Ready or Not is a real surprise packet. Starring Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O’Brien and a stellar supporting cast (including Henry Czerny and Andie MacDowell) it tells the story of the Le Domas family and its newest member Grace (Weaving). Marrying Alex (O’Brien), Grace feels hesitant about joining the Le Domas clan as they’re very much of the 1%. Her humble, foster family upbringing is at odds with the wealth and privilege of her new family.
It’s only amplified as the entire family comes together at midnight to play a game; a family ritual when welcoming a new member. Daniel (Brody) and his icy wife Charity (Elyse Levesque) clearly hate each other and drink through their resentment while brother in law Fitch (Kristian Bruun), sister Emilie (Melanie Scrofano) and their two sons treat life like one big party.
Alex’s parents Tony (Czerny) and Becky (MacDowell) and his aunt Helene (Nicky Guadagni) round out the group who solemnly sit at the game table as Tony tells Grace the story of the rise of the Le Domas family.
Ready or Not Review
Tony reveals that his great-grandfather was a merchant sailor and once on a journey he met the enigmatic Mr Le Bail. Le Bail promised the elder Le Domas that he would fund any venture he liked provided he could solve a puzzle box.
With the puzzle box solved Le Bail funded the Le Domas board game empire which grew into a billion-dollar business that now sees the family live in extravagant wealth.
When a new family member joins the family, a blank playing card is inserted into the box and when drawn, shows the name of the game the family will play.
Fitch and Charity tell Grace they when they played, they drew Old Maid and Chess respectively but Grace’s card reads ‘Hide and Seek.’ On drawing the card, the family, and Alex in particular fall silent. He begs Grace to meet him in his room and ushers her out.
As Grace sets about hiding, the family arms themselves with guns, crossbows, knives, axes and various other weaponry. As it turns out, Mr Le Bail was the Devil and the family entered into a pact with him to secure its riches. Now, when a new family member draws the Hide and Seek card, it means Le Bail wants the Le Domas family to make a sacrifice to him.
It’s at this point that film really gets going.
Ready or Not manages to walk the line between terror and comedy with ease. One moment you’ll be watching through your fingers as the tension is ratched up to 11 and the next, you’ll be laughing uproariously. It’s clear that Ready or Not has lots to say about the ever-widening gap between ‘normal’ people and the uber-rich.
The depiction of the Le Domas family as seeming normal on the surface but with despicable, satanic secrets lurking just beneath strikes a nerve. We all wonder what rich people are really like and we all secretly hope they’re weird and insane people who’ve lost touch with reality.
It has touches of Get Out but tells a very different story with very different motivations. Ready or Not is a twisted version of Cluedo and every Agatha Christie novel rolled into one.
Weaving is incredible as Grace and Adam Brody plays the alcoholic, yet redeemable Daniel with reliable excellence.
Grace’s struggle to survive the night is a frightening, funny and thrilling ride. Ready or Not is a lot of fun and well worth a night out for.
Leo Stevenson attended a screening of Ready or Not as a guest of Fox.
Movie title: Ready or Not
Movie description: EADY OR NOT follows a young bride (Samara Weaving) as she joins her new husband's (Mark O'Brien) rich, eccentric family (Adam Brody, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell) in a time-honored tradition that turns into a lethal game with everyone fighting for their survival.
Director(s): MATT BETTINELLI-OLPIN, & TYLER GILLETT
Actor(s): SAMARA WEAVING, ADAM BRODY, MARK O’BRIEN, HENRY CZERNY, ANDIE MACDOWELL, MELANIE SCROFANO, KRISTIAN BRUUN, ELYSE LEVESQUE, NICKY GUADAGNI