Ready or Not (2019 film)
|Ready or Not|
Theatrical release poster
|Music by||Brian Tyler|
|Edited by||Terel Gibson|
|Distributed by||Fox Searchlight Pictures (through Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures[a])|
|Box office||$57.6 million|
Ready or Not is a 2019 American comedy horror film directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett and written by Guy Busick and R. Christopher Murphy. The film stars Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O'Brien, Henry Czerny, and Andie MacDowell. Ready or Not follows Grace (Weaving), a newlywed who is hunted by her spouse's evil family as part of a wedding night ritual.
Preparations for the film began in November 2017, when Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett, members of the Radio Silence filmmaking collective, were hired as co-directors. After setting an initial release date, casting took place between August and October 2018. Principal photography began later that month and concluded in November, filming in locations in or around Toronto and the surrounding Ontario area.
Ready or Not 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 generally positive reviews from critics, with praise for the screenplay, acting performances (particularly Weaving), direction, and comedy. It was also a commercial success, grossing over $57 million worldwide on a $6 million budget.
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 wearing ceremonial masks and robes. Despite the pleas of his bride, Charles is shot with a speargun and dragged away.
Thirty years later, Daniel's brother Alex, who runs the successful Le Domas Family Games company, is set to marry Grace, a former foster child. On her wedding day, Grace meets the Le Domases: Daniel and his snobbish wife Charity; Alex's cocaine-addicted sister Emilie, her husband Fitch, and their young sons Georgie and Gabe; Alex's aunt Helene, and his parents Tony and Becky.
After the ceremony, Tony explains his ancestor made a deal with a man named "Le Bail" to build the Le Domas fortune in exchange for the family observing a tradition: every new member draws a game card from Le Bail's puzzle box. Grace draws "Hide-and-Seek", and as she hides, the Le Domases arm themselves. Unwilling to participate, Alex escapes into the mansion's secret passages and finds Grace, who witnesses Emilie kill a maid she mistakes for Grace. Alex reveals the curse: every new member must play a game determined by the box, or the family will die at dawn; hide-and-seek requires the family kill the newcomer before dawn. It 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 the family and gives her a head start before alerting the others, leading Emile to accidentally kill another maid. Grace's escape is blocked by the family butler, Stevens. Alex destroys the security system and is restrained by Daniel and Tony. Grace is discovered by another maid, but the maid accidentally crushes herself in a dumbwaiter.
Grace escapes to the stables and finds Georgie, who shoots her in the hand. She falls into a pit filled with the corpses of the Le Domases' previous sacrifices, but impales her bullet wound on a nail to escape. She squeezes through the fence and flags down a motorist, who drives off. Pursued by Stevens, she fights him off and takes his car, and tries to call the police using the car's onboard system, but the operator informs her the car has been reported stolen and remotely shuts off the vehicle. Stevens subdues Grace with a tranquilizer gun, but she awakens and attacks him, leading the car to crash, killing Stevens. Daniel then captures Grace.
The Le Domases drink from a ceremonial cup and then vomit blood as Daniel frees Grace; he laced the cups with a non-lethal dose of hydrochloric acid. Charity shoots Daniel and Grace disarms and pistol-whips her. Grace bludgeons Tony with a lantern, starting a fire, and 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, he subdues her to complete the ritual.
However Grace is able to break free from the sacrifice, only taking a stab to the arm. Dawn arrives and the Le Domas family cower in terror at having lost, only for nothing to happen. The curse appears to be false and the family is left wondering what to do with Grace. However when Helene attempts to break the rules by killing Grace after she won the game, she and the rest of the family explode one by one, until only Grace and Alex are left. Alex weasily tries to beg Grace for forgiveness, but she refuses and points out that this was all due to his own inherent selfishness. In a mocking tone she demands a divorce, hurling her wedding ring at him seconds before he explodes. Injured and covered in her now ex-husbands blood, Grace is surprised when the aforementioned Mr. Le Bail appears before her in a burst of fire, giving her a nod of respect before vanishing. Leaving the quickly burning mansion behind her, she sits down on the steps and smokes a cigarette as police and emergency personnel arrive on the scene. When asked what happened, Grace only tiredly replies "In-Laws".
- Samara Weaving as Grace Le Domas, Alex's young bride and wife
- Adam Brody as Daniel Le Domas, Alex and Emilie's alcoholic brother
- Etienne Kellici as young Daniel Le Domas
- Mark O'Brien as Alex Le Domas, Grace's husband, Daniel and Emilie's brother
- Chase Churchill as young Alex Le Domas
- Henry Czerny as Tony Le Domas, Daniel, Emilie and Alex's father
- Andie MacDowell as Becky Le Domas, Daniel, Emilie and Alex's mother
- Kate Ziegler as young Becky Le Domas
- Melanie Scrofano as Emilie Le Domas-Bradley, Daniel and Alex's cocaine-addicted sister
- Kristian Bruun as Fitch Bradley, Emilie's husband
- Elyse Levesque as Charity Le Domas, Daniel's wife
- Nicky Guadagni as Helene Le Domas, Daniel, Emile and Alex's aunt
- Elana Dunkelman as young Helene Le Domas
- John Ralston as Stevens, the Le Domas family butler
- Liam McDonald as Georgie Bradley, Fitch's and Emilie's son
- Ethan Tavares as Gabe Bradley, Fitch's and Emelie's son
- Hanneke Talbot as Clara, a maid
- Celine Tsai as Tina, a maid
- Daniela Barbosa as Dora, a maid
- Andrew Anthony as Charles, Helene's late husband, and Alex, Emile and Daniel's uncle
- Nat Faxon as the voice of Justin, employee of the car onboard assistance company
- Guy Busick & R. Christopher Murphy, the film's writers, as the "How to Use a Crossbow" instructors (uncredited)
- James Vanderbilt, the film's producer, as the demon Le Bail (uncredited)
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 were cast in 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 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.
Ready or Not was released on Digital HD on November 26, 2019, and on DVD and Blu-ray on December 3. 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.
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.
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 aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 88% based on 275 reviews, and an average rating of 7.19/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Smart, subversive, and darkly funny, Ready or Not is a crowd-pleasing horror film with giddily entertaining bite." On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score of 64 out of 100, based on reviews from 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 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." 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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- Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures is uncredited on all media for this film.