Ready or Not (2019 film)

Ready or Not is a 2019 American black comedy horror film directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett and written by Guy Busick and R. Christopher Murphy. It stars Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O'Brien, Henry Czerny, and Andie MacDowell. It follows Grace (Weaving), a newlywed who is hunted by her spouse's wealthy Satan-worshipping family as part of a wedding night ritual.

Ready or Not
Ready or Not 2019 film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Written by
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyBrett Jutkiewicz
Edited byTerel Gibson
Music byBrian Tyler
Production
companies
Distributed byFox Searchlight Pictures
Release dates
  • July 27, 2019 (2019-07-27) (Fantasia)
  • August 21, 2019 (2019-08-21) (United States)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$6 million[1]
Box office$57.6 million[2]

Preparations began in November 2017 when Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett, members of the Radio Silence filmmaking collective, were hired as directors. After setting an initial release date, casting occurred from August to October 2018. Principal photography began later that month and concluded in November, in locations in and around Toronto, Canada and the surrounding Ontario area.

It premiered at the Fantasia International Film Festival on July 27, 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States on August 21, 2019, by Fox Searchlight Pictures. It received positive reviews from critics, who praised the performances of the cast, Olpin and Gillett's direction, and screenplay. It grossed over $57.6 million worldwide on a $6 million budget.[2]

PlotEdit

As a child, Daniel le Domas is confronted in his family's mansion by a wounded man named Charles, who begs him for help. Instead, Daniel alerts his family, who arrive in ceremonial masks and robes. Despite his bride's pleas, Charles is shot with a speargun and dragged away into a locked room.

30 years later, Daniel's brother Alex, the estranged son of the owners of the successful Le Domas Family Games company, is set to marry Grace, a former foster child. On her wedding day, she meets the le Domases: Daniel and his snobbish wife Charity; Alex's cocaine-addicted sister Emilie, her oafish husband Fitch, and their young sons Georgie and Gabe; Alex's unpleasant Aunt Helene, and his parents Tony and Becky. After the ceremony, Tony explains that his ancestor Victor le Domas made a deal with a man named "le Bail" to build the Le Domas fortune in exchange for the family observing a tradition: at midnight on their wedding day, every new member draws a game card from Le Bail's puzzle box. Grace draws "Hide-and-Seek", offers a toast to le Bail, and as she hides the le Domases arm themselves. Alex enters the mansion's secret passages and finds Grace, who witnesses Emilie accidentally kill a maid whom she mistakes for Grace.

Alex reveals that his family is cursed: if the new member draws the Hide-and-Seek card, the rest of the family has to find and ritually sacrifice them before dawn or they die instead. The deadly game was last played by Helene's husband, Charles. With the mansion locked down, Alex disables the security system to allow Grace to escape. She is discovered by Daniel, who is disillusioned with his family and gives her a head start before alerting the others, leading Emilie to accidentally kill another maid. Grace's escape is blocked by the family butler, Stevens. She, in turn, splatters the hot tea he was preparing on his face and runs away. Alex is restrained by Daniel and Tony after he attacks the latter. Grace is seen by a third maid, but the maid accidentally crushes herself in a dumbwaiter when she yells for the family.

Grace runs to the stables where Georgie shoots her in the hand. She knocks him out and then, startled by a goat, she falls into a pit filled with the corpses of the le Domases' previous sacrifices. She escapes and squeezes through the front gate. Pursued by Stevens, she fights him off, takes his car, and tries to call the police using the car's onboard system. The operator informs her on the recorded call that the car has been reported stolen, remotely turns it off, and says the police have been sent. Stevens subdues Grace with a tranquilizer gun, but she awakens and attacks him, causing the car to crash and kill him. Daniel, nearby the crash, captures Grace after realizing that his father is secretly watching.

The le Domases drink from a ceremonial cup, but as they prepare the ritual, they begin to vomit blood. Daniel frees Grace, having laced the cup with a non-lethal dose of hydrochloric acid. Charity shoots Daniel in the neck, leaving him to bleed to death, and Grace disarms her and bludgeons Tony with a lantern. In the ongoing chaos, the mansion is set on fire, and Grace is attacked by Becky, whom she beats to death with Le Bail's box.

Alex escapes his restraints and goes to rescue Grace, but she pulls away from him. Realizing that she will never trust him and will almost certainly leave him once she escapes, he subdues her to complete the ritual. Grace breaks free from the ritual table after being stabbed in the shoulder, just as the Sun rises. The le Domases brace for death, but nothing happens. Believing themselves safe, Helene attempts to attack Grace but suddenly explodes midstride, with the rest of the family exploding soon after. In his last moments, Alex desperately attempts to apologize to Grace, but she declares she wants a divorce and throws her wedding ring at him as he explodes. Le Bail briefly appears and gives Grace a slight head nod, and she walks out of the burning manor. As the police arrive and ask what happened, Grace replies, "In-laws."

CastEdit

  • Samara Weaving as Grace le Domas, Alex's naive and unassuming young bride and wife
  • Adam Brody as Daniel le Domas, Emilie and Alex’s alcoholic brother
    • Etienne Kellici as young Daniel le Domas
  • Mark O'Brien as Alex le Domas, Grace's conflicted husband, Daniel and Emilie's brother
    • Chase Churchill as young Alex le Domas
  • Henry Czerny as Tony le Domas, owner of the Le Domas Gaming Dominion and patriarch of the le Domas family
  • Andie MacDowell as Becky le Domas, Daniel, Emilie and Alex’s family-oriented mother
    • Kate Ziegler as young Becky le Domas
  • Melanie Scrofano as Emilie le Domas, Daniel and Alex's cocaine-addicted sister
  • Kristian Bruun as Fitch Bradley, Emilie's clueless husband, Georgie and Gabe’s father
  • Elyse Levesque as Charity le Domas, Daniel's snobbish wife, who presumably has a lower-class background similar to Grace
  • Nicky Guadagni as Helene le Domas, Daniel, Emilie and Alex’s eerie aunt
    • Elana Dunkelman as young Helene le Domas
  • John Ralston as Stevens, the le Domas’ loyal family butler
  • Liam McDonald as Georgie Bradley, Fitch's and Emilie's son
  • Ethan Tavares as Gabe Bradley, Fitch's and Emilie's son
  • Hanneke Talbot as Clara, a maid who is the “favourite”, shot in the face by Emilie
  • Celine Tsai as Tina, a maid who was accidentally shot by Emilie with a crossbow
  • Daniela Barbosa as Dora, a maid who was hired because Tony liked the way she danced, crushed by the dumbwaiter
  • Andrew Anthony as Charles, Helene's late husband, briefly Daniel, Emilie and Alex’s uncle
  • Nat Faxon as the voice of Justin, employee of the car onboard assistance company
  • Guy Busick and R. Christopher Murphy, the film's writers, as the "How To Use A Crossbow" instructors (uncredited)
  • James Vanderbilt, the film's producer, as Le Bail (uncredited), an anagram for the name Belial, a word used in the Hebrew bible to characterize wicked or worthless, which has become personified as devil.

ProductionEdit

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. Tara Farney, Tracey Nyberg and Chad Villella executive-produced, under their Mythology Entertainment and Vinson Films production banners, respectively. From August to October 2018, Samara Weaving,[3] Andie MacDowell,[4] Adam Brody, Mark O'Brien, Melanie Scrofano, Henry Czerny and Elyse Levesque were cast.[5][6]

Principal photography was from October 15, 2018 to November 19, 2018 at locations in the Toronto area, including Casa Loma, Sunnybrook Park, the Claireville Conservation Area, and the Parkwood Estate in Oshawa, Ontario.[7]

ReleaseEdit

The film had its world premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival on July 27, 2019,[8] and was theatrically released in the United States on August 21, 2019.[9] Ready or Not was released on Digital HD on November 26, 2019, and on DVD and Blu-ray on December 3.[10] The release includes a 42-minute making-of documentary, an audio commentary with star Samara Weaving, directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, and executive producer Chad Villella, as well as a photo gallery and a gag reel.[11]

ReceptionEdit

Box officeEdit

Ready or Not grossed $28.7 million in the United States and Canada, and $28.9 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $57.6 million, against a production budget of $6 million.[2]

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.[12][13] 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.[14] It fell just 26% in its second weekend to $5.9 million, finishing fifth.[15]

Critical responseEdit

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 88% based on 311 reviews, and an average rating of 7.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Smart, subversive, and darkly funny, Ready or Not is a crowd-pleasing horror film with giddily entertaining bite."[16] On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score of 64 out of 100, based on reviews from 38 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[17] 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."[14]

Peter Debruge 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."[18] 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."[19]

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."[20] 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."[21] 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."[22] 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."[23]

AccoladesEdit

Award Year Category Recipient Result Ref.
Saturn Awards October 26, 2021 Best Horror Film Ready or Not Nominated [24]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Faughnder, Ryan (August 21, 2019). "Now in theaters: Every movie that didn't want to compete with Disney". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Ready or Not (2019)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
  3. ^ McNary, Dave (August 22, 2018). "Samara Weaving to Star in Thriller 'Ready or Not' for Fox Searchlight". Variety. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  4. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 20, 2018). "Andie MacDowell Joins Fox Searchlight Thriller 'Ready Or Not'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  5. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (October 18, 2018). "Adam Brody & Mark O'Brien Join 'Ready Or Not' Thriller At Fox Searchlight". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  6. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (October 23, 2018). "Eden Brolin Joins Vince Vaughn In 'Arkansas'; Fox's 'Ready or Not' Adds Elyse Levesque". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  7. ^ Marc, Christopher (September 13, 2018). "Fox Searchlight's Thriller 'Ready Or Not' Starring Samara Weaving Shoots October–November". GWW. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  8. ^ Kay, Jeremy (June 27, 2019). "Fox Searchlight's horror 'Ready Or Not' joins Fantasia line-up". Screen Daily. Retrieved June 30, 2019.
  9. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 7, 2019). "Disney-Fox Updates Release Schedule: Sets Three Untitled 'Star Wars' Movies, 'New Mutants' Heads To 2020, 'Ad Astra' To Open Fall & More". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  10. ^ Maison, Jordan (October 22, 2019). "Ready or Not Blu-Ray Release Details Revealed". Cinelinx.
  11. ^ Miska, Brad (November 26, 2019). "'Ready or Not' Featurette: Henry Czerny as the 60-Year-Old Petulant Child [Exclusive]". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
  12. ^ McClintock, Pamela (August 21, 2019). "Box Office: 'Ready or Not' Gets the Widest Release in Fox Searchlight's History". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
  13. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (August 21, 2019). "'Ready or Not,' 'Angel Has Fallen' Enter Box Office Race". Variety. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
  14. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 25, 2019). "Gerard Butler's 'Angel Has Fallen' Rises Near Franchise's 'London' Sequel With $21M+ Opening – Sunday Final B.O." Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  15. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 1, 2019). "'Angel Has Fallen' Still In Flight At Sluggish Labor Day Box Office With $16M+ 4-Day". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  16. ^ "Ready or Not (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  17. ^ "Ready or Not Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved December 31, 2021.
  18. ^ Debruge, Peter (August 13, 2019). "Film Review: 'Ready or Not'". Variety. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  19. ^ Travers, Peter (August 22, 2019). "'Ready or Not Review: Here Kills the Bride'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  20. ^ Ehrlich, David (August 14, 2019). "Ready or Not Review". IndieWire. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  21. ^ Greenblatt, Leah (August 20, 2019). "'Ready or Not offers splattery black comedy with real socio-political bite'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
  22. ^ Sims, David (August 22, 2019). "'Ready or Not Is a Clever Horror Comedy About Entitled Rich People'". The Atlantic. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  23. ^ LePire, Bobby (August 26, 2019). "'Ready or Not'". Film Threat. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  24. ^ Hipes, Patrick (March 4, 2021). "Saturn Awards Nominations: 'Star Wars: Rise Of Skywalker', 'Tenet', 'Walking Dead', 'Outlander' Lead List". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 5, 2021.

External linksEdit