'Ready Or Not' starts from a powerful premise that already alone justifies the trip. It is not especially original (in fact, as we will see, it pays homage to a long tradition of mystery culture), but its approach and its explosive sense of humor are. The result is a film that tastes like already tasted but not manicured, familiarity but not exhaustion. Watch it now to find out how it goes.
'Ready Or Not' plays the black joke from the same starting point, but threatens an anti-1% criticism (that percentage of the population that distributes 82% of the wealth) not especially subtle, but very effective and caustic. This wedding dress is not sewn with exquisite white thread, but with barbed wire, and sits in the tradition of the popular phrase "Eat the rich", as direct as Rousseau's statement that inspires her and as loud as the Motörhead song 'Eat the Rich'.
But it also connects with the tradition that has always been present in the fantastic and surrounding genres that warn of how untrustworthy the powerful are. Starting with 'The Evil Zaroff', on which we will return later, and ending with the recent 'Let Me Out' (with plot points with 'Ready Or Not', but much more politicized), and going through series B milestones like 'Society' or 'They Are Alive', they have in common the destruction of the metaphor: the rich are really monsters that literally eat the humble classes.
All this conglomerate of influences meets in 'Ready Or Not', which tells the bizarre and seemingly innocuous proof that the flaming wife of the heir of a family emporium has to pass (they prefer to call it "domain") of board games. A game of hiding that starts in the most innocent way, but that soon reveals its macabre and authentic face: Le Domas will chase Grace (Samara Weaving) armed to execute her.
The violent but comical persecution will force Grace to take action on the matter while fleeing from her persecutors, who are portrayed with a considerable bad grape. Unlike the aforementioned Zaroff of the mythical 1932 film that popularized the idea of "the hunt for man", and that is a gifted hunter, the Le Domas are lousy predators, and have to walk watching YouTube tutorials to learn how to handle weapons. It is one of the most ingenious punches of the film: the rich are so vain, ruthless and immoral, but certainly not for their talent.
This is where aspects such as the extraordinary interpretation of Samara Weaving shine brightly, in perfect harmony with the humor of the film, something that also captures splendid secondary like Andie McDowell or Adam Brody. Or the sensational photograph of Brett Jutkiewicz, imitating with affection and irony the classic celluloid of crime movies.
'Ready Or Not' is not perfect, of course: sometimes it goes warm and despite some sophistication in its narrative, it is not as intelligent as it pretends to be. But it compensates for the lack of subtlety (which nobody has asked for either) with a visceral approach, and what remains is a sympathetic, inconsequential miniature, which plays very well with its references and brings ultraviolence back to the decadent mansions of millionaires. Watch it now to see it for yourself.