Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett’s horror/thriller movie “Ready or Not” is an enjoyable experience, but not one worth rewatching. The film begins with the wedding of the couple Grace (Samara Weaving) and Alex Le Domas (Mark O’Brien) and follows Grace as she is introduced to Alex’s wealthy family at their mansion. There, in the Le Domas mansion, Grace begins to uncover Alex’s dark family secret.
Although “Ready or Not” is a horror film, it has a surprisingly light tone. Much of the blood, gore and general chaos found in the movie are framed more as pieces of dark slapstick comedy than frightening acts of violence. This sense of humor gives some personality to a story that is basically just another predictable game of cat and mouse.
At the same time, certain sacrifices were made for the film’s sense of fun that make “Ready or Not” suffer as a horror film. Because the film’s antagonists are often portrayed as bumbling and inept for the sake of comedy, it is difficult to take them seriously as villains, or make the audience worry that Grace, the film’s protagonist, is in any real danger. Additionally, “Ready or Not”’s jump scares, although startling at first, quickly become tiring due to the aforementioned predictability of the film. And, as is common with horror films, “Ready or Not” comes with the usual frustrations of watching a horror film protagonist try to make their way out of any given situation.
As a protagonist, Grace is a likeable enough person but, like much of the film’s characters, is a bit bland. For the most part, the characters exist only to fulfill some goal. For example, in the case of Grace, that goal is to escape. Although the film tries to cover it up by having the characters briefly consider the ethics of their situation, other than their basic motivations, Grace and the Le Domas family do not not have anything to make them stand out as characters. Although these characters are passable for this type of film, they also add to the predictability of the movie’s already predictable plot.
In the end, “Ready or Not’s” dark but unserious personality is not enough to make up for its lack of substance as a film. It is a decent film and a considerable amount of fun can be derived from it, but it is unlikely that much will stick around long after the theater.