A new bride gets more than what she bargains for in this tense thriller that takes a simple game and amps up the level of its rules.
Grace is excited to be marrying the love of her life, Alex Le Domas. On their wedding night, Alex tells Grace of a tradition in which the new addition to the family must stay and at midnight, something special is supposed to happen. Officially meeting the entire family, Grace is both surprised and excited to see what the tradition involves. She learns that the new addition to the family is to have the newcomer pick a card in which the name of a game will be played. When Grace’s card reads “hide and seek”, she is the one who is to hide.
She soon discovers that while she is the hider and the family are the seekers, this is one family she will instantly regret joining. The Le Domas family are actually Satanists who play games and whoever gets hide and seek is forced in an attempted to be maimed enough in order to be sacrificed before dawn. When Grace learns the terrible truth, despite Alex’s attempts to help her, she will go to great lengths to survive. Will she find anyone on her side besides Alex, or will she eventually fall as the next victim of his very twisted family?
The duo of Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, collectively known as Radio Station, took a very interesting script from Guy Busick and R. Christopher Murphy involving a simple kids’ game, hide and seek, and amping it up many notches to pay homage to the classic Most Dangerous Game in the World. With the twist that the family involved in “initiating” the new addition to the family are a Satanic cult, this is actually a very tense and good film despite a bit of some over the top performances, which seems to be clearly the intention here.
Who better than to play the lead role than Samara Weaving? With her performance is Joe Lynch’s Mayhem, there couldn’t be any more perfect casting than Weaving in the central role of Grace. As we get to hear a bit of Grace’s backstory prior to the deadly game, she seems to go against the odds on numerous occasions on her past and thus, gives her the instincts necessary to have to survive the terror she will engage in when she plays this deadly game of hide and seek. There are some shocking moments involving her character, but if you’ve seen Mayhem, you know where this can lead to.
The actors playing the family are both really great and at times, over the top. Mark O’Brien, as groom Alex, is the most conflicted of the bunch as Adam Brody’s Daniel seems to want to make the game last as long as possible and pulls a Yojimbo when it boils down to it. Andie MacDowell’s matriarch has her moments as does Henry Czerny’s over the top patriarch, who has to constantly remind his family that if Grace survives the night, they will all die due to some curse their ancestor made. There are a few particular characters that this reviewer couldn’t wait to get theirs because they are so over the top that they are borderline both insane and creepy. Yes, this is the intention, but even still, you can’t help but wish something happens to them right away and even though one would have to wait, it’s worth the wait.
Ready or Not takes the classic “hide and seek” and turns into one of the bloodiest versions of The Most Dangerous Game in the World, but one thing’s for sure: when it comes to this type of film, who better than Samara Weaving to lead?
WFG RATING: A-
Searchlight Pictures present a Mythology Entertainment/Vinson Films production. Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett. Producers: Tripp Vinson, James Vanderbilt, William Sherak, and Bradley J. Fischer. Writers: Guy Busick and R. Christopher Murphy. Cinematography: Brett Jutkiewicz. Editing: Terel Gibson.
Cast: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O’Brien, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell, Melanie Scrofano, Kristian Bruun, Elyse Levesque, Nicky Guadagni, John Ralston, Liam MacDonald.