Ready or Not
Fables are the oldest method of teaching lessons to kids and adults alike. As storytelling has developed over humanity’s existence, the art of the narrative has grown more complex with fables alongside. Teaching lessons to the public has now taken on the form of pointing out existing flaws or patterns and urging the audience to find their own solution. This seems to be a subtle motivation for the new film Ready or Not (2019).
Ready or Not is a film that will grow with enjoyment the less one knows going into the theater. The film follows a young woman, Grace (Samara Weaving), who is about to marry into a wealthy family, owner of many famed board games. On her wedding night, instead of the usual expectation, she is brought in to perform a family tradition of playing a game. Little does Grace know of the intensity that will involve her chosen game.
Ready or Not will be classified as a horror film, and yet it is on the fringes of such categorization. I was never in a state of “horror” as much as cringing at particularly effective gore. The film seeks to immerse you in the trials of Grace and through effective cinematography and sound it achieves it, to great potency. Weaving proves to be a captivating protagonist, breaking onto the scene with a confidence and assuredness that is needed to pull off the character of Grace – as well as the rest of the film. The supporting cast are welcome additions adding spice as much as embodying the caricatures of wealthy people.
While some viewers may be scandalized at the clash of realism and the apparent comicality of many of the characters, it is part of the commentary the film is trying to make and shows effective it is at arousing your discomfort. Such discomfort is meant to indicate the absolute disconnectedness of the wealthy with morality and reality. The film’s themes and messages are varied, going from its many commentaries on wealth, to pointing out the dangers and ridicule of heavily steeped tradition (and indirectly religion).
In a time when such commentaries on wealth inequality and disconnectedness can undoubtedly get political and force many to clog their ears; such a fable-like analysis is essential in opening viewers eyes. Ready or Notis an effective thriller/horror, with Weaving making us grip alongside for her success; the film proves to be the perfect mesh of entertainment, escapism, and pertinence.