Wow! The Downton Abbey spin-off movie was way edgier than I expected. Ready Or Not (2019) Review

As the members of a wealthy and powerful family gather at their stately home to celebrate the wedding of their firstborn son, bride Grace (Samara Weaving) is nervous about her new family accepting her. With the wedding service behind her, there’s only one more thing to attend to: a quaint family tradition of choosing a game to play. But when Grace selects the card which reads ‘hide and seek’, she finds herself in the crosshairs of a very different kind of playtime.

Although the trailers might paint the movie as an out-and-out horror movie, akin to “You’re Next”, “Ready Or Not” is actually much more of a pitch-black comedy with more than a little in common with the likes of “Clue”. It’s much, much funnier than you might be expecting but never at the expense of tension or, indeed, gore.

The set up feels a little by-the-numbers Agatha Christie as we’re welcomed into the family and introduced to the oddballs, spouses and entitled children, all vying for their place in the affections and inheritance of family patriarch Tony Le Domas, heir to the Le Domas gaming ‘dominion’. Grace is warmly welcomed by Tony’s wife Becky (Andie McDowell) but is viewed with contemptuous suspicion by spinster aunt Helene. Here and there are hints of a shady pact which saw the family amass their great fortune and of an obligation to continue to service the agreement lest there are dire consequences.

Until recently estranged prodigal son and groom Alex is deeply sceptical of the family’s superstitious belief that a terrible fate awaits them all if they fail to honour the agreement but once the Faust-ivities begin, he’s faced with a choice: his bride or his family.

Samara Weaving’s Grace is a superb and worthy new addition to the pantheon of ‘Final Girls’ and she’s matched by the rest of the cast who gleefully chew the scenery and are clearly having a ball with the witty and inventive script.

“Ready Or Not” is an absolute blast from start to finish, a gruesome survival horror, whacky comedy and even finds time for some trenchant social satire. This is one wedding you’d be advised to RSVP to in the resoundingly affirmative.


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