Tony's Take

READY OR NOT review

Let the Game Begin

Ever think that your in-laws are the worst?  Well, prepare so be proven wrong with the gory, thrilling “Ready or Not”.  Grace (Samara Weaving) is about to marry Alex (Mark O’Brien), the man of her dreams.  She also is joining one of the richest, most upstanding families in the Le Domas family.  After a gorgeous ceremony, Alex tells her she has to meet with the family downstairs in the music room at 11:55 for her initiation.  As the minutes tick down, more and more of the extended family arrive, until 11:55 hits and they gather in the one room in the house that only family is allowed in.  As Alex’s father Tony (Henry Czerny) recounts the tradition behind their family tradition that occurs when a new person joins the family, an heirloom is passed around the table.  A blank card is placed inside and whichever game is written on the card is the one they must play.  As she pulls the card, Hide and Seek is chosen; much to the dismay of many in the room.  As Grace goes to hide, she unknowingly finds herself in a game of life and death.  As she puts the pieces together, her fight for survival turns into a vicious nightmare that will keep you from saying anything bad about your in-laws again.

“Ready or Not” is a hauntingly-excellent original film that is pure adrenaline-pulsing entertainment and fun for the masses.  Anchoring the film is Weaving who is strong and poignant as the leading bride.  She truly faces and encounters some unfortunate occurrences throughout, but her range is on full-display.  The rest of the cast (family) features some well-known actors playing roles outside of their comfort zone, such as: Adam Brody, O’Brien, Czerny, Andie MacDowell, Melanie Scrofano, Kristian Bruun, Nicky Guadagni, Elyse Levesque, and John Ralston; each offering their own unique character to this woeful endeavor.  Another reason “Ready or Not” excels is due to its violence, gore, and shock factor.  There are plenty of moments that will make you squirm in your seat, as well as surprises around every corner!  One scene in-particular had almost the entire audience wincing.

While the film is quite intense and gory, do not overlook its humorous aspect as well.  The film never takes itself dramatically-serious, which is another reason “Ready or Not” works on so many levels.  The suspense is relentless and the gore is heavy, but the levity balances it all out.  Throughout its 95 minutes, “Ready or Not” will leave you in shock, awe, disgust, and fear as the thrill ride rolls through this nightmare.  As long as audiences know not to expect award-winning acting or dialogue, they’ll be left thoroughly entertained.  It is incredibly reassuring to see that films like “Ready or Not” can still be made and, in my opinion, more of them are absolutely needed down the road as well.

“Ready or Not” is a gory, deliciously-entertaining thrill ride that is a blast from start-to-finish; an excellent B-movie that is destined for a giant cult following!

 3.5/5

READY OR NOT is rated R for violence, bloody images, language throughout, and some drug use, in theaters AUGUST 21ST!