If there’s some joy to be had from the Disney-Fox merger, it’s that “Ready or Not,” a very bloody, excessively profane movie is being released under the former’s banner.
A thriller-comedy that combines the goofy, bloody fun of movies like “You’re Next” and “Game Night” with the trapped-door comedy of “Clue,” “Ready or Not” is a fun game with not much going on underneath the surface.
It opens with the future bride, Grace (the scene-stealing Samara Weaving), taking a drag on a cigarette, when her soon-to-be-husband, Alex (Mark O’Brien) catches her and joins in on the smoke. The latter is part of the Le Domas dynasty (or dominion, as they like to call it), a Milton Bradley-like wealthy family who has made a fortune off of board games and sports teams.
Alex is nervous, not because of the wedding, but that Grace will have to take part in the family tradition of playing a game with the rest of family after the wedding. Chosen at random, the games range from gin rummy to backgammon. Unfortunately, Grace is given a deadly game of “Hide and Seek,” where the other family members must find and kill her by sunrise or fall victim to an alleged curse.
Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (“V/H/S”), “Ready or Not” is high on violence and over-the-top performances and low on character depth. Characters exist to chase Grace around and occasionally get maimed, punched, crushed or choked to death.
While the premise has a lot of potential for some delightful, gory fun, it rarely reaches the zany heights of the movies that inspired it. The first half of the movie takes awhile to get off the ground, and the game often falters when trying to marry horror and comedy together, save for its insane finale.
While the film may stumble in its tone, the ensemble, which includes Adam Brody, Andie MacDowell, Kristian Bruun and Henry Czerny, does not. They’re having a blast trying to kill each other, either out of respect for the game or because they’re driving each other crazy.
I only wish they were given more clever dialogue or action sequences to make this as memorable as the movies that inspired it. Instead, it’s paper-thin thrills — a forgettable, albeit fun time.
- Andrew Gaug | St. Joe Live