Ready or Not follows a new bride who is forced to play a deadly game of hide-and-seek on her wedding night. As her in-laws track her down through their massive mansion, she must find a way to survive the night or become the victim of a satanic ritual.
Ready or Not Review
I feel like it kind of snuck up on me, but the horror comedy has become a favorite subgenre of mine. From Tucker and Dale vs. Evil to The Cabin in the Woods, some of the most brilliant moments in horror since the turn of the century have been in horror comedies. They have thrills, they have laughs, they have rewatchability, and sometimes a deceptive amount of depth to the characters and commentary.
A good chunk of horror comedies take the safe route of satirizing the genre that allows them to exist. In many ways, the horror comedy got its running start on the backs of films like these. And while some are true gems, they do have a unique dependence on those films that came before them. That doesn't necessarily make them any less special, but there is an objective critique that can be placed on the originality of these films. But as horror has evolved, so has the horror comedy.
Many pieces have been used as a cultural commentary or critique. The movie Mayhem, in which an office building full of employees start tearing each other apart when their inhibitions are disabled, places a morbidly humorous shadow on corporate life. Ready or Not can be seen through this critical lens as well, but to a more subtle degree. It can easily be seen as a macabre caricature of adapting to and being accepted by your in-laws. Through this perspective, Ready or Not is a bit like a sadistic form of therapy as it takes this life obstacle to an extreme and violent degree.
Of course, it's worth mentioning that Samara Weaving was the star of Mayhem as well as Ready or Not and the Netflix original The Babysitter. She was stellar in all three and has developed a nice little niche in this world of horror comedy. Her ability to transcend seamlessly from innocent to bloodthirsty is shown to great acclaim in all three films. And I hope that this wonderful beginning to a fun career in this little subgenre.
Adam Brody shouldn't be dismissed either. Known most often in the horror realm for his role in Jennifer's Body, the actor puts together some of his best work in Ready or Not. His role as the drunken brother-in-law has more layers than anyone sans Weaving, and the film's depth is at its best when the two are on screen.
Ready or Not packs a punch and carries the balance of thrills and laughs perfectly, as a good horror comedy should. It is properly paced without lagging, and it doesn't allow its violence to sober the audience too much between genuine laughs. The film is a great romp as the summer begins to close out and deserves a watch...or two.
Horror Rating System
Horror Qualifier: 7/10
Horror Quality: 6/10 Film Quality: 7/10