Ready or Not (2019)



“If it gets your family to accept me, I will play the sh*t out of checkers. I’m really good at it.”“If it gets your family to accept me, I will play the sh*t out of checkers. I’m really good at it.”

“If it gets your family to accept me, I will play the sh*t out of checkers. I’m really good at it.”


Let’s play a little game, shall we? No, not that one, a different one. This is a classic childhood game with a mix of most dangerous game mixed into it. To think this is what people do who have a stupid amount of money. But this kind of game is strange and unpredictable especially when other family members who passed their rite of passage tell their story of how they were accepted into the Le Domas family and with which game. 

The creators leave it up to the audiences’ imagination to put the pieces together. Did every family member go through what Grace (Samara Weaving) is about to endure for the next few hours no matter what card and game they pulled? Grace isn’t like the rest of the family she is marrying into. She doesn’t have a stable home life – she grew up in foster homes where she grew up learning the toughest lessons life could throw at her at an early enough age. Knowing that little bit of information should be enough for any Le Domas to realize that Grace isn’t your average damsel in distress.

Don’t get me wrong, she’s still a damsel in distress but she isn’t completely helpless either. Grace is probably the most capable of handling this game even with knowing absolutely nothing about the tradition. It would be nice of her new husband Alex (Mark O’Brien) to inform her, but he doesn’t, and she actually is forgiving about that when others who married into the family were warned. This should be the first sign that he’s a complete a**hole. Now imagine if Grace was armed with this information and given an opportunity to plan ahead instead of reacting to what’s happening as the night progresses, that’s a scary thought. 

“It’s not too late to flee, you know. You don’t belong in this family. I mean that as a compliment.”

The Le Domas family are spooky to put it nicely. They are the real worlds Addams family in look and stature. They appear to be welcoming and friendly but as the film goes on all just end up as pawns in a satanic cult. They have a goat farm – that should be enough indication of who these people are. The family consists of Daniel Le Domas (Adam Brody) who insists that this isn’t personal and it’s just an exercise to see if she’s a gold digger. Grace’s in-laws Tony (Henry Czerny) and Becky (Andie MacDowell) and their coked up daughter Emilie (Melanie Scrofano) prove that their legacy and tradition come before literally anything else in this world.

As the game progresses the more out of control things become. The Le Domas manner is equally as terrifying as Helene’s (Nicky Guadagni) hair and makeup. The amount of corridor’s and hidden rooms make it almost impossible to navigate if you’ve never been there, but Grace seems to have studied the blueprints off screen in her spare time of hiding from a family of murderous psychopaths. The domino effect of death is quite funny as Emilie is the one who makes the game winnable for Grace. Cameras are turned off; all entryways are locked from the outside for no escape. If Grace can survive till dawn, she’s a true Le Domas. It’s probable the Le Domas clan all chant “One of Us” repetitively as new members are added and accepted. 

The tradition is at stake but because this family is completely narcissistic the “if we don’t kill her, we all die” is more obscure at first but once Grace escapes the house and finds the stable of goats, it becomes easier to believe. There are a few things in action/thriller/horror movies that can make an audience feel the pain that the character on screen is suffering. For me it’s a ragged nail sticking out. John Krasinski put a similar scene in A Quiet Place where Evelyn walks downstairs into a basement barefoot and steps on a nail. I felt that then, and I felt that when Grace is climbing out of the disease infested pit of rotting dead bodies and palms the nail on her already wounded hand. 

“When you marry into this family you have to play a game. And if you don’t, you die. I know that sounds crazy, but you have to believe me, it is real. It happened to my great-uncle. He got married, he didn’t play a game, next morning, he died. His wife too. Same thing happened to my cousin Rachel. Same thing happened to a bunch of people that I never even met before. You just, you have to play.”

It’s the type of feeling that’s hard to explain but a cold sweat and shivers will run up and down your entire body. Even though you can see it coming, it’s still hard to watch but you can’t look away. If Grace could survive that, she could last the night and become part of the family. As the film progresses into the more cult and satanic side of things, the script doesn’t feel as tightly wound as the first two acts. It feels unnatural to the progression of the story and characters and it would have been better suited to just be a story of survival. 

Daniel’s redemption is genuine as he became the black sheep of the family. He doesn’t care about tradition or legacy. His motivation is to help Grace in any way he can (although he takes his time with his turn on his family), Where Alex’s deception could be seen a mile away. 

Is it just me or is there a huge missed opportunity to use the Fugees song “Ready or Not” in this film? no, just me, I guess that’s the music supervisor in me.

Overall, Ready or Not is a bloody fun time. It portrays the class system in an outrageous way, but it makes you think is this how the one percent really spend their time – one can only imagine. It’s not too far-fetched of a thought. Samara gives an incredible performance mirrored by Adam Brody. As much as we feel bad for her that her new husband is a total a**hole, you root for Samara to kick that much more ass. Even with the satanic cult mixed in, this is a very enjoyable film for horror and thriller fans alike. If I were to rate Ready or Not, I’d rate it a 4 out of 5. If you get handed a crossbow, googling how to use it is probably your best bet. 

So, tell me guys, have you seen Ready or Not and if so, what do you think about it? Do you agree or disagree with me? Comment below or send me an email and let me know what you think. 

Ready or Not is directed by Tyler Gillett & Matt Bettinelli-Olpin is Rated R and has an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes. Ready or Not was released on August 22, 2019 and has a runtime of 1 hour and 34 minutes. Ready or Not can be bought by online retailers such as iTunes, Google, Amazon and Vudu.

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*I do not own these photos used in this article; all rights reserved to the copyright holder*

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