Ready or Not, by Cameron J. Czaja

Whenever we hear the words “ready or not here I come,” we usually think of fond childhood memories of playing hide and seek. That isn’t the case for protagonist Grace (Samara Weaving) in Ready or Not (2019). Before I talk about this film, I should mention that Ready or Not, along with The Peanut Butter Falcon, hold a special memory for me that is associated with The Legionnaire. That’s because before I was invited to be on board writing for this great website, I did a double feature with those two films. The reason I chose to write a review for Ready or Not rather than The Peanut Butter Falcon is because I felt more inspired to write about Ready or Not.  It’s unique message is something you don’t often see in mainstream films. Before I discuss that part, let me describe the plot and tell you why this film should be worth your time.

In Ready or Not, a horror film, we follow Grace on her Wedding Day as she is about to marry Alex (Mark O’Brian), who is part of the Le Domas gaming dynasty. Grace is over the moon when her and Alex get married because she grew up in foster homes and now she has a family to call her own. Alex, on the other hand, is feeling hesitant but still carries on with the ceremony. Later that evening after the wedding the family gathers together and Alex’s father Tony (Henry Czerny) explains to Grace that the Le Domas ancestors made a deal with a man named Le Bail who helped build the Le Domas family fortune. The deal was that whenever there’s a new family member into the Le Domas household they have to play a game which has to be carried out before dawn. The game is decided by the Le Domas family puzzle box which contains a list of cards which each containing a different game. Tony also explains that once Grace does this, she’ll officially be part of the family. Grace respectfully agrees to this and to Alex’s horror she picks the hide and seek card. Tony explains that all she does is hide while the family (except for Alex) tries to find her. Sounds simple right? However, what Grace doesn’t know is that while she hides the family is actually gathering weapons to hunt her down and kill her. She eventually finds out their motive once one of the members of the family shoots one of the maids and from there Grace does whatever takes to survive the night.

The premise Ready or Not may seem dark and not something you want to watch with the entire family (then again it depends on the family), but for me it not only worked because of the horror aspect, but there were also elements of comedy that were well balanced with the tension throughout the film. 

If you judge Ready or Not solely by the trailer itself, then you might think this is a bland, run of the mill, cat and mouse chase flick. On the contrary, it has substances of family drama sprinkled in with bits of humor that made this film quite entertaining. In fact, there were some characters that I started to enjoy even though I was supposed to root against them because of their actions. What helps is the running time which is about an hour and a half. If it were a longer, say two hours, then the film would’ve tested my patience and had me checking my phone. Fortunately, though, just when I was about to do that I noticed that it was the end of the film and after that climax I’m not sure what else the film could’ve done.

One aspect of Ready or Not that I enjoyed were the repercussions for certain characters. I won’t go into spoiler territory but the repercussions are caused by the character I mentioned earlier which is Mr. Le Bail. The character in fact is an anagram for Belial, which is an old Hebrew word for the Devil. As Catholics we’re told to reject Satan and all his empty promises, however, the Le Domas family is not a Christian family and towards the end of the film you get to see some major consequences of what can happen when you make a deal with the devil. Again, I won’t go into spoil territory, but it’s not pretty.

Ready or Not is not a game changer when it comes to horror comedies. However if you want to watch it for pure entertainment and see the consequences of trusting the devil, then I highly recommend this horror flick. There may be some violent moments that some people will find disturbing, but if you can get past that then I’m sure that you’ll enjoy this horror flick.

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