'Ready or Not' – entertaining little movie, but no cult classic

By Eleanor Ringel Cater

The traditional vow, “Till death do us part” gains a new urgency for Grace (Samara Weaving), a bride who discovers how perilous a wedding night can be in “Ready or Not.”

A disposable, yet entertaining little movie that never quite manages the blend of slasher and satire it aspires to, “Ready or Not” does feature an admirable performance by Weaving (niece of Hugo) and enough twists to keep you interested (if not always amused or terrified).

A scene from “Ready or Not”

After bouncing among various foster homes, Grace thinks she’s finally found the security she’s always wanted when she marries Alex Le Domas (Mark O’Brien). Not only is he handsome and loving but his family is filthy rich, having made a fortune on games of all sorts.

That partially explains their unique family ritual. Every time a Le Domas gets hitched, the new spouse is expected to play a game. Said game, which is chosen at random by the newbie, could be anything from checkers to backgammon to Old Maid.

“Ready or Not” movie poster

Unfortunately for Grace she pulls the most dangerous game: Hide and Seek. She hides, and her new in-laws seek – armed with everything from machine guns to crossbows.

The premise is utterly preposterous, but somehow filmmakers Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin (part of the filmmaking collective, “Radio Silence”) manage to hold it together. And they’ve been blessed with a leading lady who knows how to wear a blood-smeared wedding gown with grace and style.

However, let me be clear: this is no cult classic.  It’s just an off-kilter throwaway that somehow manages to be better than it should be. And in late August, we need to be thankful for such small favors.

Eleanor Ringel, Movie Critic, was the film critic for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for almost 30 years. She was nominated multiple times for a Pulitzer Prize. She won the Best of Cox Critic, IMAGE Film & Video and Women In Film awards. An Atlanta native, she graduated from Westminster and Brown University. She was the critic on WXIA’s Noonday, a member of Entertainment Weekly's Critics Grid and wrote TV Guide’s movie/DVD. She is member of the National Society of Film Critics and currently talks about movies on WMLB and writes the Time Out column for the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

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