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December 03rd, 2020

ready or not spotlight pageSamara Weaving in a scene from the 2019 horror movie “Ready or Not.” Courtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

With Halloween coming this weekend, I’ve been ramping up my spooky viewing selections to close out the month, and recently, I came across a newer release, “Ready Or Not.” The movie follows newlywed Grace Le Domas (Samara Weaving), who is hunted by her new husband’s evil family as part of a twisted wedding night ritual involving dark forces. 

One of the first things I noticed, much like I noted with my “Haunting of Bly Manor” a couple weeks ago, was the the set design and scenery of the movie, because it is all absolutely gorgeous. The Le Domas mansion is absolutely stunning and is the very picture of a family manor, complete with a game room full of stuffed animal heads and fires perfectly roaring in the fireplaces throughout the place. The set design for the indoor scenes is done very well and like with “Haunting,” the outdoor scenery is also rather stunning and every outdoor scene is basically a perfectly composed vista. The people in charge of scouting for locations did a great job and everything looked great. 

Something else about the movie I really liked was the overall pacing. Everything in the story moves so quickly and so slickly that there’s not really a chance for anything to really lag, and the overall result is the movie being basically perfectly timed at 95 minutes. Any longer than that and I probably would have ended up being slightly bored before the end of the movie. Everything moves at the perfect speed and due to that, you remain hooked into the movie and you want to see what’s coming next. 

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I also enjoyed the overall story of the movie, it’s not too often someone can come up with a way to make a simple game of Hide-and-Seek fatal to someone who plays it, and the overall originality of the story was also very refreshing compared to other horror/thriller movies I’ve seen in the past. I also liked how the scares and thrills throughout the movie came about naturally instead of being forced and rather fake-feeling. There are also a few humorous moments that happen in the movie that were done very well and actually kind of caught me off guard. The only minor complaint I have with the movie’s story is how by the end, it slightly devolves into some horror tropes I’m not too fond of – I mean honestly, is it now a requirement for every horror movie to make reference to some sort of Faustian deal? There were some of those minor details I would have changed, but again, I consider this a minor quibble in the grand scheme of things. 

I also have to give praise to the cast, I thought everyone did a great job with their respective roles. Weaving was a particular standout to me as Grace and I very much enjoyed seeing her transform from a beautiful, blushing and somewhat bashful bride to a compelling woman willing to take action and get herself out of the horror situation she’s found herself drawn into, and I think she’ll get a lot of other great projects in the future. Andie MacDowell was also great in her role as Grace’s new mother-in-law, she was a perfect mix of kind mother figure and cold-hearted assassin – in fact, I would have actually enjoyed seeing a little  more of her character throughout the movie. 

Something else that really stood out to me and helped create the creepy atmosphere was the musical score. It transitioned so well from the happy and classical wedding music to darker and more foreboding music as the movie went on and became more intense. I’m not sure who was in charge of the music for the film, but they did an outstanding job and I applaud them for helping create the movie’s spooky atmosphere and keeping me on the edge of my seat. 

Overall, I enjoyed “Ready Or Not” and would give it a B-plus grade. The cast is great, the directing is intense and very well done, and the screenplay and story are very well written, with the thrills and scarier moments coming naturally throughout the movie instead of being forced. I felt the movie slightly devolved at the end but overall, the movie is solid and a good watch. If you’re a fan of horror movies and looking for something to watch Saturday night for Halloween, “Ready Or Not” should definitely make its way into either your streaming queue or home DVD player. 

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