Movie Review: ‘Ready or Not’

ready or not

Ready or Not — a film review by Gary Chew

Surely you’ve seen those photo-shopped video clips of celebrity figures whose heads are placed on the bodies of other people engaged in activity that displays the well-known persons in totally absurd or inappropriate circumstances. Your imagination is let loose to myriad occurrences that make the giggles just flow, right?

I’ve just seen a new movie that’s nearly the perfect instrument for spending such leisure time putting together your own nutty video clip; and that would be Ready or Not, a motion picture so awesomely outrageous, it needed two directors (Matt Buttinelli-Olin and Tyler Gillet) and two screenwriters (Guy Busick and Ryan Murphy).

ready or notSamara Weaving plays Grace, a lovely young woman who’s just become a new bride: now married into a very wealthy and eccentric clan called Le Domas. Her husband is one of the Le Domas’s sons. That’s Alex (Mark O’Brien). Then there’s Alex’s brother, Daniel (Adam Brody) as well as Tony (Henry Czerny) their father and Becky (Andie MacDowell) their mother. Aunt Helene (Nicky Guadagni) can’t be described as eccentric. Words have yet to be invented to truly explain what or how Aunt Helene is. It’s advisable, though, to keep an eye on her. (She’s keeping one on you.) Assorted extended family and the “help” (butler and maids), also add to the ominous humor mostly handled by the lead actors cast in Ready or Not.

Le Domas tradition has long suffered a requirement that anyone marrying into the family must, directly following an evening wedding ceremony, play a game of hide and seek. (I’m thinking that’s how they came up with the film’s title.) Grace is at the “mercy” of the family as she strikes out to find a proper spot in the creepy, old Le Domas mansion and secret herself till dawn. Grace doesn’t know that the Domas’s will be armed with a collection of knives, blades, pistols and long rifles as they fan out to seek Alex’s new wife. It’s a tradition. After all, Grandfather Domas was a big game hunter.

ready or notNow, here’s where the fun comes in for us: putting other heads on characters acting out their parts in Ready or Not. Let’s begin with installing Donald J. Trump’s head on father Tony’s frame. The face of Melania Trump would look nice on mother Becky’s shoulders. The brothers, Alex and Daniel, could get the likenesses Donald Junior and Eric, although it doesn’t matter which head either son gets. Those showing up in the film as extended family might do well with the heads of Kellyanne Conway, Stephen Miller and … oh yes … Mick Mulvaney. There are so many White House staff (present and past) who would well fit this need for completing our photo-shopped video clip.

Oh, I didn’t mention to you that Ready or Not is as violent and bloody as anything Sam Peckinpah ever put to film, but much more humorous. For me, leaving a good deal of those ghastly parts on the cutting room floor would not have diminished the laughable — plus, the producers of the picture having to spend much less of their budget on fake blood. (I hope it was fake.)

Wondering to what political party the Le Domas Family belongs isn’t difficult to figure. Understanding the clan’s penchant for unsettling adherence to devilish notions surely makes this weird bunch all the more distastefully disgusting. I know, as well, that I’m not ready for any of that.

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Gary Chew
Gary Chew was a classical music host, programmer and producer on Capital Public Radio’s KXPR 88.9FM, Sacramento for 18 years. He retired in January 2007. Read more about Gary's long and storied career here.