‘Maybe we deserve to burn…’
More than any other genre, horror is an area where a whole franchise can rest on one solitary idea. What if there was a videotape that killed those that watched it? What if there was a murderer who could slay you in your dreams? What if millionaires make a blood sacrifice to keep their family wealthy? The last one is the basic thread that runs throughout Ready or Not. There are numerous horror films over the years that have shown us that just an idea is not enough. You still need clever writing and suspense and characters to root for. On these grounds, Ready or Not must be considered a success.
When Grace (Samara Weaving) marries into the wealthy Le Domas family, she doesn’t envision that a simple wedding night tradition of having to compete with the clan in same kind of game will end in a fight to the death. A starry supporting cast of Adam Brody, Andie MacDowell and Henry Czerny represent the chasing pack.
As discussed previously, this outlandish concept alone is not enough to make a great horror film. No, what makes Ready or Not truly memorable is a star turn from Weaving as the hapless protagonist, the lore and mythmaking built into the razor sharp script and the excellent work from the supporting cast, with Brody’s reluctant alcoholic perhaps the highlight. The cast generally seem to be having as much fun as the audience with the script achieving that elusive sweet spot somewhere between funny and frightening. As with Happy Death Day, this movie manages to weave together humour, gore and social commentary to produce a horror movie that is both compelling and unique.
While there is no sequel in development at the moment, don’t bet against Ready or Not becoming one of the next big horror franchises. As an audience, we will always be drawn to what happens in the corridors of power. Some pretty dark shit by all accounts…