Those Are the Rules

Ready or Not Review

Ready or Not poster

Too often have I been duped by film trailers. I can’t even recall how many times I’ve watched a teaser or full-length preview for a film to think I was going to get some awesomely entertaining film, only to have suffered through a laborious 90+ minutes. Fortunately for me, that is not the case with Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett’s Ready or Not.

The Plot

Grace has married the man of her dreams and wants to make a good impression on her new family. She isn’t officially a member of said family, however, until she takes part in their generations old tradition of playing a game come midnight. Now, Grace must survive the night in a deadly game of hide and seek.

My Thoughts

As I’ve already alluded to, I just knew I was in for a treat after my first glimpse of the trailer for 2019’s Ready or Not. Those few minutes showed me a promising cast, a unique storyline, and potential for lots and lots of bloodshed. Now, after two complete viewings, I can honestly say that this film has delivered all of that and much more.

Ready or Not is extremely entertaining from start to finish. It contains plenty of laugh-out-loud moments without ever venturing into obnoxious and juvenile comedic territory, but also excels in all aspects of the horror genre.

The wealthy Le Domas family made their fortunes in the gaming industry… or so the public thinks. Each dysfunctional member of the family has their own unique set of characteristics, allowing each to shine when the timing is right. The entire cast performed their roles flawlessly and there are literally zero weak links in this very talented chain.

Ready or Not still 1

Familiar faces like Adam Brody (Yoga Hosers), Mark O’Brien (Arrival), Henry Czerny (Mission: Impossible), and Andie MacDowell (Groundhog Day) all do a tremendous job as some of the key members of the Le Domas clan, but it is clear from the start that the breakout star throughout Ready or Not‘s 95 minutes is Samara Weaving.

I first became familiar with Weaving as Bee in 2017’s The Babysitter, another film which I greatly enjoyed, but it wasn’t until my first viewing of Ready or Not in the theater, that I knew her full potential.

This young actress has more range than most who have been doing it for much longer, shown perfectly throughout her progression in this particular film. Weaving’s Grace starts out as this giddy and excited bride-to-be, transforming into a terrified and confused house guest running for her life, finally ending as a rage-fueled madwoman who will do whatever it takes to stay alive.

Her acting abilities are greatly honed even for someone who has just truly started her career, and I’d be remiss not to mention that her on-screen screams are some of the most emotionally charged and guttural noises I’ve ever heard… and I absolutely loved every second of it.

Ready or Not at Home

While I am saddened by the fact that Ready or Not never received the 4K treatment it deserved, you can still enjoy the film on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital, available now from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

This gorgeous home release presents the feature-length film in a Widescreen 2.39:1 format with English DTS-HD master audio 5.1, English Descriptive Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby 5.1, and French Canadian Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks. There are also optional English, Spanish, and Canadian French (Quebecois) subtitles available for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Everyone who enjoys this film as much as I do will love the bonus material included on this home release, as they provide an even closer look at the behind-the-scenes stuff we all love so much. Let the Games Begin: The Making of Ready or Not, a gag reel, audio commentary with the production team and Samara Weaving, and more are all available.

Ready or Not still 2

The Verdict

There is no question that Ready or Not is one of my favorites to come out of the horror genre in 2019. It made me laugh plenty while remaining planted in the more serious side of things with its various horror elements, including impressive practical special effects to demonstrate the copious amounts of blood and gore shown throughout.

If you recall the setting and some of the more funny parts of 1985’s Clue and throw in the ruthlessness and horror of 2011’s You’re Next, you’re on the right track to reach the greatness that is Ready or Not.

Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, two-thirds of the collective known as Radio Silence, have done a tremendous job here. The team is not new to horror, having worked on films such as V/H/S, Southbound, and Devil’s Due. They’ve taken what they’ve learned on those projects and honed their skills even more to bring us Ready or Not and I cannot recommend it enough.

Grab yourself a copy of Ready or Not today, as I give it 5 gaming dynast… empir… dominions out of 5.

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