Every so often, a film comes out of nowhere and surprises the hell out of me. It doesn’t happen a lot, but when it does, oh boy, do I enjoy the ride. Such is the case with READY OR NOT. It was released not too long ago, and thought I heard good things, it sort of died down as soon as the film was out of theaters. But having discovered the film on Blu-ray for this review, I can confidently say this is by far one of my favorite horror film entries of 2019, if not ever.
Basically, it’s like hide and seek the movie, but with some incredibly clever and wonderful plot points. Grace (Samara Weaving) is to marry her beau Alex Le Domas (Mark O’Brien), but is set to be initiated into his family, as per their tradition. Alex, though estranged from his family for years, is brought back into the family fold because of the upcoming wedding, and his wife to be is drawn into their madness as well.
The Le Domas family is revealed to have built their considerable fortune on marketing games, everything from simple card games and board games to full-on sports teams. And along with these games, they have also amassed some crazy family traditions, which we find out as soon as the film opens. Sure, there are some devilish surprises in store as well, with enough twists and turns to make any horror film fan happy.
READY OR NOT really is a madhouse of fun. It’s wacky, it’s funny, and it’s also gory as heck at times. There are Faustian bargains, plenty of crazy back story, and sharp writing. The actors ALL give 110% here, knowing how bonkers the material is, and having the time of their lives with it.
There are some great sequences with enough gore to appease horror folks, that both invoke laughter AND horror equally. It’s kind of an awesome balance between the two. Hell, it’s almost like a comedy version of The Purge in some ways.
There are a handful of special features here, but the one that takes the cake is Let the Games Begin: The Making of Ready or Not. Coming in at just under 45 minutes, this is really fun behind the scenes featurette. Great information, plenty of interviews, and just deep enough to satisfy those filmmaking cravings. There is also a gag reel, audio commentary, photo gallery, a short feature on the Le Domas clan’s games, and the red band trailer.
Overall, READY OR NOT is quite the surprise and a whole lot of fun. Watch it at your next family gathering!