Main cast: Samara Weaving (Grace Le Domas), Adam Brody (Daniel Le Domas), Mark O’Brien (Alex Le Domas), Henry Czerny (Tony Le Domas), Andie MacDowell (Becky Le Domas), Nicky Guadagni (Helene Le Domas), Melanie Scrofano (Emilie Le Domas), Elyse Levesque (Charity Le Domas), Kristian Bruun (Fitch Bradley), John Ralston (Stevens)
Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett
Samara Weaving is gorgeous, and she also seems to be pretty good at playing the vulnerable but shocking kick-ass lady, whether said lady is the heroine or villain, and she turns up with another slam dunk here as Grace.
Grace grew up in a series of foster families, so she’d love nothing more than to be part of a family of her own. She believes that her dream has finally come true when her boyfriend of shortly over a year, Alex, proposes. Okay, his father seems to disapprove of her, his older brother Daniel is an alcoholic who hits on her, and Alex’s sister Emilie is a drug addict of questionable intelligence. Oh, and it can be intimidating to try to fit in with the very, very wealthy Le Domas family. Still, Alex’s mother Becky seems to like her, so Grace thinks that she can win them all over given time. For now, she and Alex are getting married at his large family home, and she is happy.
Well, that until she realizes that the family has a rather strange tradition. On the evening after one of them marries, the entire family including the new addition to the family will convene in a secret room where they will all play a game. A card will be inserted in a strange box, said to have been bequeathed to patriarch Tony’s great-grandfather by a mysterious Mr Le Bail, and the new family member will retrieve the card. On it will be the name of the game they will play. It can be poker, or Old Maid, or anything… including the one true bad card, Hide and Seek. Guess what ends up on Grace’s card.
Okay, Grace thinks that it’s odd for adults to be playing hide and seek, but still, rich people are known to be eccentric, right? Wait until she learns that being found also means being bound and sacrificed to Satan – the Le Domas family fortune is built on the bargain made with Mr Le Bail, and on those evenings when milder games were played, the new family member ended up giving their soul to Satan without losing their lives. For Grace, however, getting that card means that Satan wants her as a sacrifice. Will Alex stand by and let her die? Of course, he doesn’t warn her before bringing her here – something she is going to hold against him. Also, unfortunately for the Le Domas clan, she doesn’t go down easily.
Ready or Not is everything Crimson Peak wished it could be. While set in modern day, the aesthetic is a Gothic on acid sort – gorgeous, moody, and atmospheric. There is nothing more poetic than a bloodied wedding gown ripped and covered in guts and various bits and pieces of body parts, I tell you. As I’ve mentioned, Samara Weaving is a trooper here – she acts the hell out of what could have been a silly, fluffy role, by giving Grace a likable kind of pluckiness and a willingness to go all out in fighting back when Grace’s back is against the wall. Our heroine never feels overpowered or protected by a too-obvious plot armor here – girl isn’t a superhero as much as she is someone who kicks back hard with a bit of luck and a lot of willpower at her side.
Grace also has a tendency to go all flippant and sarcastic here, but fortunately, the movie doesn’t overdo that aspect of that character. No stupid one-liner to break immersion or kill suspenseful moments here. Instead, the dark humor is integrated well into the overall story, making this movie a cathartic kind of escapism for anyone who has ever had issues with the in-laws, heh.
As for the other secondary characters, well, they aren’t too deep, but most of them are amusing enough in a one-note way. There are hints of an intriguing dynamic between Daniel, the self-loathing alcoholic conflicted between the things he has to do for the family and wanting to be free of them, and Alex, who relies on his big brother as his moral compass, but this dynamic is never fully developed.
Nonetheless, who’s watching this one for deep moments, though? This one is all about mayhem, gore, and dark humor in a stylish, well-paced, and gorgeously done package, with a memorable and root-worthy heroine doing her best to channel The Bride. I never knew I’m so ready for this baby until I watch it, and it’s such a fun, fun ride all the way to the end.