A bride’s wedding night takes a sinister turn when her eccentric new in-laws force her to take part in a terrifying game.
The Game Begins.
I haven’t really thought much about Ready or Not since I saw it last week which doesn’t reflect how I really felt about it. It was a lot of fun with a sublime performance from its lead Samara Weaving.
Grace has just married into a wealthy board game dynasty – the Le Domas family – much to their disapproval. Head over heels for her new husband Alex, our girl isn’t all about the money as the family suspects, but stability and love. Having been brought up in multiple foster homes, Grace just wants to be part of a family of her own and who can blame her? It’s just a shame she picked this one.
On the couple’s wedding night, Alex sheepishly announces a lifelong tradition – the family and their newest member must play a game at the stroke of midnight. It can be anything, chess, backgammon – HIDE AND SEEK – it all depends on the card the new bride or groom picks. Joined by Alex’s immediate family; his parents, siblings and their partners – he omits to tell his lovely bride (in the most gorgeous gown) just what could be at stake.
Alas, for the first time in years, Grace picks the card that will have her running – and hiding – for her life. But it’s okay because true love always wins, right? And she just has to survive until dawn when they can leave this family forever and go and start their new life together.
Throw in a little supernatural folklore, some very black comedy and a whole lot of weaponry – and this is going to be a night Grace doesn’t forget in a hurry. Unlike me, who’s already moved on.
Samara Weaving really is good. There’s not a moment I don’t root for her and want her to get away from that horrible family. The things she wants for herself are not so out of the ordinary and although the brief back story isn’t necessary, it does make her more sympathetic. Talking of pathetic, Alex (O’Brien) is a piece of useless shit from the get go – and how dare he? The only other relatable character I guess is Alex’s alcoholic brother Daniel (Brody), who has a habit of hitting on Grace and trying to avoid his gold-digging wife, who makes no bones about her reasons for being there.
Andie MacDowell shines as Becky Le Domas, a woman who faced the same challenges when she joined the dynasty back in her day, minus the crossbows and death. Aunt Helene (Nicky Guadagni) too is wonderful (black) comic relief as a victim of the last game of Hide and Seek. Her trauma however has solidified into a twisted allegiance with family tradition – could history repeat itself elsewhere in the bloodline?
There are a couple of bits that stand out, the accidental death of three nannies are creative and gratuitous but go somewhere to explaining the throwaway attitude to people and things the family really has. And I’m sorry but it is never not funny when a snotty brat child gets his comeuppance, not that I condone punching them in the face (IRL, anyway).
In a nutshell, this is a fun but ultimately forgettable horror romp with a very cool final girl – who might get another mention on this very blog, this very month – who knows? You’ll have to see if she survived the shortlisting.