The Grump Of Horror Reviews ‘Ready Or Not’

After marrying into a family that owns a gaming company, a young woman has to play a game to be fully accepted by them, which leads to a terrifying night of Hide & Seek…

Look at that poster. Really look at it. Looks like it’s going to be a Battle Royale type of film doesn’t it? And then the trailer gives you more of an indication of what the film is going to be like, a potentially fun romp of action inside a country house.

It’s a shame then that the film doesn’t live up to either.

To be clear, it’s not a bad film. The film is written by Guy Busick and Ryan Murphy and is often quite funny in places. The directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett direct the film well, staging the action and violence well, again with some good moments of humour.

The cast are great. Samara Weaving plays Grace the newly wed young woman playing the game and she is very good indeed, forced to fight to stay alive. Adam Brody play Daniel, a member of the family who tries to help Grace and doesn’t really want to play. Henry Czerny and Andie MacDowell play the head of the family, Mark O’Brien plays Grace’s new husband and Nicky Guadagni plays the terrifying Aunt who doesn’t trust Grace from the very beginning. They and the rest of the cast are pretty good.

There is a lot to like here. It’s funny in parts, the action good and the climax is, to put it mildly, bloody as hell. I really liked the film.

But in a way, the fact I only liked it speaks volumes. I wanted not to just like it, I wanted to love it. So why didn’t I?

This brings me back to what I said about the poster. You are expecting Grace to fight back, fire with fire so to speak, yet she never really does. A lot of the film is spent with her being chased. When she does fight back, she certainly doesn’t do it as the image on the poster does. I think the film doesn’t make the best use of its premise.

I realise this does sound petty perhaps, faulting the film for not living up to an image. But, it’s one that makes look like it’s going to be a fun action horror type film. I was hoping for another Secret Santa type of film, one that, to be frank, was bat-shit crazy. Sadly, I thought Ready Or Not, played it a bit more safe. That is a shame as the ending, where it does indeed his the bat-shit levels, is what I wanted more of in the film.

Ready Or Not, as I mentioned, isn’t a bad film. Despite my own issues with it, there is a lot to like here. The cast are good, it is funny and the violence suitably nasty in places. But I wanted to like it a lot more than I did.

That I didn’t may say a lot more about me, rather than the film, but Ready Or Not is entertaining certainly, an enjoyable romp at times.

But not the film I wanted it to be.

Rating: *** out of 5

About Bill

Founder/Head Writer of The Horrorcist.

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