Ready or Not a Foray into Comedic Gore-Porn

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Ready or Not Blu-ray

When Grace (SAMARA WEAVING) accepted a marriage proposal from Daniel Le Domas (ADAM BRODY), she expected her life to change. After all, the Le Domas clan was richer than Croesus, and their reputation was global. What she didn't plan for, however, was the wedding night tradition of midnight game play. The Le Domas dynasty had been built on marketing games, and it had been a long-standing tradition that upon any wedding, the new family member would be assigned a random card from a puzzle box, detailing the game to be played. It could be checkers, chess, backgammon...anything at all.

But one game required different rules than all the others: Hide and Seek. That's the game when the family knew their ages-old benefactor demanded a sacrifice be made. So when Grace pulls that card, and goes off to find a hiding place, she is completely unaware that the family is preparing to come looking for her -- armed to the teeth!

What follows is a night of terror as Grace must evade discovery or be captured and offered up as a sacrifice, while her husband tries his best to help her escape without alerting his murderous family.

What elevates READY OR NOT is that it is not your traditional death-by-numbers horror flick. It's a comedy, as the family members contain reluctant drunks, eager beavers, and sisters who can't shoot straight unless it's accidentally at the servants. It having been years since the last time the card had been drawn, many are playing the game for the first time, but all are aware of the legend: if the hunted survives until sunup, the entire family will die. Or, at least, says the legend.

READY OR NOT stars MARK O'BRIEN as Daniel's brother, Alex, who finds himself wanting to help Grace escape and survive. ANDIE MacDOWELL takes the role of Becky, family matriarch, who likes Grace but likes her wealth, status, and survival even more, and NICKY GUADAGNI is the Grand Dame, Aunt Helene, who has seen these games before and haughtily ensures that everyone follows tradition. Also present are MARK O'BRIEN, HENRY CZERNY, ELYSE LEVESQUE, and LIAM MacDONALD, all forming the hunting party that tracks Grace throughout the labyrinthine mansion.

The special effects make this film remarkable, as well as the over-the-top situations and horribly gory results of every encounter. It's an odd mix, however. On the one hand, when an inexperienced hunter accidentally releases a crossbow bolt that goes right through the head of an maid who enters with a vital message, it's funny. But when Grace is squeezing through a barbed fence and we watch a metal spike carve a deep groove in the flesh of her back, we cringe. And here is where the film, perhaps, has it's greatest flaw: it tries to be both horror and comedy, rather than a horror-comedy. It has the mix, but not the blend. However, that climactic finale and twist is well worth the watch. READY OR NOT is anything but boring, so it's an easy recommend for a squeamish night on the sofa with the lights out. But I still feel it could have been so much more with just a bit more commitment to the comedy aspects and less attributed to the torture scenes.

Grade: 
3.5 / 5.0