Starring: Samara Weaving, Andie MacDowell, Adam Brody, Mark O’Brien, Henry Czerny, Melanie Scrofano, Nicky Guadagni, Elyse Levesque, Kristian Bruun, Ethan Tavares, John Ralston
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Horror comedy thriller directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett. Ready or Not (2019) follows young bride, Grace (Samara Weaving), who is invited on the night of her wedding by her new husband’s, Alex Le Domas (Mark O’Brien), rich and eccentric family (Adam Brody, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell) to participate in a time-honored tradition that turns into a lethal game of survival with everyone fighting to stay alive.
Daniel Le Domas: [to Grace just before the wedding ceremony] It’s not too late to flee, you know. You don’t belong in this family. I mean that as a compliment. Okay. Well, if you’re still determined to be a Le Domas, then would you please get yourselves outside. Okay?
Grace: I can’t believe that in half an hour, I will be a part of the Le Domas gaming dynasty? Empire?
Alex Le Domas: Dominion. We prefer dominion.
Alex Le Domas: You know, Daniel’s right. We could just leave.
Grace: Oh, sure, yeah. “Thanks for the presents. Go f*** yourselves.”
Alex Le Domas: No. I’m serious. I’m serious, honey. I’m giving you an out. Right now.
Grace: No, thank you. I’m all the way in.
Alex Le Domas: [Grace kisses him] Are you ready for this?
Grace: Oh, f***, no.
Daniel Le Domas: [to Grace, after the wedding ceremony] Don’t take it personally. They’re just trying to figure out if you’re a gold-digging whore. You know, like my wife.
Charity Le Domas: [as they’re posing for wedding photos] She’s pretty enough, in a “last call at the dive bar” kind of way. But she’ll never be one of us.
Daniel Le Domas: Of course not, dear. She has a soul.
Alex Le Domas: [on their wedding night] So, at midnight you have to play a game. It’s just something we do when someone new joins the family.
Grace: A game?
Alex Le Domas: Yeah.
Grace: What game?
Alex Le Domas: I don’t know. You draw a card. It could be backgammon, croquet, checkers, for all I know. I know. I know. It’s stupid.
Grace: It’s a little weird. Why, exactly?
Alex Le Domas: I guess, because we made our money in games, it’s part of the initiation.
Grace: Do I have to win?
Alex Le Domas: No. You just have to play.
Grace: And then?
Alex Le Domas: And then you you are officially part of the family. Honestly, it means more to them than the wedding itself.
Grace: That’s it?
Alex Le Domas: Yeah, that’s it. I know it’s ridiculous. It’s just a weird family ritual. And we only have to do it once. Alright?
Grace: Okay. Yeah.
Alex Le Domas: Okay.
Grace: If it gets your family to accept me, I will play the s**t out of checkers. I’m really good at it.
Emilie Le Domas: [as Grace being introduced to the family on her wedding night] I’m Emilie. Oh, my God, your dress is amazing! I’ve been totally stalking you on Instagram.
Grace: Oh, really? That’s…
Emilie Le Domas:[Grace subtly indicates to her that she has powder on her nose] We’re going to be best friends.
Emilie Le Domas: Aunt Helene. It’s nice to see you.
Aunt Helene: Brown-haired niece. You continue to exist.
Tony Le Domas: [to Grace] I gather you’ve noticed our family is big on tradition. And now, well, now the time has come for you to join us in those traditions.
Daniel Le Domas: Ooh. Story time.
Tony Le Domas: As you may know, my great-grandfather, Victor, set up a modest printing shop during the Civil War, manufacturing playing cards. A generation later, my grandfather expanded into sporting goods and board games. Under my leadership, Le Domas Family Games acquired four professional sports teams, and reached, well, even greater heights. Some may call it luck, but, well, it’s a little more than that. You know, it’s almost as if someone’s watching over us.
Tony Le Domas: [to Grace] It all began with a very generous benefactor. And this box. You see, originally, Great-Grandfather was a merchant seaman. It was a hard life. And, like so many, he wanted more. On one of his many excursions abroad, Great-Grandfather came to meet a Mr. Le Bail. He was a passenger aboard the ship. A collector, of sorts. Purchasing exotic antiquities to resell to wealthy Americans. After discovering a mutual passion for games of chance, they passed a great many hours playing cards. And among Mr. Le Bail’s possessions was that box. And one evening, after indulging in more than their fair ration of rum, Mr. Le Bail proposed a wager. If Great-Grandfather could solve the mystery of the box before arriving at port, Mr. Le Bail would finance any endeavor of Grandfather’s choosing. Well, Great-Grandfather whiled away the long hours at sea studying the box. Until finally…
[he opens the box]
Tony Le Domas: And since that time, whenever the Le Domases are presented with a new addition to the family, we place a blank playing card into the box. Our initiate then has the privilege of drawing the card, and Mr. Le Bail will tell us which game to play.
Charity Le Domas: I got chess.
Fitch Bradley: I got Old Maid. Seriously, what the f*** is Old Maid?
Tony Le Domas: Fitch.
Grace: So I just take out the card?
Tony Le Domas: My dear, it is your turn.
Aunt Helene: [as Grace takes out the card] What does it say, girl?
Grace: Oh. It says Hide and Seek. Are we really going to play that?
Grace: [the others look at each other in shocked silence] Everything okay?
Tony Le Domas: The rules are simple. You can hide anywhere inside the house. We then count to a hundred and try to, well, find you.
Grace: Well, don’t you think you have a little bit of an advantage?
Tony Le Domas: Oh. No, no. We never use the cameras. We always play the games as they would’ve been played in Great-Grandfather’s time. Always.
Grace: So, there’s no way for me to win, right?
Tony Le Domas: Well, you could, I mean, stay hidden till dawn.
Grace: No, thank you.
Tony Le Domas: No. We’re going to start the count just as soon as you leave, okay?
Tony Le Domas: Grace, good luck.
Fitch Bradley: [as Tony gives him a crossbow] Tony, what the hell is this? How old is this thing?
Tony Le Domas: [Grace sees Clara was shot in the head by Emilie] Oh, Jesus Christ. This is Clara.
Daniel Le Domas: Does she look like she’s wearing a giant white wedding dress, Emilie?!
Tony Le Domas: Why did you shoot her in the face, sweetheart? You’re supposed to maim her. She needs to be alive for the ritual.
Emilie Le Domas: I don’t know.
Alex Le Domas: They think that if they don’t kill you, something very bad will happen to the family. Now, I had to play along so that I can get you out. But the house is on lock down right now, so it’s going to be really tricky.
Grace: You knew what would happen if I pulled that card.
Alex Le Domas: I didn’t think they’d actually go through with it.
Grace: F***ing knew!
Alex Le Domas: No one ever pulls that. It never f***ing happens!
Grace: Yeah, but you knew about it!
Alex Le Domas: No, no, I didn’t!
Alex Le Domas: When you marry into this family you have to play a game. And if you don’t, you die. I know that sounds crazy, but you have to believe me, it is real. It happened to my great-uncle. He got married, he didn’t play a game, next morning, he died. His wife too. Same thing happened to my cousin Rachel. Same thing happened to a bunch of people that I never even met before. You just, you have to play.
Grace: You said your family was f***ed-up, but you didn’t say psycho killers.
Alex Le Domas: I know.
Grace: You brought me here, you didn’t warn me?
Alex Le Domas: You wanted to get married.
Grace: So it’s my f***ing fault?
Alex Le Domas: No, I’m sorry. I’m sorry.
Grace: Are you f***ing serious?!
Alex Le Domas: Shh.
Daniel Le Domas: [they suddenly see Grace down the hallway] Found her.
Tony Le Domas: [as Grace manages to get away] Goddammit! Emilie, aim for the center of gravity!
Emilie Le Domas: I don’t know what I’m doing!
Emilie Le Domas: I forgot my gun. Daddy, I forgot my gun. I suck!
Tony Le Domas: Oh, it’s okay.
Emilie Le Domas: I suck!
Becky Le Domas: You don’t suck, sweetheart.
Fitch Bradley: [offers her his crossbow] Here, hon, why don’t you just use mine.
Tina: [runs into the room] Mr. Le Domas. Mr. Le Domas, I just saw her running…
Fitch Bradley: [as Emilie shoots an arrow that goes into Tina’s mouth] Oh, my God!
Tony Le Domas: [referring to Grace] If we don’t find her, and perform the ritual before dawn, we’re all dead!
Stevens: Oh, and I’m afraid that Dora has been crushed, sir, by the dumbwaiter.
Daniel Le Domas: And then there were none.
Tony Le Domas: [referring to Grace] Jesus Christ. She’s taking us all out. How’s she doing this?
Becky Le Domas: Sweetheart.
Tony Le Domas: It doesn’t make sense, Becky. She’s a little blonde twig, and I don’t…
Becky Le Domas: Tony!
Aunt Helene: [Grace overhears their conversation] There’s still time for Alex to do the right thing. He only has to accept the truth.
Tony Le Domas: What truth is that?
Aunt Helene: That he is meant to lead this family, not run from it.
Tony Le Domas: He’s hated our pact from the very start. He’s the good son. Do you remember that?
Aunt Helene: Then why is he the only one of us who has ever seen Mr. Le Bail in his chair?
Tony Le Domas: Good God. He was five. He was probably, I don’t know, dreaming it. Or maybe he made it up.
Aunt Helene: Well, if you say so.
Driver: [as Grace tries to stop a passing car to help her escape] Get the f*** out of the road!
Grace: [as the car drives off] What the f*** is wrong with you?! You f***ing animal! You piece of s**t, little, tiny d**k-licker, f***ing a**hole, f***ing I… F***ing rich people.
Tony Le Domas: Did you think this is a f***ing game?!
Daniel Le Domas: Yes. Hide and seek. Remember?
Emilie Le Domas: [referring to Grace] Why did she have to pull Hide and Seek? Do you think it’s real?
Daniel Le Domas: What? That we’ll implode, or burst into flames, or whatever, if we don’t kill her? I don’t know.
Emilie Le Domas: You were with them, the last time they played hide and seek, weren’t you? Were you six, seven? Do you remember anything?
Daniel Le Domas: I remember all of it. Alex was with me too. I tried to protect him. I don’t know what he saw, or what he remembers.
Emilie Le Domas: You always looked out for him.
Daniel Le Domas: If that were true, I wouldn’t have let him marry Grace. He deserved a better brother. And we all deserve to die.
Emilie Le Domas: My kids don’t.
Tony Le Domas: [to Daniel, referring to Grace] Do you realize that if she lives till dawn, that we’re all going to die? You all remember what happened to the Van Horns, right?
Fitch Bradley: Didn’t they just die in a house fire?
Tony Le Domas: Yeah, that’s what the press told you, but they… You don’t want to know how they really died. Trust me. No, you don’t f*** Mr. Le Bail. Mr. Le Bail f***s you!
[looking at the portrait of his great-grandfather Victor, referring to the deal he made with Le Bail]
Tony Le Domas: You couldn’t have negotiated better terms, huh, Vic? You couldn’t have, oh, I don’t know, maybe talked him down on the whole eradication clause? Well, here’s to you, f***er, because now we are all f***ing f***ed!
Becky Le Domas: I think you made your point, sweetheart, thank you.
Daniel Le Domas: Daniel, you don’t want to kill me. You don’t want me to die.
Grace: No, I don’t. I like you, Grace.
Daniel Le Domas: So let me go. Okay?
Daniel Le Domas: [points his gun at her] I’m weak.
Grace: You’re a good guy. You’re a really, really, really good guy. And Alex, Alex loves you. And you love him. He’s not going to forgive you if you do this.
Daniel Le Domas: Maybe not. But at least he’ll be alive. I can’t let my entire family die because of you.
Grace: It’s insane. Can’t you see it’s insane? No one’s going to die. No one, no one is going to die. And you can do something about it. It’s bulls**t!
Daniel Le Domas: No. I am not who you think I am. Alex is the one who got out. If anyone was going to save you, it would’ve been him.
[he suddenly knocks her out with the end of his gun]
Tony Le Domas: [to Grace] Where do you think you’re going, b**ch? Who the f*** do you think you are? Our family’s weathered worse than you. You’re just another sacrifice. You’re another goat.
Becky Le Domas: [as she’s trying to kill Grace] I thought you were going to be the new me. But I’m not going to let you hurt my family! You can die. You don’t deserve a family.
Grace: [hits Becky with Le Bail’s box and kills her ] F*** your family. F*** your f***ing family!
Grace: [as Alex goes to hold her, she pulls back, not trusting him] I’m sorry. I’m sorry.
Alex Le Domas: Yeah, I’m sorry too. Daniel’s dead. You won’t be with me after this, will you?
Grace: [as Alex holds her face in his hands] Alex. Alex. Alex. You’re hurting me.
Alex Le Domas: She’s in here!
Alex Le Domas: [as Grace is still alive at dawn, the family start exploding one by one] No, don’t leave. Don’t leave me, honey. Honey, I’m really sorry. I don’t want to die.
Grace: Neither did I, you selfish f***.
Alex Le Domas: No, I’m not like them. I’m not like them. I’m not like them. No, you made me better, honey.
Alex Le Domas: [referring to Le Bail] And he’s not taking me. Right? I get a do-over, sweetie. And that’s because of you. Yeah? Sweetie? Grace, I’m really scared.
Grace: Don’t f***ing touch me.
Alex Le Domas: No, okay.
Alex Le Domas: Yeah?
Grace: [she takes off her ring] I want a divorce.
[throws the ring at Alex and he explodes, then from the fireplace, Grace sees a vision of Le Bail nodding at her]
Officer: [Grace is drenched in blood, smoking, as the house burns behind her] Jesus Christ, what happened to you?