Horror movies can be a lot of fun. But watching horror movies while high is an absolute blast if you have the right film. With witty one-liners, genuine suspense and a bonkers third act that’s hard to predict, Ready or Not is that film.
In this edition of Horror Movies & 420, the Hub That Drips Blood brings you our spoiler-free Ready or Not review filled with fun facts along the way, as well as what type of marijuana the horror flick pairs best with.
The Show Stealers
Plot: Grace marries the man of her dreams, Alex le Domas, at his family’s luxurious estate while also meeting her eccentric (to say the least) in-laws for the very first time. The le Domas fortune was built on decades of releasing one hit board game after another, eventually venturing into owning professional sports teams.
Following the reception, Grace is invited to play a game with the family, randomly chosen by a mysterious box. This is special induction into the le Domas dynasty that was started by Alex’s great-great-grandfather.
Grace draws Hide and Seek as her game. Unfortunately, this version is nothing like what she played as a child. The young bride must now hide from midnight until dawn while her new in-laws hunt her down with guns, crossbows, a battle ax and other weapons. Will she survive the night?
Rated: R (for excessive use of the word fuck, gratuitous violence and over the top gore, among other bad-ass reasons to watch the horror film).
Runtime: A 95-minute roller coaster ride that you will want to revisit often, probably stoned.
Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (of the creative group Radio Silence, creators of V/H/S and Southbound. Other members of Radio Silence helped in the film’s creation as well.)
Cast: Samara Weaving (the kickass bride), Mark O’Brien (the complicated groom), Henry Czerny (father of the groom and the twisted family patriarch, Tony), Andie MacDowell (the brusque family matriarch), Melanie Scrofano (Emilie, Alex’s frantic, drug-addicted and incompetent sister), Kristian Bruun (Melanie’s husband, Fitch, who is totally “extra”), Adam Brody (the alcohol-addicted Daniel, Alex’s only brother), Elyse Levesque (the sociopathic, gold-digging wife of alcoholic Daniel), Nicky Guadagni (the ax-wielding Aunt Helene, who’s character resembles Mary Shaw from Dead Silence) and John Ralston (the classic, creepy butler).
Fun Fact: According to IMDb, the family empire was based on Milton Bradley and Parker Brothers.
When a large cast of talent is featured in a film, it’s fun to look for the show-stealing performances. At first, it seems like Henry Czerny was the show stealer. A bit later, Brody appears to be the one.
Kristian Bruun and Melanie Scrofano have laugh-out-loud line followed by another. And then there is Andie MacDowell, who is sharper and fiercer than ever.
Fun Fact: Though she has been in a couple of thrillers, this was MacDowell’s first-ever horror movie. She stated in an interview in a bonus feature that she didn’t know what to expect but had a lot of fun portraying her character.
Many of the characters are so fun or interesting that they deserve their own stand-alone prequel. Though that likely won’t happen, it does keep the film fresh. This is one of those horror movies where the characters keep you wanting more.
Weaving’s character, at times, plays like us. The way Grace reacts and responds to the craziness around her is the same way we’re reacting internally as the audience. When she is scared, we are scared. When she declares, “What the fuck!”, we are also saying the same thing.
Ready or Not Marijuana Pairing
This is one of those horror movies that’s best to smoke or vape to. You will want a total head high for this one and you won’t want to wait for it, so edibles aren’t the best match.
Ready or Not is an absolute blast to watch, a total thrill ride. So, no pot naps during this one. It’s a swift 90 minutes that moves at a very fast pace.
We’ll want a strain that is heavy sativa for maximum effect. For those chiefing a hybrid, make sure it is sativa dominant.
Horror movies like Ready or Not deserves a bud like the classic sticky icky Sour Diesel. This peppery strain from the ‘90s remains as popular as ever for good reason.
With a THC level averaging 18.5 percent, Sour Diesel’s fast-acting, invigorating and cerebral effects will put you in the right headspace for this outrageous horror film.
It’s best to keep it to just a toke or two at the beginning of the film, increasing it after the half hour mark. This is when the suspense and horror really takes off.
Go all out with the Sour Diesel for the final 30 minutes to optimize the horror movie’s climactic ending with peak highness. Trust this film critic, you’ll want to be really, really high for the grand finale. And grand it is.
Ready or Not Spoiler-Free Review
Though this unique feature stands on its own and is certainly a candidate for Best Horror Movie of 2019, Ready or Not is a mix between Clue, The Most Dangerous Game and Death Trap but on four cycles of steroids.
Fun Fact: Many of the weapons used in Ready or Not were also in Clue. Even the Pepper Box revolver used in this horror feature is one of the versions utilized in the classic board game.
Just the setting and feel alone will remind audiences of the classic murder comedy; both movies feature gothic mansions filled with shady individuals; Clue is set in the late ‘40s and Ready or Not is modern, but the overall essence of the latter is that of Clue’s era; and the banter between the le Domases is sometimes reminiscent of the troupe in the ‘80s classic mystery.
The pace of the film is perfect, making full use of its 90 minutes. The ending of this movie is hard to predict which increases the suspense of it all.
There is also a mystery in the story as to why the le Domas dynasty is trying to kill the bride and why this is a family tradition of theirs. This is a question best answered by viewing the movie.
‘You Wanted to Get Married’
Alex says this to his new bride when she figures out that her in-laws are hunting her. “So it’s my fucking fault? Are you fucking serious!”, Grace exclaims in a laughter-inducing manner.
We don’t know much about Grace’s background beyond that she has an edge due to growing up in and out of foster care. For those that saw the Netflix original horror movie The Babysitter, you already know what a badass Samara can be. In Ready or Not, she once again brings badassery to the table, but it unfolds in a much different manner.
Fun Fact: Samara Weaving revealed in an interview that she was protective of her character and loved her. She made sure that Grace surviving certain moments wasn’t by accident. She wanted her character to fight for it, to earn it.
When she initially realizes that her in-laws are trying to murder her, Samara Weaving perfectly displays panic, confusion and fear all at once. This is not a character whose first reaction is to stay and fight her attempted killers. Rather, she discovers, as we find out with her, just how bad-ass she can be as the story progresses and she is pushed into total survival mode.
Grace goes from being in Heaven to being in Hell fairly quickly. And her Hell was created by her husband’s family, forming a mixed basket of complicated emotions.
Samara Weaving’s capability to deliver comedic one-liners, portray total bliss and love, supply dramatic moments and depict sheer terror and anger in a transformational manner is nothing short of stunning.
A Die-Hard Wedding Gown
As Grace continues to run, hide and fight for her life throughout the story, her Victorian wedding dress, like her, goes through a transformation. From the bottom being ripped off intentionally so that she can run faster or because of damage received in battle, Grace’s wedding gown gradually degrades throughout the horror film.
The damage to her white gown can certainly be symbolic for many things, like the metamorphosis from being dependent to becoming independent or the unraveling of her relationship or the dynasty she is fighting.
The more Grace’s dress is damaged, the more she learns about her inner strength and the more it symbolizes her arduous journey. The gown’s condition is also a direct reflection of what the regretful bride is going through, as well as a direct result of many of her own actions. The dress serves as a type of utility knife for Grace.
Fun Fact: Ready or Not costume designer Avery Plewes revealed that the gown isn’t a dress at all, but an ensemble built with five separate parts: a lace shirt, lining, an overskirt, a corset and a sash. A total of 24 dresses were made, with Weaving dawning 17 of them. Plewes told Variety that the wedding gown “has a full arc and evolution. I equate the dress to Bruce Willis’ tank top in Die Hard.”
A Ridiculous Horror Movie Played Straight
Ready or Not is many things. It is a horror story surrounded by mystery. It’s also a slasher, even though there is only one intended victim.
This film is an effective and important examination of entitlement and other societal issues. But more than anything else, this horror film is a fucking riot.
Many horror movies are intentionally overacted. While that works in some scenarios, the cast and crew knew that the only way to make this outrageous plot work was to play it straight, with little to no overacting.
If it were shot more tongue-in-cheek, then it would be a satire. Often, the humor comes from how something is said, rather than what is said.
Watching Tony state, “Here’s to you, fucker, because now we’re all fucking fucked!”, is laugh-out-loud hilarious. If Tony didn’t play his patriarchal role straight, the humor wouldn’t be there in the delivery.
The constant comic relief throughout the film, aside from Grace’s general attitude, comes from Emilie and her husband Fitch. Emilie is a coke head with plenty of spunk. Unfortunately, that spunk isn’t very effective.
Fitch is the least interested in what is happening. He isn’t completely opposed to it but he would rather be elsewhere and doesn’t want to fully participate. He is similar to Daniel Levy’s character in Schitts Creek, a snobby dilettante with no practical skills, let alone the skills needed to use an archaic crossbow.
Fun Fact: The making-of bonus featurette reveals that actor Kristian Bruun ad libbed many of Fitch’s lines. His natural comedic talent really lends to Ready or Not’s overall feel.
From the cast to the delivery to the climactic reveal, Ready or Not is a thrill-ride from beginning to end and one of the the most entertaining horror movies of 2019.