No bride’s wedding day is complete without a fun game of Hide and Seek, ending in a ritual murder. Seriously, you may think your in-laws are bad, but after you see Ready Or Not, you’ll be ready to hold hands with them and sing Kumbaya!
The jist of the movie is an estranged member of a family brings his bride home to get married on the family estate. But a few generations ago, the family made a pact with the devil, which says on the wedding night, the new spouse must draw a card and play the game listed. Most of the time it’s something like Old Maid. But when Hide and Seek comes up, the person hides, is hunted down, and murdered as a sacrifice before dawn. Sure it’s not your average post-reception party, but who wants average?
But this isn’t a bunch of blood thirsty in-laws, who hone their skills over generations preparing to slaughter the unlucky spouse. They are utterly incompetent when it comes to hunting and killing. And that’s what turns this horror/thriller into a comedy-horror/thriller. There are some truly funny moments between Grace, the bride played by Samara Weaving, and her new family including mother-in-law Becky played by Andie MacDowell, and the creepy, tradition-bound aunt who forewarns ‘you’re going to have to hide better than that.’
The body count adds up over the course of the movie, and a lot of the deaths are hilarious.
A Deadly Combination
The deaths and family ineptitude are played for laughs. The chase brings some elements of horror (a fly-ridden pit with the bodies, deep cuts from a sharp edge during an escape). There is the supernatural fantasy aspect with the devil hovering over.
The last scene, with a surviving character smoking a cigarette outside the burning mansion is a clear nod to Heathers.
The problem is, there is a little bit of a lot of genres, and in the end they don’t mesh into a great film. It’s a fun film, but not memorable. There’s nothing wrong with spending 90 minutes of your life watching it. There is something wrong with paying full theater prices for tickets and snacks to see it. Wait for this to be on demand, it would be perfect to watch around halloween.
And go give your in-laws a hug. Sure they may look at you strange, but it’s better than the plotting to kill you in a ritual murder.
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
Blackberry Whiskey Lemonade. It’s whiskey, lemon juice, rosemary, fresh blackberries, sugar and champagne. You can easily make a large batch for pre-wedding festivities, or for staying in to watch Ready Or Not.