Well, they finally did it. We finally have a Hide and Seek movie. In theaters. That’s R-Rated.
Man, have we scraped the bottom of the barrel.
“Ready or Not” focuses on a young woman named Grace (Samara Weaving) who marries into the wealthy Le Domas family, who have a bizarre ritual for everyone that marries into the family. Before they’re officially a part of the family, they have to pick a cryptic card from an old device, that determines what game they’ll play that night, with Hide and Seek being the death card — If someone draws it, they must seek them and kill them before dawn, sacrificing them to Justin Le Bail, a wealthy man who initially invested in the Le Domas family over a hundred years ago. Apparently the family’s success is fueled by a satanic deal.
Grace finds herself hunted by members of high society, some of whom have killed before, while others are hilariously inept at it (apparently their last hunt was decades ago). Some of the film’s best moments come when the Le Domas’s break character, such as when family patriarch, Tony (Henry Czerny) spouts profanity when several members of the family are killed by one another.
The film also plays with the notion of whether or not the curse is real, as it implies that the entire family will be dead if Grace is not sacrificed by dawn. Her husband’s brother, Daniel (Adam Brody), mainly embodies this sentiment, as he sees it as nonsense, and he actively works against his family to protect Grace. So too does Grace’s husband, Alex (Mark O’Brien), at least in the first half of the film, but his character is written so as to make you question if he is who he seems.
There is plenty of twists and turns in the film, most of which make for a worse movie. For instance, there is a sequence where, very Tarantino-like, Grace rips her dress, loads up on artillery and straps ammo across her chest, adornment dirty sneakers that contrast to her wedding dress, which seems to turn the tables in a fun way. That is, until the family butler (John Ralston) ruins it by revealing that the weapons she took are filled with empties. So instead of killing him with her cool guns, she grabs a teapot and hits him over the head with it. And instead of getting a tightly made suspenseful movie full of stakes where we think our heroin has a chance, we get a long, drawn out torture flick.
And this is very much a torture flick. We see Grace get dragged through the mud, cut by forcing herself through a metal fence, fall into a corpse pit and then impale her hand into an old nail lifting herself out of it, get beat up to the point where she can barely crawl — I get that this is a horror movie, but everything is a bit excessive, and frustrating.
Perhaps the most frustrating part of the film is that there is almost no payoff, and what little there is is splurged at the end. This is a film with multiple crazy family members trying to hunt one girl, and while a few get picked off in the beginning, Grace kills almost no one on her own (other than the butler), as everyone major is reserved to die at the end when *shocker* Grace survives until dawn, and they all explode, which, while we’re happy to see this because everyone is portrayed as thoroughly unlikable, more of their deaths should have been sprinkled throughout the film to balance it out.
Alex also turns, which was a huge wasted opportunity because he spends most of the film tied up, captured by his family. His turn comes so late in the film that it doesn’t mean anything, and it comes off as more of a break in character than character development. Perhaps his betrayal could’ve happened sooner, giving it time to make an impact. Maybe the family members could’ve gotten picked off one by one, leaving Grace to face her husband last. Unfortunately, the film chose its current path over that, leaving us with a confusing, corny, and nonsensical ending in which you can tell nobody cared.
“Ready or Not” is a film you’re better off not seeing.
“Ready or Not” gets a 2/10