sometimes, you just need to see someone screaming from the sheer terror of their experience. Even in a horror-comedy.
The pacing of the film is a little odd. While the beginning starts off relatively slow, the pace seems to jump from 2 to 15 without much in-between and then maintains this pace until it’s very close to the end. There’s nothing wrong with a fast-paced horror movie as long as it’s all going to come full circle. Eventually, it does, but it was all just a little too predictable for me, and that was a tad disappointing.
One thing that I did think was a little funnier than it was probably intended to be is the situation that ensues with the Domas family waitresses and a butler that almost stole the show entirely. It’s so hard to find good help these days.