Ready Or Not follows a young bride (Samara Weaving) as she joins her new husband’s (Mark O’Brien) rich, eccentric family (Adam Brody, Henry Czerny, Andie McDowell) in a time-honored tradition that turns into a lethal game with everyone fighting for their survival.
This deliciously diabolical sophomore feature, which hails from the resourceful low-budget trio known as Radio Silence, represents a departure for indie distributor Fox Searchlight, which has a real winner on its hands — that rare “Get Out”-like horror movie capable of delivering superficial diversion alongside deep cultural critique — but limited experience handling genre fare. To the extent, the now-Disney-owned specialty division resembles old-school Mira max, an offering this twisted would have fallen under Dimension’s aegis (the arm that handled films like “Scream”), and its success will depend largely on clever marketing.
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A word of warning: Searchlight’s red-band trailer effectively suggests the tone but gives away many of the film’s surprises, so go in blind (and come back to read this review afterward) if you’re sensitive to spoilers.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) August 12, 2019
At its most basic, “Ready or Not” concerns a high-stakes game of Hide and Seek, in which a clan of ultra-rich and extremely unscrupulous blue blood gang up to find — although “hunt” would be the better word — the newest addition to their old-money dynasty. The Le Dumas family has its reasons, which the movie establishes in graphic enough detail when the time comes, although our sympathies lie with outsider Grace (Samara Weaving), who knows as little as we do about her future in-laws going in, other than that they dress like vampires and call a creepy old castle home.
A foster child with no real family of her own, Grace figured she’d hit the jackpot when she met Alex Le Dumas (Mark O’Brien), unaware that the eligible bachelor could have such messed-up kin. To his credit, Alex tried his best to escape his relatives, but when Grace asked to get hitched, he had no choice but to observe their macabre conjugal tradition, whereby each new spouse must pass a kind of postnuptial initiation. Seeing as how Le Dumas’s made their fortune in the field of games, Grace considers it reasonable enough that she should be asked to draw a card.