Talking Movies

September 24, 2019

Ready or Not

Samara Weaving follows up McG’s The Babysitter with a considerably more tonally consistent horror-comedy from the directors of Devil’s Due.

Grace (Weaving) is getting married to Alex (Mark O’Brien). Alex is a scion of the fabulously wealthy Le Domas family, headed by Tony (Henry Czerny) and Becky (Andie MacDowell). Grace is unsure of her welcome to this dynasty. Aunt Helene (Nicky Guadagni) seems to silently hate her guts. Alex’s brother Daniel (Adam Brody) is creepily attentive, his wife Charity (Elyse Levesque) contemptuous; her default setting. Alex’s drug-addled sister Emilie (Melanie Scrofano) and her husband Fitch (Kristian Bruun) only finally arrive for the afters. But Grace feels wildly unwelcome when she pulls the wrong card from a vintage box for the wedding night ritual family game. Instead of cribbage or old maid she gets hide and seek. And when the family fortune derives from a pact to literally make devilishly good board games, hide and seek will be a lethal affair…

It is semi-remarkable that this is the work of directing duo Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, who made the found footage Rosemary’s Baby riff Devil’s Due that (apparently unwittingly) used the Euro sign as a Satanic symbol. Admittedly Ready or Not boasts a far better script, by Guy Busick (Urge) and (no, not that) Ryan Murphy, but it also looks gorgeous. Andrew M Stearn’s production design for the De Lomas mansion and grounds are lit by Brett Jutkiewicz to bring out the warmth of the wood panelling and lamps and to cast us into a more Fincheresque colour scheme outdoors. Meanwhile in support John Ralston as major-domo Stevens gamely plays a kitchen sequence of Hitchcockian delight and a truly delirious conceit that would do Scream proud; featuring the most improbable and incredibly inopportune rocking along to Tchaikovksy’s 1812 Overture imaginable.

4/5

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