Marriage is a hard thing. That’s coming from someone who has been married for five, going on six, years. I love my wife to death. She is absolutely my best friend. Though, the process for planning our wedding was one of the hardest seasons in our relationship. We had a long engagement – a year and a half. During the planning process, I was constantly trying to get my ideas to show up in the final result. I lost every battle but a few. My half of the wedding cake was gothic for Gotham City, fully equipped with a Batman logo. Plus I go tot pick what the bridal party walked down to. Not bragging but it was “I Am Clark Kent” by Hans Zimmer – from the Man of Steel soundtrack. Which is ironic, considering how much more I love Batman than Superman. Marriage has been the best season of my life though.
The first night of marriage is usually the exploration of each other’s wonderlands. Sorry, I just felt compelled to make that John Mayer reference there. Laughs awkwardly. If you’re in the Le Domas family, the first night of marriage is something else entirely. In order to be apart of this family, you have to survive the initiation of playing a game at random. Only for Grace, played by Samara Weaving, a simple kid’s game gets turned into life or death. Ready or Not has some issues establishing itself within the first act. There are several moments that feel more like filler than actual narrative. Sure, have the exploration of the wedding. However, it’s the actual transition to the game night and the introduction of the family that feels oddly out of place.
Though it’s a very small complaint to make once you experience Ready or Not. The cinematography of the film, by Brett Jutkiewicz, is overflowing with vibrancy. The visual nature alone of the film carries a timeless aspect to it that’s hard to describe. Ready or Not looks as if it could have opened up next to 1974’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. In some aspects it feels nostalgic, as if it could have been a grindhouse film in a previous life. When it’s accompanied by the directing duo of Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett the atmosphere created is only solidified that much more.
As beautiful as it is to look at, the film is led brilliantly by Weaving. She dispenses an electricity in every frame she enters. Her slow demise from funny and charming to scared and ultimately, fearless is absolutely incredible. Weaving is expertly utilized as charming and comedic. Though she’s not alone in that regard. The film is riddled with efficiently used humor throughout the film creating a return appeal for future viewings. Ready or Not seems to carry with it a twisted sense of humor but a hidden brilliance in its placement. After all, the trick with comedy is timing. The Le Domas family has this to offer and so much more.
Adam Brody is another fantastic addition to the cast. Brody plays Daniel, Weaving’s brother-in-law. He’s only matched by Mark O’Brien, Weaving’s husband. Who doesn’t have a whole lot of screen time but is skillfully used with his time. O’Brien ignites a fire on screen with both Brody and Weaving crafting serious chemistry. Not to mention the film boasts performances from veterans like Henry Czerny and Andie MacDowell. While beautifully performed, you’ll be thanking your lucky stars this isn’t your family, parents or in-laws.
Overall, Ready or Not, is as beautiful as a bride. Visually the film carries a warmth that would make 1974’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre blush. A vibrant color palette and well-shot film with tremendous acting from its’ lead in Samara Weaving. The duel directing of Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett create an intense and hauntingly funny horror film about the horrors of marriage. Weaving leads the charge with her utter charm, dry sense of humor and strength – making her a truly one of kind leading lady this summer season. Ready or Not is an odd mix of dark comedy and horror that marry beautifully. Who says opposites don’t attract?
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Credits: Ready or Not is property of Fox Searchlight Pictures. We do not own nor claim any rights. Music by Beggars. Art by Candice Comerelli. Logo by Dallas Mora. Promo by Ghosts of the Stratosphere, Creature Feature Weekend & Brooke Reading Podcast.