Ready or Not (I) (2019)
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97 parts "Get Out" 1 part Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" somehow 1 part "Midsommer" 1 part Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game" garnish with a sprig of "Eyes Wide Shut"
This delicious although admittedly 100% unoriginal cocktail could, possibly, make you howl with laughter at unintentionally funny dialogue or wooden acting or a somehow tonedeaf script or a horror comedy that has somehow managed to take itself too seriously (?) . If you drink more than one you will begin to boo hiss at every turn. Drinker beware!
The excessive comic relief scenes were completely unnecessary and made me cringe. I still don't get how/why movies try to incorporate comedy in horror films because they're two conflicting genres that defeat each other's purpose. What's worse is that the characters were extremely unfunny and the deaths were ridiculous, therefore taking away the fright factor (if it existed).
But the worst part has got to be the ending. So they were right all along and as a result, they all died in a comical way? Ha ha? We barely got to see any kills in the movie. Why kill all these characters in one stupid scene instead of using them to make a good horror film with several separate deaths.
Overall, the movie was absolute garbage. Seemed like a mix of Get Out and the Cabin in the Woods but A LOT worse. All the high ratings are probably from teenagers or people with low IQs that find comedic horror films 'entertaining'.
Samara Weaving plays a new bride marrying into an unusual family, who have board games on display in their hallways and taxidermied animals eating other taxidermied animals in their living room. However, she soon realizes that things are even darker than they seem, and she has to fight to survive her wedding night.
Unfortunately, that's about as much as the plot is developed. The movie could have been a satire on family dynamics or class, or maybe it could have pushed the absurdist elements to the forefront (instead of leaving that for the ending, which was just weird enough that it almost worked), but instead the flimsy plot is treated as an excuse to run through shock-value violence in which every meaningless death (most of them women) is treated as a punchline. Someone in my row walked out shortly before the end; I should have walked out long before.
Although the great cast gives it their all, they are given little to do other than scream and run. A deeply upsetting and shallow movie.
Poor girl marries into rich family who have a ritual for anyone joining the family to play a randomly selected game. Poor Grace gets the 'Hide and Seek' card, which means the rich folk (including young grade school age kids) hunt her with the intent to kill her.
The film started quite earnestly in trying to be a creepy weirdo family house of horrors and rapidly descended into vacuous exhibition of digital gore. People in the cinema were laughing out loud most of the way through, and not in a good way!
I only went to see this as an Odeon 'screen unseen' in the U.K. and because I have a cinema pass. If I had paid my £14 for a ticket, I would have been very unhappy about it. As it was, my companions got in for £5 each, which is all this film is worth.
If you've seen a genuinely scary film, you'll want to give this a miss. The moniker of 'comedy' is more apt than 'suspense, horror, thriller' as shown on IMDb.
Save yourself the money, and have a giggle at this when it arrives on satellite TV.
Problems: 1. This is probably the most undeveloped main character I have ever seen. You learn almost nothing about her history or desires, which makes it really hard to care about her more than the fact she's being chased by murderers. Most of the characterization and time is spent with the family members, who are the villains, and almost all of them are pathetic.
2. The profanity in this film is over the top. The characters probably swear twice as much as a Tarantino film, and with a lot less creativity or impact. It would be funnier to hear the "blue-blood" family start swearing once things start getting so bad for them, but all of them are swearing left and right from the beginning of the film so there's no escalation that makes the profanity interesting.
3. The film teases out a class struggle at the very beginning, with the protagonist concerned about marrying into this upper crust family, but along with the swearing from #2 these family members really don't act very high class at all, the main character Grace has a posh accent that doesn't make her come off as lower class, so this plot/theme goes nowhere at all.
4. It looks like the filmmakers were trying to make this more realistic at times (but not consistently so), so the main protagonist has no special combat skills, ingenuity, or athletic ability. As a result, too many of her "successes" are pure luck or someone doing something stupid. As a result, this film pits the Unremarkable vs. the Unintelligent. This isn't that exciting.
5. There are really very few interesting set pieces, probably due to lack of imagination or funds. The action appears in short, boring bursts, and there's no visual wow factor. You get the feeling they didn't have much in the way of stunt coordinators.
6. A related problem is that you never get a good perspective of the mansion or grounds, and with characters wandering in and out of the plot at random, you never get a really good perspective of how difficult it would be to "seek" Grace. The film just meanders from room to room, and the tension of the hunt just dissipates as a result. I'm guessing they just didn't have the funds to acquire a good interior location for the set.
THIS FILM IS NOT RECOMMENDED.
IN BRIEF: This newlywed game is an awful horror film that dispatches its dark comedy origins more quickly than its bloody victims.
JIM'S REVIEW: Summer 2019 was the bleakest of times...hurricanes destroying the lives of many survivors, mass shootings with no gun regulation in sight, a roller-coaster of a economy due to unnecessary trade wars, an unhinged president...and one of the most disappointing movie roster to ever (dis)grace the tarnishing silver screen. Take your pick, which was the worst...all were bad news. Let us beg the gods above that September brings with it an autumnal bounty of good news.
That said, my first fall film experience is Ready or Not, a slice-and dice horror send-up about the trials and tribulations of matrimonial bliss when one is confronted with in-laws whose sole purpose is to play a game I would like to called Kill the Bride. This wealthy family has a tradition of playing games like hide-and-seek on one's wedding night to welcome the newest member to the family. So let the games begin, of course, at the stroke of midnight.
Yes, you might say that the premise is very far-fetched and ludicrous. You could say that I knew what I was about to see from the trailer. And I would wholeheartedly agree with your statements. But my hopes as a reviewer were still high, if a bit naive as our plucky heroine, that this strange little movie might have a sharp (literally) comic edge about its satirical subject, playing up the dark humor and downplaying the gore. No. Instead it was just a very bloody version of Clue with various killings and assorted weapons used by deranged members of this dysfunctional family in the conservatory or in the dining room. (Everyone, of course, has the poorest of aim, little vision, or any semblance of reality or character development. And now, I'm talking about the directors and its screenwriters. Let's place the blame directly at them: Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillert never find the right tone in this macabre mishmash and writers Guy Busick and Ryan Murphy only celebrate predictability with their contrived concept and just cannot create believable characters or clever dialog. The twist ending is more absurd than expected and a real letdown.)
The actors range from deserving of better material to find another job ASAP. Samara Weaving (a Margot Robbie wannabe) plays Grace, the woeful bride. At least, this actress has some screen presence as does Mark O'Brien as Alex, the hapless groom. One actually pities this talented actors who deserve a better way to make a living, As Alex's brother, David, Adam Brody has his moments but is rather bland. From there, it gets worse: Henry Czerny, usually a fine character actor, is at his hammiest and has done far better work than this shlock suggests. That Andie MacDowell is part of this misfire only adds to the disappointment and confirms that what happens to actresses in their elder years does indeed qualify for elder abuse. Granted, the script is a mess and it is difficult to tell if it is the fault of the actors or the badly-written characters they play.
The rest of the supporting cast is ghastly in their roles and they appear to come off as strictly amateurs in this movie. They all seem to be directed to perform like a live action Addams Family knock-offs without the make-up or wit, although Nicky Guadagni as Aunt Helene is cartoonish enough. (Some advice to all of the the ensemble: Your dedication to your craft is admirable. But, perhaps, your desperation to be a part of this biz we call show outweighs your better judgement. Ask yourself if you really want a film like this to be part of your legacy when doing your next venture. Plus, find a better agent.)
For the record, Grace's white wedding gown turns a nice shade of deep crimson by the film's third act, if you care by then. (And those final scenes are unintentional laughable as the film veers into supernatural territory.) The body count continues to rise as servants and kin are dispatched with glee. The violence ranges from stabbings, impalements, beheadings, and gruesome shootings. The weapons include axes, cross-bows, rifles, pistols, and knives.
How this movie merited some critical praise (and it did) is baffling! The suspense is nil, with nary a scare or a laugh, although the directors have an obsession for close-up gore and torture, believing that blood-drenched corpses gurgling their last gasps of life constitutes a horror film nowadays. Need I say more.
Ready or Not is more not than ready. No RSVP is needed. Just avoid this wedding party at all costs.
Ah, Autumn! Have you already forsaken me!