Gore should never be used willy nilly, and just because Ready Or Not only uses it nilly, doesn’t make it any more likeable

Ready Or Not has its style, its ideas, and its personality pin-pointed assuredly accurately, but that doesn’t mean that it proves that these were the correct decisions. A film filled with creative choices made far too easily questioned, Ready Or Not isn’t the the unique take on slasher features it wants to be; instead surviving on its gimmick and its love of out of place body horror.

This is perhaps the main gripe that comes with the film. Rarely using its 18 rating, the moments Ready Or Not does choose to flex its open muscles often pale as poor timing, and as a painful reminder of how important tone is for a film like this. Gore should never be used willy nilly, and just because Ready Or Not only uses it nilly, doesn’t make it any more likeable.

Ready Or Not 2

Grace (Samara Weaving) finally realises her relationship dream when she marries into the Le Domas gaming empire, becoming part of the ancient family. However, just as she gets down on her wedding night with new husband Alex (Mark O’Brien), they are interrupted to play a game as part of an initiation ceremony, an event held every time a new member is added the Le Domas family. However, when pulling a card saying the game of the occasion is Hide and Seek, little does Grace know of the beast she has just unleashed upon herself.

Ready Or Not does live beyond its gimmick, and can easily be positioned as one of the most straightforward plotlines to any film 2019 has to offer, but in reality it is only the cinematography and a great lead performance from Samara Weaving that gives the film such a lift. Leaving its real gore to only shine through when there is no level of threat, or for it to concentrate so wholly onto the gore, the piece loses its impact. Ready Or Not becomes a feature of misplaced and misused ideas.

It’s production design is fun, and Weaving is great, but in reality its story doesn’t offer anything fresh, and tries to tap into a branch of horror humour that’s particularly difficult to get right, but very easy to get wrong. Ready Or Not is a missed opportunity, and that’s apparent from far earlier on in the piece than is ideal for any picture that genuinely wants to make an impact.

2/5

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