Witness the worst-case wedding scenario as Samara Weaving has to survive a murderous game of hide-and-seek in her new in-law’s palatial mansion.
Samara Weaving is creating a Barbara Crampton-like reputation in the horror genre. She’s been involved with a bunch of modestly successful contemporary cult classic films like The Babysitter, Mayhem, the TV remake of The Hanging at Picnic Rock, and Ash vs. Evil Dead, she is becoming much more than your average Final Girl. It helps that the Australian actress (and niece of Hugo Weaving) is drop-dead gorgeous, but she has a natural film radiance that separates herself from the rest of the would-be leading ladies of horror. So often actresses that get their initial moments in the genre, end up graduating to more conventional fare, so it’s hugely gratifying to see her staying close to her roots. If this is a success, we can certify her as a modern scream queen.
Ready or Not is a horror-thriller-comedy that places Grace (Weaving) as a bride-to-be for the one-percenter Alex (Mark O’Brien), and is marrying into his old-money dynastic Le Domas family of eccentrics, who just happen to like playing games. And, as a way of consummating the marriage, the family likes to play a game of hide-and-seek as a curious “get to know you” activity. Or rather.. “get to know you and probably kill you” activity. Stay hidden in the massive mansion until daybreak, and you win! The trick is, losing means dying, and well, what bride is prepared for that outcome? These were not the happy nuptials Grace was expecting. What happened to just throwing rice?
The family, despite its wickedness and savagery, is frankly out of practice regarding the murderous game, and Grace certainly seems to be up against the gang that can’t shoot straight. Apparently, there is some sort of ritual that requires a sacrifice, which is the driving motivator for the hide and seek hunt. The trailer has some terrifically laugh-out-loud moments, so hopefully the film is loaded with them, and they didn’t save their best material for the trailer.
A late August release is usually a dumping ground for movies, but as the calendar gets crowded with superhero fare, a horror movie can really make it in this calendar slot. Think about IT. The Fox Searchlight production of the piece looks lavish, with an enormous mansion with plenty of nice hidey holes to work with. There are some echoes of Clue at play here, maybe mixed with a little bit of Kill Bill. It looks to be a very bloody affair, but it does it with a definitive wink.
Weaving has a pretty solid track record with picking good horror projects (though appearing in the mega-dud Monster Trucks was certainly a whoops), so that is an encouraging sign, for certain. The supporting cast looks terrific, with veteran TV actors Andie McDowell, Melanie Scrofano, Henry Czerny, and Kristian Bruun in for the craziness.
Ready or Not is rated R, and will be in US wide-release on August 21.
Until then, here’s the Red-Band trailer!