Ready or Not

Sep 4, 2019

Get ready to be scared and laugh, or not.

Ready or Not

Grade: B+

Directors: Matt Bettinelli Olpin (Devil’s Due), Tyler Gillett (Books)

Screenplay: Guy Busick, Ryan Murphy (Minutes Past Midnight)

Cast: Samantha Weaving (Three Billboards . . .), Adam Brody (Isabelle)

Rating: R

Runtime: 1 hr 35 min

By: John DeSando

“Till death do us part.”

I could have avoided one of my failed marriage if I had never married into her family in the first place. However, at that time, I never thought to look at the family to see the warning signs.

In Ready or Not, young Grace (Samara Weaving) is ready to marry Alex (Mark O’Brien) not knowing the La Domas family, although their being super wealthy from board games might help her over the ignorance. As they are scheduled to play an initiation game of Hide and Seek for her, it becomes clear it’s deadly enough to demand her life before dawn or they all die.

Elements of Get Out, Clue, and Rosemary’s Baby help make Ready or Not one of the best horror movies of the year with a little scare for everyone. If an audience is interested in blood and surprise, with a slight bit of the supernatural, then this macabre fest is for them.

If, however, like me, an audience looks for social and cultural commentary in addition to the scares, then this nervous experience more than fulfills that requirement. The film shows two ways a bride should be on alert: 1. Wealth has a way of making the wealthy unpredictable, self-centered, and wicked. 2. Why a fiancé has estranged himself from his family is an important piece of information that may save a bride’s life.

The usual jump-scare tropes and malicious surprises make Ready or Not a delight for the normal horror fan. The cautionary-tale about knowing thy fiancé’s family is universally true here. The over-the-top gore that induces laughs makes this film a joy to any filmgoer who can suspend disbelief and love this genre for its ability to teach about life’s ironies and dark sides.

The two delights of humor and macabre are present in this quote: “Don't take it personally, they're just trying to figure out if you're a gold-digging whore. You know, like my wife.” Daniel (Adam Brody)

John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts WCBE’s It’s Movie Time and co-hosts Cinema Classics. Contact him at