'Ready or Not' Review: Samara Weaving is The Saving Grace of this Frustrating Hunting Expedition
Friday, September 13, 2019 21:35 IST
By Shaurya Thakur, Santa Banta News Network
`What happened to you?


Cast: SamaraWeaving, Adam Brody, Mark O' Brian, Andie MacDowell, Henry Czerny, Nicky Guadagni, Melanie Scrofano, Elyse Levesque, Kristian Brunn, John Ralston, Ethan Tavares, Liam McDonald, and Nat Faxon

Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillet

Rating: **

As it has forever been the rule, the strong have hunted the weak. We descended from Adam and Eve, equal in the eyes of our creator. All was fair and balanced until humanity got stung by the Darwinian notion of survival. It started a war, which expanded into a dog-eat-eat world. Soon, the world became divided into 2 camps- haves and haves not.

The fact that the rich run the world doesn't surprise anyone. They've taken themselves to be above everyone and everything. The world will only answer to them and shun the poor and working class. It is this kind of toxic privilege that leads the rich to believe that they can get away with anything, and given the current political, economic, and social climate we should be very, very terrified.

'Ready Or Not' is a film that doesn't shy away from establishing such inclinations from the get-go. The film shows the board-game industry titans Le Domas's family on a hunting expedition. Only, this hunt takes place indoors and the animal being hunted is an (ironically) a future son-in-law.

30 years later, a simple and unassuming Grace (Samara Weaving) will see the tragic history repeat itself on her wedding night. She is living a fairy tale- an orphan about to marry a prince charming who will take her to his royal family and there's going to be a happily forever after for them. But she hasn't reached the part where all doesn't seem so rosy suddenly.

There's something in the air and the Le Domas mansion that doesn't feel right. Words 'tradition' and 'games' pop up often, and have the opposite of the intended effect. Grace is happy and goes along with the aforementioned 'tradition' and 'games' to find acceptance. Soon, she is initiated at midnight and asked to draw a card. The card is of utmost importance as it will enable her future. She picks up 'hide and seek' from the strange-looking box while the family's patriarch breaks down the family's successful history.

Grace reacts by giggling, not knowing what Le Domas's rather macabre version of a supposedly simple sport is. Soon, Grace learns of the fact that she'll be hunted by her in-laws with a charming variety of weapons. Legend has it that she must be killed/sacrificed for the safety of the family. Le Domas is a family that is a stickler with 'traditions' and seek to keep their pact with the devil. It is from this moment her marital bliss ends. The only aim now is survival, as Grace looks to outfox the crazy Le Domas 'dominion' before the break of dawn as the gun-touting, sneakers-wearing bride gets ready for an unforgettable night of bloodbath.

First off, Samantha Weaving's performance is a killer as the F-word spewing, face-punching, and a total badass bride! She's no Beatrix Kiddo from 'Kill Bill' movies, but you stay with her right from the beginning to the end, invested in how she manages to evolve from a starry-eyed bride to someone who has embraced her primitive instinct and made out alive from death or life situation. In a rare instance, the smoke at the end feels well-deserved.

Sadly, Samara Weaving might risk an injury on account of carrying this disorderly movie. The script is muddled, unable to point to what genre it is trying to fit. It's too uninteresting to be a thriller as the story reveals its card way too soon. The horror element isn't broad and most of the time, interrupted by shaky cam. The comedy relies too much on the cursing and its flat-out evil members making dumb decisions. On paper, the horror-comedy troupe seemed solid, but the directing duo chose to focus on the exhausting social critique of privilege, power and gender roles. The script drags on, as time to time we are introduced to new twists that prolong the protagonist's misery. These feel frustrating to the point of nausea.

In the end, 'Ready or Not' is a bloody cocktail that doesn't satiate your thirst. Avoid it at any cost, whether it is served shaken or stirred.
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