*Light spoilers to follow*
“Run, run, run!
Time to run and hide!
Run, run, run!
And now I’m going to find
You scurry off into the darkness
Hurry, I’m behind you!
Don’t you speak!
Hide and seek!”
Those lyrics to that creepy old song have been stuck in my head for the past few days.
Over the weekend I wanted to have a little bit of a mental escape from pandemics and revolutions, so, I searched throughout my HBOMax account for something that would help me with exactly that. I stumbled upon Ready Or Not, a 2019 Twentieth Century Fox film which I would definitely call the most… peculiar suspense thriller that I’ve ever seen.
Before I descend into this review, yes, I know this movie was released nearly a year ago, I get it. However, in most places in the country theatres are just opening now, so at the time, streaming is all I had.
Ready Or Not is the story of Grace (Samara Weaving), a woman who is a former foster child, who is ready to marry a man named Alex, who is a part of the wealthy (and maybe eccentric?) LeDomas family, after a year-and-a half courtship. The family, runs the wildly successful LeDomas Family Games Company, which has made the family’s fortune by creating various board, trivia, and playing card games. After having the wedding on the grounds of the LeDomas estate, the family, with Alex and Grace in tow, gather a special room and listen to the LeDomas patriarch (Henry Czerny) explain to Grace the odd family tradition of playing a game when someone new is married into the family. After shuffling the cards and putting them into a small wooden box, the new family member (in this case, Grace), would have to pick whatever card the wooden box spits out. Whatever game the card says to play, the family must play. Grace draws a card that says Hide and Seek. Soon after she is told to hide, a vinyl record starts playing that creepy song that I mentioned earlier. This game of hide and seek seems simple enough… or is it?
Samara Weaving (Ash vs. Evil Dead, SMILF) undoubtedly has the best performance in the film as Grace. To me, she clearly serves as a gateway for the audience, reacting as one sane person probably would to the absurd behavior of her in-laws. Mark O’Brien (Bad Times at the El Royale, Marriage Story)’s performance as her husband Alex, conveys a solid sense of care for his wife, and urgency to help get her out of the rather deadly situation his family has put them in. Along with Henry Czerny (Mission: Impossible), actors Andie McDowell, Adam Brody, John Ralston, and Nicky Guadagni plays various members of the creepy ass Le Domas family. As a matter of fact, creepy doesn’t even begin to describe them.
In short, without spoiling anything more, Ready Or Not is a suspenseful ride through the world of the richest, scariest and wildest family that I’ve seen in quite sometime. I’m almost certain, that after seeing this film, you’ll never look at marriage, in-laws, or even wedding gowns the same way again.