Ready or Not (2019) Review

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A simple game of hide n’ seek sets the stage for the main plot of this movie. There are comedic moments and some truly sad family moments, most of which is actually forgotten about due to the intense horror brought to this children’s game. No, this isn’t just a Tag or Game Night type of movie. It’s far more to the opposite of what those were, this takes that concept but goes full horror and gore with it in a way that instantly makes me think of the similarities between it and Get Out which was just released two years ago…I managed to keep away from watching any trailers for this and going solely based on word of mouth from a friend who kept recommending it to me, so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect and now I’m not sure exactly how I feel about it.

The biggest instant takeaway for me is that with the overall horror genre becoming more quality loaded for the most part in the last few years, even I wasn’t expecting the performance brought by Samara Weaving who plays our main character Grace. The setup is that Grace is getting married to Alex Le Domas played by, Mark O’Brien, at his parents mansion. After the wedding, she is told by Alex that the family tradition is that they play a game together as a family. So far so good, no big worries yet, seems simple enough…Except for when she draws a card and its revealed that they will be playing hide n’seek. You instantly feel a dread come over all of the family member’s and her unknowing to what is actually about to happen makes that same dread start to hit you as you eagerly and cautiously await for the twist or reveal to hit. It doesn’t take long before the first kill happens, completely by accident but very graphic nonetheless. It’s at this point that I really had a good grasp of what the whole movie was going to be like.

The star of the movie Samara Weaving, gives a career performance not on an award winning level but in a way where she outshines the film itself. The movie and story almost doesn’t deserve the acting that she is able to put out there. Again I’m not saying that its anything best of the year worthy, but just a performance that came out of nowhere for an actress that is up and coming. This performance is just the kind that will get her more auditions and people to give her more of a look and positivity about bringing her on to a new project. The rest of the cast is rounded out by a bunch of actors that I kept trying to figure out where I knew them from. All of them gave a great turn as an Agatha Christie novel type mystery family that you could even compare to the family of Knives Out. They all have their little quirks and moments with different personalities and flair for each one, just enough to keep you caring about what everyone is doing. In the end, none of them compare to Samara Weaving, but they all hold their own to keep me interested.

While this is a good horror movie, it does have its issues. Some of the issues may be some things that a few years ago I wouldn’t have been as picky about except for the fact that horror movies have been getting better each year, so I’ve been slightly more critical lately of the genre and rightfully so. My biggest issue that kept hitting me over the head was how similar it felt to Get Out. An outsider is brought into the significant others family expecting one thing only for the family to twist on them and become a family of violence and murder and psychotic traditions. I have no problem with movies using similar plot points and ideas, but where the similarities become a problem in this case is that Get Out was just released two years ago and was a Best Picture nominee at the Oscars. Its fresh in the mind and an overall best movie of 2017, so when being hit over the head with the comparisons while watching Ready or Not, I couldn’t stop feeling like “this is good, but Get Out just did it better”. It’s fair but not fair. I look at this movie as its own thing and I very much enjoyed it and had a lot of fun with it, but at the same time it’s just hard not to think about how similar the two movies are and how I wish they maybe would have waited a few more years.

In the end, this is a fun and somewhat comedic horror that uses a fairly simple premise set up the whole movie and it lives up to what it gives you. With an ending that was even surprising given how much you’ve seen up to that point that far differs from Get Out, I still feel that it may have been risky to release this with Get Out being so fresh in mind. They have many differences balanced by the that many similarities, but if you’re a fan of Get Out or the horror genre in general than you will definitely have a good time watching this. It’s entertaining and loaded with some interesting personalities all on the back on someone that you should be watching out for in Samara Weaving. Given the opportunity, she will become a bigger name in the years to come and you may be looking at this movie as the main launchpad for the turn her career will probably take.

Grade: B-

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