Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (director)
Disney Pictures (studio)
95 Mintues (length)
23 September 2019 (released)
17 September 2019
READY OR NOT comes off the back of a host of horror commentary films. From GET OUT, which was a commentary on race in America, IT FOLLOWS a commnetary of gender and sexuality and of course, family values commentary film A QUIET PLACE. However what READY OR NOT is looking to discuss is affluent, landed money in Trumps America. Le Domas family are a national board and hand game creator. They have millions in the bank and a legacy of making the most of investments. Their manison home is a castle in the perfectly manicured surrounds of a rich area. Metal fences block the undesired.Alex (Mark O'Brien) their estranged son is back from his life on the outside. He is in love with Grace (Samara Weaving) and is about to marry her. After the service at the Le Domas estate, the newly weds are told to meet for a family initiation. Grace is required to draw a card from a mysterious wooden box and play the game written on the card. When she draws Hide and Seek from the box, the family will play the game...to death.
READY OR NOT is not the best in class with the whole social commentary on the rich in horro films. It doesnt even get within the top five in truth. The People Under The Stairs, Near Dark, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dawn Of The Dead and SOCIETY are all far better filmed pieces. The closest film that connects these is SOCIETY. That was a bold take on the hostility to movement within the class system. It also played with how class deforms people. READY OR NOT looks at this and sees this deformation. It uses intellegence to settle the balance between seriousness and splatter however. Its first act is a blend of visual exhuberance (filmed with punch by Brett Jutkiewicz). The black comedy at its start, gives way to colder emotion. Its this that makes the film slip away from being brilliant and head toward the standard definition of horror cinema. The lack of gauge here is not as much due to the script ( written by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett). It ranges well between the harsh horror and social snobbery. More the issue is that direction. Gore scenes are executed with savage delight but this blends into laboured scenes, when it is dragged out. Jokes are plainly played when following on from others. Then in places the focus on tension is streched to a wafer thin event. The power is lost because of it and you find yourself looking for the scenes lovely photography. I was reminded by the brilliantly under rated Christian Slater film VERY BAD THINGS. Like that, READY OR NOT achieved lots. Unlike that, READY OR NOT is far too long and flattens out in its finale. What they share together is that both are a splatter hounds delight....