Ready or Not (2019 film)
Ready or Not is a 2019 American black comedy horror film directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett from a screenplay by Guy Busick and R. Christopher Murphy. The film stars Samara Weaving as a newlywed who becomes hunted by her spouse's family as part of their wedding night ritual. Mark O'Brien portrays her husband, with Adam Brody, Henry Czerny, and Andie MacDowell as members of his family.
|Ready or Not|
Theatrical release poster with original release date
|Music by||Brian Tyler|
|Edited by||Terel Gibson|
|Distributed by||Fox Searchlight Pictures|
|Box office||$56.8 million|
Ready or Not had its world premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival on July 27, 2019, and was theatrically released on August 21, 2019 by Fox Searchlight Pictures. It grossed $53 million against a $6 million budget, and received generally positive reviews from critics, with Weaving's performance and the film's blend of humor and thrills being praised.
The wealthy Le Domas family hosts a generations-long tradition of playing a game at midnight on the wedding night with each new addition to the family. In a flashback many years ago, young Alex Le Domas and his brother Daniel witness the killing of a man named Charles, who has just married their aunt Helene.
Thirty years later, Alex - who has been estranged from his family for years - returns to the Le Domas estate to marry a young woman named Grace. While he is hesitant to be back, Grace is reassuring and eager to become part of his family. After the ceremony, Grace is informed of the family initiation custom and meets with the rest of the in-laws. Participating in the tradition with Grace are Alex, his alcoholic brother Daniel, their father Tony, their mother Becky, Daniel's snobbish wife Charity, Alex's drug-addicted sister Emilie, Emilie's whiny husband Fitch Bradley, and the somber Helene, who is Tony's older sister.
Tony explains that Grace must participate in a session where she is required to draw a card from a mysterious wooden box and play the game written on the card with the Le Domases to be a full-fledged member. Tony also recounts that his great-grandfather Victor Le Domas made a deal with a man named Mr Le Bail where Le Bail would help create the Le Domas fortune if the Le Domas family established the tradition. Grace draws from the box a card that reads "hide and seek". Believing the game to be harmless, Grace leaves to hide in the estate while the Le Domas family, excluding Alex, arm themselves with antique weapons to hunt her down.
Alex manages to find Grace before his family, and the pair witness Emilie accidentally kill one of the estate's maids by shooting her in the head with a shotgun. Alex explains that hide and seek is the only game from the box that would prompt the Le Domas family to try to kill Grace, and he didn't tell her believing the odds of were unlikely. The Le Domas family believes that if they fail to kill Grace before dawn, they will all die as agreed by Victor Le Domas and Mr Le Bail (whose name is an anagram of Belial, an alias for Satan), decades earlier. Grace is overwhelmed and furious at Alex having not told her about the ritual for fear that she would leave him. Against his family's wishes, Alex promises to Grace that he will help her escape the estate and then heads to the house's security room after instructing her to go to the exit at the kitchen.
While looking for the exit, Grace encounters a second maid, who is inadvertently killed when Grace activates the mechanical dumbwaiter elevator system to silence her. Daniel who, like Alex, hates the nature of his family, discovers her in the study. Grace pleads with him for help, but he laments that he has no options and only grants her a ten-second head start to run before alerting the others. Alex deactivates the estate's security cameras and unlocks the doors of the house. However, he is discovered by his family who capture and restrain him for his betrayal. Grace, having torn her gown to increase her mobility and armed herself, manages to escape the house after eluding the family's butler Stevens (by scalding him with boiling water).
The family members regroup and bemoan their difficulty in capturing Grace, but reiterate the urgency of finding her before sunrise. During this discussion, a third maid is accidentally killed by Emilie with a crossbow through the head. Stevens informs the family that Grace has left the house, but promises to capture her. Grace takes refuge in the barn on the estate grounds, but after being shot in the hand by Emilie's son Georgie, falls into the "goat pit" where the family hid the remains of previous victims. Grace is able to climb out, but is further injured while escaping through a fence in a fruitless attempt to flag down a passing motorist. On the road, Stevens chases after Grace in a car, but she manages to temporarily incapacitate him after he gets out to restrain her.
Attempting to drive off with the car, Grace contacts the vehicle assistance company, but the car was reported stolen and they disable it remotely, allowing Stevens to tranquilize and capture Grace. While Stevens drives her back to the estate, Grace awakens and causes him to crash the car, killing him. However, Grace is discovered by Daniel who, knowing that Tony is secretly watching, knocks her out again and recaptures her. The Le Domas family prepares to sacrifice Grace in a Satanic ritual. After the family drink from a cup of wine as part of the ritual, they all begin to vomit, except for Daniel who non-lethally poisoned the wine, coming to the belief that his family deserves to die.
Meanwhile, Alex escapes his captivity. Daniel frees Grace and they attempt to leave the house before Daniel is shot and killed by Charity. Grace starts a fire, which is ignored and steadily takes hold as the family continues to pursue her. She gets into a fight with Becky and manages to beat her to death with the box. Alex arrives and, realizing that even if he lets Grace live she won't want to be with him, he captures her.
The family try again to sacrifice Grace. Alex, finding himself unable to kill his wife, stabs Grace in her shoulder instead of her heart. Just as dawn breaks, Helene makes a last-ditch attack with her axe, but without warning she explodes into a cloud of gore. The other members of the family look at each other in horror; some try to flee, as Tony pleads for a reprieve to Mr Le Bail but all explode one by one. Last to go, Alex begs Grace for forgiveness, but explodes when Grace demands a divorce.
As the flames break into the room, they briefly form the outline of Mr Le Bail sitting at the head of the table. He makes eye contact and nods in approval as Grace turns to escape, covered in the blood of the exploded Le Domas family members. Outside the house, Grace sits on the garden steps as the fire blazes behind her, her wedding dress scarlet with blood, and smokes a cigarette as first responders arrive. When someone asks her what happened, Grace shrugs and replies: "In-laws".
- Samara Weaving as Grace Le Domas, Alex's newlywed wife.
- Adam Brody as Daniel Le Domas, Alex and Emilie's alcoholic brother, Becky and Tony's son, Helene's nephew, and Charity's husband.
- Etienne Kellici as young Daniel Le Domas
- Mark O'Brien as Alex Le Domas, Grace's husband, Daniel and Emilie's brother, Becky and Tony's son, and Helene's nephew.
- Chase Churchill as young Alex Le Domas
- Henry Czerny as Tony Le Domas, Alex, Emilie and Daniel's father, Becky's husband, Helene's brother, and Victor's grandson.
- Andie MacDowell as Becky Le Domas, Alex, Emilie and Daniel's mother, and Tony's wife
- Kate Ziegler as young Becky Le Domas
- Nicky Guadagni as Helene Le Domas, Alex, Emilie and Daniel's aunt, and Tony's sister.
- Elana Dunkelman as young Helene Le Domas
- Melanie Scrofano as Emilie Le Domas, Alex and Daniel's cocaine-addicted sister, Becky and Tony's daughter, Fitch's wife, Georgie and Gabe's mother, and Helene's niece.
- Elyse Levesque as Charity Le Domas, Daniel's wife.
- Kristian Bruun as Fitch Bradley, Emilie's husband, who is critical of his choice of weapon being a crossbow.
- John Ralston as Stevens, the Le Domas family butler.
- Liam MacDonald as Georgie, Emilie and Fitch's son.
- Ethan Tavares as Gabe, Emilie and Fitch's son.
- Nat Faxon as the voice of Justin
In November 2017, it was announced that Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett would direct the film, from a screenplay by Guy Busick and R. Christopher Murphy. Ready or Not was produced by Tripp Vinson, James Vanderbilt, William Sherak, and Bradley J. Fischer, while Tara Farney, Tracey Nyberg and Chad Villella executive produced, under their Mythology Entertainment, Vinson Films and Radio Silence production banners, respectively. From August to October 2018, Samara Weaving, Andie MacDowell, Adam Brody, Mark O'Brien, Melanie Scrofano, Henry Czerny and Elyse Levesque joined the cast of the film.
Principal photography began on October 15, 2018, and concluded on November 19, 2018. The 26-day shoot took place at locations around the Toronto, Ontario area, including Casa Loma, Sunnybrook Park and the Claireville Conservation Area, as well as the Parkwood Estate in Oshawa, Ontario.
The first trailer was released on June 17, 2019. The film had its world premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival on July 27, 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States on August 21, 2019.
As of October 21, 2019[update], Ready or Not has grossed $28.7 million in the United States and Canada, and $24.3 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $53 million, against a production budget of $6 million.
In the United States and Canada, the film was projected to gross around $6.5 million in its opening weekend and $8–12 million over its five-day opening frame. Playing at 2,818 theaters, it was the widest release in Fox Searchlight's history. It made $1.9 million on its first day, Wednesday, including $730,000 from Tuesday night previews, and $1.1 million on its second. The film went on to debut to $8 million during its opening weekend (and $11 million over its first five days), finishing second on its first two days and sixth for the weekend. It fell just 26% in its second weekend to $5.9 million, finishing fifth.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 88% based on 258 reviews, and an average rating of 7.17/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Smart, subversive, and darkly funny, Ready or Not is a crowd-pleasing horror film with giddily entertaining bite." Metacritic reports a weighted average score of 64 out of 100, based on 37 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it an overall positive score of 71% (including an average 3.5 out of 5 stars) and a 50% "definite recommend."
Peter Deburge wrote in Variety that "This deliciously diabolical sophomore feature, which hails from the resourceful low-budget trio known as Radio Silence, represents a departure for indie distributor Fox Searchlight, which has a real winner on its hands — that rare Get Out-like horror movie capable of delivering superficial diversion alongside deep cultural critique." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called the film "a decadent blast to watch a comic takedown of the rich done with the rude energy of a horror thriller and the courage of its own manic anti-marriage convictions."
Writing for IndieWire, David Ehrlich describes the film as "wickedly entertaining from start to finish, and painted with enough fresh personality to resolve into something more than the sum of its parts." Leah Greenblatt wrote in Entertainment Weekly, "Come for the crossbows, etc., and to watch Weaving’s star be born in real time; stay for the socio-economic lessons and sweet, sweet revenge." David Sims of The Atlantic wrote "The real fun in Ready or Not comes from the ways it subverts its time-tested story, balancing wry commentary and straightforward horror in its portrait of fumbling arrogance and curdled privilege." Bobby LePire rated the film 10/10 and wrote in Film Threat that "The acting is incredible, the directing striking and intense, and the screenplay is unbelievably brilliant and funny. I adore every scary and funny second of this movie and highly recommend it to everyone else."
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