Nominations: Best Actor/Actress, Most Unexpected Success
Cast: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Andie MacDowell, Mark O’Brien, Henry Czerny, Melanie Scrofano, Nicky Guadagni, Elyse Levesque
Writer: Guy Busick, R. Christopher Murphy
Director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
Production Companies: Fox Searchlight Pictures, Mythology Entertainment, Vinson Films, TSG Entertainment
READY OR NOT (2019) is a great flick. It’s over-the-top and banana-pants crazy at several points, but it remains fun, unique and memorable for all the right reasons.
The film opens with RAWR RAWR Sexy Fem Goddess Grace (Samara Weaving) marrying into a rich, hoity-toity, weird ass family with a bunch of secrets. Her new husband Alex Le Domas (Mark O’Brien) is a mama’s boy bitch who needs a beat down. I hate that loser.
He fails to mention to his bride that once the wedding is over, they have to play a game chosen at random. One of the games is hide-and-seek, but it’s not the average Find Me & Fuck Me that everyone knows and loves. There’s no hanky-panky going on at all because the whole bizarro-freak fam joins in. In this version of the game, they are trying to locate and kill Grace because of some nutso agreement the Le Domas family have with a dead dude named Le Bail. Le Bail is responsible for all the loot that her new in-laws have, but he demands sacrifices every now and then. Anytime a Le Domas gets hitched, they pick a card with the name of a game written on it. When the card shows Hide & Seek, it means Le Bail wants the new bride or groom butchered.
I love Grace but she should’ve thought something was suspicious when he chose to play Hide & Seek with his folks over hide the salami with her. That said, she is desperate to feel a familial connection because she grew up in the foster system and craves a connection. Seriously, fuck Alex. He should have protected her.
Initially, he does try to do some good shit and get her out of there. He tells her what’s going on and attempts an escape but is thwarted. That’s when his mommy Becky (Andie MacDowell) gets involved. Now it is really difficult for me to hate Andie MacDowell in anything. SEX, LIES and VIDEOTAPE is one of my favorite flicks and she got with the Mmmmhtastic James Spader in that. With that in mind, Becky gets a pass. Sure, she’s an evil, sociopathic killer but I like to imagine her fucking James Spader, so I refuse to allow her to be the problem. Alex is the problem! He has no backbone. He’s a spineless turd and I hate him. Becky is just a misunderstood Fem Goddess with a shithead son.
Thankfully, there is one sexy man in the Le Domas clan. Alex’s brother Daniel (Adam Brody) is awesome. He’s not perfect. He’s a drunk and has a few homicidal moments, but overall, he really does try to save Grace. I wanted them to get down to funky town so badly. They could have been a great couple, because Daniel’s wife Charity (Elyse Levesque) is a waste of oxygen.
Charity is all about the green. She doesn’t give a shit about Daniel. Whereas Grace is about love, light and hope, Charity would beat her mother with a shovel for five bucks. She is a vain, pretentious super-twat who needs a punch straight to the vagina.
Thankfully, Grace is no pushover. She figures out the score and though scared out of her wits, fights the fuck back. It is no wonder that Samara Weaving is up for Best Actress. She portrays one of the most dynamic and strong horror heroines in years.
Weaving exhibits the fear that Grace feels without making her a weak damsel-in-distress. She displays Grace’s courage, perseverance and tenacity in a way that highlights the beauty of female strength. So many movies are unaware of how to show women’s empowerment. They instead have actresses act in stereotypical masculine ways depicting brawn and brute force rather than focusing on methodology, weaponry and survival. Here, we see the evolution of Grace’s character. We see her bounce back-and-forth between fight-and-flight mode, depending on what makes the most sense and what gives her the greatest chance of getting out alive. She’s in an insane situation and surrounded by nutjob assholes who want her dead. She does what she needs to do to and goes directly into self-preservation mode.
She uses anything around her as a weapon and thinks on her feet constantly. I wish filmmakers would take a few cues from this film as I am sick to death of movies that diminish feminism to empty and contrite female characters unrealistically beating the shit out of their male counterparts. Women do not need to adopt the physicality of hand-to-hand combat against a man to be victorious or exhibit resolve. READY OR NOT understood this and focused on Grace’s Intuition, instincts, improvisation and persuasive extemporization skills.
She used her brain and her gut, and with that she was able to outmanoeuvre the entire family.
Weaving was believable in the role and rocked her performance. I love hardcore bitches that play rough and Samara depicted that beautifully. Between this and THE BABYSITTER (2017), it’s not all that shocking that she already earned herself a BTS AWARD Hall of Fame nomination.
Perhaps, the odd plot is what made the success of READY OR NOT unexpected. I can definitely see that. This film is kind of a cross between CABIN IN THE WOODS (2011), AMERICAN GOTHIC (1988) and SATANIC PANIC (2019). It’s fun, it’s twisted, it’s got some wit to it and the ending is batshit crazy.