Games are fun, right? With the right group of people there really isn't anything better than getting together and playing a game. Whether it be video games, board games, or something else, that feeling of togetherness and competition is one of the best. On the flip side of that, however, a bad group can totally ruin the experience. I'm sure we can all remember at least one time we had a bad gaming experience. Whether it's that guy in the DnD group who takes it too seriously, or any time we've sat down for a game of Monopoly (because let's be honest, who actually enjoys that game?) things can devolve from fun to furious pretty fast. Enter Ready or Not, a movie about a game of Hide and Seek that needless to say, is not a positive gaming experience for anyone involved in this film. I'm getting a little ahead of myself though so let's officially start the review. Spoilers ahead for this one, so go see the movie first if you care about that.
Ready or Not is co-directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, and co-wirtten by Guy Busick and R. Christopher Murphy. Starring Samara Weaving, Ready or Not follows a freshly wed bride (Weaving) as she, in an effort to be accepted by her in-laws, takes part in a family ritual that turns sideways real fast. When I first saw the trailer for this movie I thought it looked like a ton of fun, and then the early reviews came out with overwhelmingly positive critic scores. At the time of this writing Ready or Not is currently sitting certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with 87% critic approval. Needless to say, I had high hopes going into this movie and let me tell you, it did not disappoint.
The first thing I want to mention is the acting. The premise of this movie does not take itself seriously at all and the acting very much reflects that. The deadpan humor from Samara Weaving is spot on, and even the supporting cast is great. There is a lot of humor in Ready or Not and I love all of it. The story is very good too. Within the last few years we've come into a new generation of satanic panic movies, and Ready or Not fits very well into that camp. As the movie progresses we learn that this rich family that Weaving married into are actually devil worshipers and that they have to sacrifice her before dawn or they all die. The film does a good job of playing the "is it real or is it all made up" game until the very end of the movie when the family fails to sacrifice her and we get a definitive answer of "it's real" in the form of the entire family exploding one by one if a cloud of guts and blood. It is a little bittersweet. I personally would have preferred it to be nonsense but watching them all explode was both satisfying and hilarious, especially Weaving's one-liner of "I want a divorce" right before her husband explodes.
You could look at this movie purely at surface level and have a lot of fun with it, but this is horror so you know we've got to get that juicy social commentary in there. Ready or Not at its core is a pretty clever take down of both marriage as an institution and of the rich in general. It's often said that horror often reflects the political climate at the time and that has been very evident in 2019, first with Us, the unfortunately canceled The Hunt and now Ready or Not. It's these types of horror movies that have something to say on top of being an absolute blast to watch that I love the most. You can have horror just for the sake of horror and that's all well and good, in fact some of my favorite horror movies have no other purpose other than being a horror movie, but it's always a nice touch when your movie has a message.
Overall, I loved Ready or Not and it will certainly be on my list of top 10 favorite movies for the year, but I want to know what you think! Have you seen Ready or Not? If you read my review without seeing the movie did it sway you one way or the other? If you have seen it what did you think? Let me know down in the comments and keep an eye on the Man Corner because this was originally going to be another team up movie with Shane but with as long as it took him to get his review of Train to Busan up it might be a while before you see it on there.