Ready Or Not

Year: 2019
Studio: Fox Searchlight
Director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin/Tyler Gillett
Writer: Guy Busick/R Christopher Murphy
Cast: Samara Weaving. Adam Brody, Andie MacDowell

You can ascribe all sorts of metaphors about the idle rich and their preying on the 99 percent if you want, or you can just enjoy a good time romp with a strong conceit and performances and set pieces to match. Grace (Samara Weaving) marries the love of her life, Daniel (Adam Brody) at his opulent family mansion home, doing her best to get along with the rest of his family, some of them more oddball and prickly towards her than others.

But even while it seems nothing can upset their marital bliss, his parents, brother, cranky grandmother and various in laws insist that when it turns midnight everyone retires to a secret room for a longstanding and profound family tradition where everyone plays a game selected by the bride using a treasured family trinket.

Grace is both bemused and amused when the choice comes up as hide and seek, and she barely registers the disappointment, fear and horror on everyone else's face as they try to plant on smiles and tell her to go and hide somewhere in the grand hallways and rooms of the house.

As soon as she leaves, it becomes apparent all is not what it seems as the rest of the family start loading up on shotguns, crossbows and axes in preparation to hunt down and murder her. Though none of them seem happy about it (apart from the cranky grandmother, who exhibits a particular bloodlust), there's some reason they have to put the poor girl to death that's only barely hinted at and won't be revealed until the last couple of scenes.

Until then, there are plenty of laughs ('the masks were your Dad's idea... it was the 80s'), lots of comic bloodshed, and the various characterisations bounce nicely off each other both in the context of the story and in various comic asides that give them all a minute to shine.

Everyone is especially game, especially Weaving, who goes from wide eyed disbelief to torn wedding dress and workboots-wearing urban warrior, and they're having as good a time as you will.

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