Subverting Ready Expectations
Review: Ready or Not
Starring Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, and Andie McDowell
Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett.
Along with the likes of Knives Out, Ready or Not is part of a new movement in recent films: deeply satirical and anti-rich, these films depict the wealthy in a less-than-admirable way, skewering the way that society is so often expected to give them deference. More than this, the film proves to be entertaining.
The film centres on Grace (Samara Weaving), who has just
married into the le Domas family, a wealthy group that made their money through
board games…and a centuries-old pact with a seemingly demonic figure. As part
of the family’s archaic traditions, in order to be accepted as one of them,
Grace must go through an initiation that involves playing an old parlour game. Choosing
a card at random that decides what game she must play, Grace is surprised to
find that the game in question is hide and seek. The twist on the game, however,
is that the family will try to kill her when they find her as they believe that
failing to do so will result in their deaths.
Ready or Not stands as an example of a film that successfully leans into its premise. The filmmanages to take the more ridiculous aspects of its scenario and play these for laughs. The clueless brother-in-law who has to constantly search YouTube for guides on how to say, use a crossbow, is one particularly iconic example among many.
As the body count rises, and the family treat “the help” as expendable, we see the filmmakers’ true intent in twisting the notion that the wealthy are anything to particularly aspire to. On the other hand, the admirable characters turn out to be the ones the viewer expects the least.
While Ready of Not is commendable, it is far from a perfect film. Grace is altogether quick to adapt to the violence around her to an extent that stretches suspension of disbelief. This, it should be noted, does not reflect the quality of Samara Weaving’s performance, which should deservedly launch her career into Hollywood’s upper echelons, ironic as this would be coming from as deeply subversive a film as Ready or Not.
Ready or Not is a deeply subversive and hilariously violent film. As such, it’s style won’t appeal to everyone. While the screening where Insights saw the film had much of the deliberately over the top violence met with laughter, viewers’ mileage may vary.
Ready or not is available now on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon Prime.