By Alex Skrapits (Wantagh)

 

Have you ever shop at a store near the end of summer and start to notice Halloween food or decorations on display? It’s a sign that Halloween may be coming early than we usually expect….for the holiday itself. No matter what month or season it is, horror movies always get you in the mood for a scare…or a laugh. Or sometimes…both. While the anticipation for It: Chapter 2 and Doctor Sleep are coming near, the year 2019 has provided some entertaining and appetizing horror comedies. Whether you’re seeing double with Jordan Peele’s Us or pleasantly surprised with Chucky’s friendship with Andy in the Child’s Play reboot, the horror/black comedy hybrids know how to deliver thrills and laughs. And here’s…another one.

Ready or Not involves a newlywed bride (Samara Weaving) who becomes hunted by her spouse’s wealthy family in a deadly “game” of hide-and-seek.

This is where I would stop from there because I dare not to give away the family’s motives and the outcome. But, let’s just say the movie becomes progressively interesting and entertaining throughout.

Honestly, hearing the concept alone and watching this movie with very low expectations, I have little knowledge on the director(s) Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett and their previous works. But, after that experience and looking up the aforementioned filmmakers, I was impressed, scratch that, VERY impressed for what they accomplished. It’s not every day at a punk rock musician would direct and execute a horror comedy very well. I remembered how debatable and difficult it was for Rob Zombie to reboot Halloween at the time before Blumhouse justifiably resurrected it. I tip my hat to Matt for what he has provided.

Having a low-budget, this film has the charisma of a B-horror genre. It genuinely sets you up in the right atmosphere for what type of “game” you’re in. I always have fond memories playing hide-and-seek and I sometime wonder how far and intense would the game go. At times, I was getting vibes from the classic short story, “The Most Dangerous Game”, which alone is also a must-read. There will be times when you have to stay quiet. There will be you times when you have to be patient.  There will be times where you will running from your life and stay safe. There will be off-guard jump scares and kills that will either jump off your seat or laugh your head off. Speaking of the kills and gore, they are creatively established thanks to the practical effects, make-up and the actors’ involvement.

Again, without spoiling, the wealthy Le Domas family are characterized as the psychotic yet hilarious horror villains you’ll ever come across; each member has their own unique character and  personality that are worth remembering for. The only exception worth noting is the newlywed groom Alex, whom I describe as a dynamic character. As for the bride Grace, her character is courageous and charming as you would expect from many traditional heroines from classic horror films.

It felt great for me to a break from watching remakes, adaptations, or big-budgeted movies and see something simple, refreshing and original every now and then. If you’re in the mood for something frightening and to tickle your funny bone, this is a must-watch. But, I must warn you: you MUST play fair with  this movie. There is absolutely no cheating out of this is one. Be prepared or the Le Domas will find you…

Rating: 5/5

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