“Ready or Not,” released on Aug. 21st, 2019, portrays the story of a newlywed bride (played by Samara Weaving) and the events following her wedding. It sounds ordinary enough, but the family of the husband, having made their success in the game industry, has a tradition.
Every time someone joins the family, the new member must pick a game to play at random. Unfortunately, the bride draws the card to play Hide and Seek. The situation quickly escalates when she realizes that she must survive until dawn as her new husband’s family stops at nothing to kill her before the sun rises over the horizon.
The first act is relatively weak in various ways. The love between the main character and her husband is believable enough, but the writing is generic and easily forgettable.
The introduction of the different family members ends up distracting from the main story rather than building it. After the father of the bride forcefully spoon-feeds the audience the exposition, those watching are nothing but anxious to see what they bought their tickets for: a suspenseful thriller film.
One feature of the first act that was well done was the music. The old classical and carnival game melodies combined to create a mood of lightheartedness with an ominous and foreboding undertone.
Amidst the rising action of “Ready or Not,” the movie is finally able to delve into what it was made to portray: thrilling suspense and violence. Thankfully, it did these things well for the most part. In fact, I became much more invested in the movie once it stopped trying to explain back story, and the sinister game of Hide and Seek began. The setting of the mansion is quite well built and extremely eerie.
The movie trips over itself however when it interrupts its suspense-building in order to express comedy. If all of the movie’s sub-genres worked together to create unity in the film, then there would be no problem. When it does become an issue is when the movie throws away all the suspense it had just spent ten minutes building up in order to show some generic and unamusing scene.
The movie does not know how to make the genres of suspense and dark comedy work together, and they end up clashing against each other, the result being that the movie does not use dark comedy nor suspense to their fullest potential. Continuity errors litter the film almost entirely.
It was through watching the goofy and nonsensical third act that I was able to form a final perspective, and an answer to the question “Should you watch this movie?” That depends. If you are searching for an illogical and ridiculous horror film in which you can laugh with your friends at its foolishness, “Ready or Not” aptly fits that description. If, however, you are looking for a film with quality writing, a compelling story and solid acting all around, this is not a movie for you. Watch it if you are looking for a fun time, not a quality movie.
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