Ready or Not Review: Best Hide and Seek Game Ever

The rich are just different, you know? This is an assertion stated as if it were a badge of honor by one of the Le Domas in Ready or Not. And given that this wealthiest of families made their fortune from game hunting, shrewd business practices, and the occasional human sacrifice to Old Scratch, we’re inclined to agree. There is something quite off about these folks.

As a movie that intends to speak to our times (and likely any other) of extreme income inequality, Ready or Not is a gonzo bloodbath about the most thrilling round of hide and seek you’ve ever seen, one where the stakes are life, death, and eternal damnation… maybe? It’s not really clear on that last bit since even members of the Le Domas doubt the family history about a deal with the Devil, but their dedication to carrying on with tradition creates a horror-comedy rife with political allegory that’s as pointed as the axe used to remove a maid’s head. Yet it’s when the movie revels in this gruesome giddiness, as opposed to commenting directly on privilege, that Ready or Not makes a far better investment in becoming a budding cult classic.

Set on the the best and worst day of Grace’s life, we find the bride-to-be a little apprehensive about her dream wedding in a remote manor. Played with a discreetly wounded excitement by Samara Weaving, Grace has never been one for big family gatherings. So when she apparently proposed marriage to her beau Alex Le Domas (Mark O’Brien), she probably didn’t realize that his wealthy family insists that all Le Domas weddings be formal affairs on their ancestral grounds. In fact, there is a lot Alex didn’t tell Grace. For instance, every time the Le Domas add a new member to their family via marriage, they are required by a deal their 19th century forebearer struck to play a game selected by a box of chance. In most instances, this leads to an awkward but harmless evening of “Old Maid” with the in-laws. Grace isn’t so lucky.

She pulls the one game card that no Le Domas wants to play, but most eagerly accept the terms of. It’s a version of hide-and-seek where, in the case of Grace, the bride must stay hidden until dawn or be sacrificed to Satan by her in-laws, who include dapper father Tony (Henry Czerny), intimidating mother Becky (Andie MacDowell), and a slew of overly friendly brothers and sister-in-laws, the only one of whom Grace likes is Daniel (Adam Brody), the sardonic underachiever. Of course none of them tell Grace they’re hunting her for sport; she just kind of figures that out after 1800s revolvers and crossbows start firing in her general direction. Once the fateful card is drawn, Alex alone stands by his wife and tries to help her escape the estate, but let’s just say the groom has a lot of explaining to do if she survives this night.

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