Ready Or Not movie review: Samara Weaving's horror comedy is subversive, self-aware and wildly fun

Mihir Fadnavis

Sep 13, 2019 11:17:07 IST

4/5

Language: English

Who’s up for a severely entertaining time at the cinema? Ready Or Not, a new horror comedy delivers the entertainment goods with style, passion and a deep dedication to bridging the gap between genre and mainstream filmmaking. You shouldn’t be wasting any more time reading this piece – you should be smashing the buy tickets button and hailing a cab to the nearest multiplex.

The film is directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett who have dabbled in cult horror classics like VHS and Southbound, and despite it being a relatively low budget flick the scale and craft is opulent. The plot is barmy – a young lady named Grace (Samara Weaving) gets married to the love of her life and finally arrives at his palatial ancestral home to meet the family, but just when the meet-and-greet turns festive, she realizes that the family is involved in murderous hunting games, and that she’s the prey.

 Ready Or Not movie review: Samara Weavings horror comedy is subversive, self-aware and wildly fun

Still from Ready Or Not's trailer. YouTube screengrab

It’s all fine-tuned to be subversive, self-aware and wildly fun. As Grace navigates through the house of horrors the violence becomes more and more comical, and the intrigue level somehow keeps escalating. It is, in many ways, a film that belongs in the same universe as Get Out, where a parallel is drawn between a wedding and nightmarish existential horror while also serving up some socio-cultural commentary. And despite the familiar atmosphere for those who have already watched films like Adam Wingard’s You’re Next where the prey becomes the hunter, there is so much originality seeping through the walls of the creepy house featured here. The pacing too is right on the money as the filmmakers don’t leave even a minute for you to contemplate going to the loo – a particularly appreciative facet considering the overlong nature of last week’s It sequel.

This is also a very good looking film and it’s once again nice to see horror made on this scale; the weapons used by the murderous people in the film are worth geeking over especially since the levels of absurdity they present are never scant. It does feel like video game boss fights at some points but that’s hardly a criticism when the action unfolding is so inventive and hilarious, and also backed up by thought-provoking drama.

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the arrival of Samara Weaving as the next big thing – this is an actress who has chosen small scale genre hits as The Babysitter and Mayhem and is a completely different character in everything she does, and yet is the most memorable aspect of the films. A physical resemblance to Margot Robbie aside, Weaving contains a darkly charming persona that is impossible to ignore, and she seems completely committed to the badassery of her role here. At no point is there a damsel in distress side to her character or performance, and the violence she exudes towards the villains in the film seems convincing and cathartic, and never forced. Without a doubt, this is a star-making turn and with her next project being a movie named Guns Akimbo coming out soon we should only expect more fun.

Rating: ****

Updated Date: Sep 13, 2019 11:25:09 IST