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Ready or Not

Movie Review “Ready or Not”

If you’re a newlywed (or in a relationship, for that matter) and you’re invited to participate in a ritual or some sort of family tradition, if Midsommar didn’t set you straight, then Ready or Not certainly should deliver the goods. Poor Grace (Samara Weaving) has married Alex Le Domas, scion (Chase Churchill) of an uber-wealthy family, in a wedding held on the family estate. No sooner is Grace about to seal the deal when La Domas Interruptus enters in the form of Aunt Helene and the announcement that Grace must participate in a tradition held for new Le Domas family members. It seems harmless enough—all she has to draw a card and that’s the game that will be played. If you’re thinking she’s going to pick backgammon or Trivial Pursuit…well, what’s the fun in that? She picks the card that should not be picked: hide and seek. And what Grace believes will be a harmless game becomes much, much more…

Ready or Not, written by Guy Busick and R. Christopher Murphy, and directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, benefits from some helpings of dark humor (could have been more generous in that department), a few effective shocks (occasionally intertwined with the humor), social commentary (oh those rich are much different from you and me—especially if they’ve got someplace to hide the skeletons); and a number of standout performances.  Adam Brody impresses as the conflicted brother Daniel, while Chase Churchill also does a good job of making us wonder where the groom’s sympathies lie. Andie MacDowell excels as Mama Le Domas, who makes mother love seem like a curse to be avoided at all costs. Most importantly, Samara Weaving’s Grace credibly progresses from loving albeit bewildered bride to a “badass” in the Sarah Connor mode—Weaving  gives us a vulnerable yet resilient heroine to root for. The film would be much less without Weaving—and she flawlessly delivers the fitting last line.

Mike Peros

Author: Mike Peros

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