Rich people are trying to kill you.
It doesn’t even matter if you put their interests ahead of yours in the voting booth like some weird political Igor. They want you dead. Don’t believe me? Okay, then Google “glaciers melting” and let me know how many pages of results you have to scroll through before you find a feel-good news story.
Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillet, Ready or Not is a comedy/horror flick about just how badly the rich want to straight up murder your ass. It’s not just another slasher film that kind of inverts the home invaders trope. Ready or Not is a brutally funny reminder that “old money” weenies have the power to decimate entire populations. At the end of the day, our lives are in their hands, and they’ve decided to crush us…but funny stuff! Yeah, let’s talk about the funny stuff. ..
Ready or Not spends 95 minutes torturing Grace (Samara Weaving), a blue-collar newlywed who marries into a white-collar family convinced they have to sacrifice her before dawn in an elaborate game of Hide and Seek. Maybe the only major element of the film I don’t like is the supernatural origin of this bizarre ritual. Just the fact that it’s a ritual, at all, sort of shoehorns these wealthy folks into killing Grace, instead of the rich family just gleefully deciding to kill her.
Call me old-fashioned, but I like my rich dickbags to hunt people for sport. The film makes the mistake of thinking we need a logic for the headhunt that ties into some grand mythology. Most people can make the leap “Oh, this marriage is a sham to lure a victim and they’re going to hunt her for sport because they’re rich, and that’s what rich people do” on their own. The supernatural stuff just feels awkward.
Once the hunt gets going, though, it’s pretty easy to forgive exactly why it’s going. The Le Dumas family are nightmare versions of Aaron Sorkin characters who react to the unrelenting horror of crossbowing people in the face as if throwing a fit because their Tesla app won’t load. It’s not too glib or slapstick, either. Ready or Not really isn’t that violent. But when it gets violent, it gets that violent. A lot of it actually happens partially off-screen, too, but I didn’t even really like hearing it.
This movie takes a bit more care to make sure its characters and tension are legit. My favorite is Kristian Bruun, who’s now officially the best actor in the world at playing white guys. He plays the rich son-in-law, Fitch Bradley, which is just the greatest name for a rich son-in-law. He could have so easily been just a nothing character, and he’s maybe my favorite horror movie villain I’ve seen in a really long time. I’d see a Fitch spin-off, I liked Fitch that much. Watching these people run around a house with battle-axes and cudgels is just endless class warfare fun.
Weaving goes all Cage Rage to balance the tension out with a scream-acting performance that’s convincingly furious. By the end of the movie, she’s just full-on growling at people and it’s amazing. I love it when my horror movie heroes get animalistic. After all, the famous phrase is “Eat the rich, before they eat your face.” I just made that last part up, literally right this second, but it’s nice to see Weaving exude that energy.
Rich folks want you dead, and Ready or Not lets you know it’s okay for you stop them…and maybe even mess them up a little bit along the way. But seriously, there’s a scene in this movie where someone gets a crossbow bolt in the mouth and it’s the worst. Just awful. Whoever designed the sound for Ready or Not had the idea to really capture the gurgling that would occur if a crossbow bolt was in your mouth. Good for you, sound team, for being great at your jobs, but gross.
Grade = A-