Ready or Not

Critics Consensus

Smart, subversive, and darkly funny, Ready or Not is a crowd-pleasing horror film with giddily entertaining bite.



Total Count: 208


Audience Score

Verified Ratings: 5,107
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Movie Info

Ready Or Not follows a young bride (Samara Weaving) as she joins her new husband's (Mark O'Brien) rich, eccentric family (Adam Brody, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell) in a time-honored tradition that turns into a lethal game with everyone fighting for their survival.

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Critic Reviews for Ready or Not

All Critics (208) | Top Critics (25) | Fresh (182) | Rotten (26)

  • No-fat fun and a great new scream queen in Samara Weaving.

    Sep 20, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • This horror comedy muffs both the humor and the drama.

    Sep 9, 2019 | Full Review…
  • This new offering in the hide-and-seek horror genre rests on a foundation of class warfare and achieves a deft balance between gruesome horror and black comedy.

    Aug 26, 2019 | Full Review…

    Eren Orbey

    New Yorker
    Top Critic
  • [Weaving is] vulnerable, deadpan funny, scared and resolute, turning a role that could have been one-dimensional into something vibrant and authentic.

    Aug 23, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • What 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.

    Aug 23, 2019 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • The real fun 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.

    Aug 22, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Ready or Not

  • Sep 10, 2019
    This was so well done and thought out. Ready or Not was the most fun I've had in the cinema this year. Brilliant, pointed, funny, and thrilling, It's a must see. Samara Weaving is hilarious as well. Rating: 84
    Bradley J Super Reviewer
  • Sep 01, 2019
    CLUELESS - My Review of READY OR NOT (2 1/2 Stars) The poster for Ready Or Not led me to believe a corseted Margot Robbie had opted to star in a period thriller filled with ammo, murder and mayhem. While we do get the tightly-bound dress and bloody killings, the film stars Robbie lookalike Samara Weaving, niece to Hugo Weaving, and is set in modern day. Directed by horror veterans Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett and written by Guy Busick and Ryan Murphy (not that Ryan Murphy), Ready Or Not offers a fun, nearly non-stop splatterfest, but operates on such an off-putting level that its obvious satirical points grow tiresome and repetitive. Weaving plays Grace, a nice, normal woman who has said "yes" to marry Alex Le Domas (Mark O'Brien), an heir to a vast family fortune built from success in selling games. Alex's eccentric clan, none of whom exhibit anything close to real human behavior, have an odd tradition of forcing newly wedded in-laws into playing a midnight game with them. Should she survive the night, she gains acceptance into the family. Sometimes the games are innocuous, but once in a while, through an odd selection process, they choose "Hide And Seek" in which the bride must hide from everyone until sunrise in order to win. If they fail to find her, they all die. Um, ok. Sign me up? It seems the family wealth involved signing a deal with the devil with deadly games on the menu whether they like it or not. Clearly a satire about the 1% and the lengths they go to in order to retain their wealth, the film gets points for its unshakeable nerve and Weaving's performance, but the filmmakers make the same point over and over. It's still fun and filled with laughably violent set pieces, but I couldn't help but think I was watching Drunk History, Another Period and Clue have a three-way battle and spit out enough blood to fill three Shining elevators. The filmmakers have assembled a talented, interesting cast as the Le Domas family, including Andy MacDowell, Adam Brody, Henry Czerny and Nicky Guadagni as spiky-haired Aunt Helene, who seems to have wandered in from some 80s Duran Duran music video gone horribly wrong. At least she knows what movie she's in, whereas the rest of the cast seems a bit lost amongst its arch, quasi fantastical tone. Aside from our protagonist, you won't care about anybody else since they operate as pieces on the writers' chessboard in order to prove to us that rich people suck. Lucky for Weaving, she gets a showcase here, allowing our potential Final Girl to swear like a truck driver and pummel people into literal bloody pulp. She does so well I can't wait to see her next film. I was actually ready to see her next film DURING this one! In a final shot highly reminiscent of a post-apocalyptic one of Winona Ryder in Heathers, one character gets to smoke a cigarette in front of a burning building and have the last word. That one word, while clever and amusing, further illustrates the type of lazy satire we've experienced for the past 95 minutes. I don't want to come down too hard on this film, since Ready Or Not has a sense of fun and hating wealthy people seems to be all the rage these days. One note, however exciting that note is, is still one note. Even satires have to make us care about the people or else they play like essays. The filmmakers have obvious talent, but I suggest an ammo reload and trying again.
    Glenn G Super Reviewer
  • Aug 29, 2019
    It has suspense, and scares, and lots of gore, and is really, really funny. Smart writing, good acting. Everyone in the theater seemed to have a good time, including me
    Joe S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 24, 2019
    Ready or Not is like the twisted lovechild of the home invasion thriller You're Next and the meta-horror funhouse that is Cabin in the Woods, and it's a total blast. This is no game. Grace (Samara Weaving) is marrying into a rich family of socialites, famous for their family's history with board games. Grace's husband is reluctant about his bride joining the family he had walked away from for years. There is one big tradition: every new member of the family has to play a game upon their wedding night, dating back to the great grandfather who founded the family company through a chance encounter. Grace pulls a random card that says hide and seek, and that's the game they must play. She's bemused at being enlisted into a child's game but little does she know that the family is arming themselves to find and murder her. They fear that if they cannot kill her before dawn, they will all be doomed thanks to an old curse. The movie is entertaining from beginning to glorious ending thanks to finely developing its unorthodox premise and staying consistent tonally, whether it's dark humor or tension. This is a very funny movie. In fact, I laughed more and harder during this film than I have with movies sold as comedies. It's not afraid to spin its macabre premise for fun, but it impressively doesn't lose sight of character and scenario along the way. That means that the screenwriters are deriving their humor from the absurdity of their situations and finding organic wellsprings of comic relief. The humor doesn't detract from the danger of the moment while also enlivening the rest of the movie. The incredulity of the situation leads to some wonderfully ironic moments, like one relative studying YouTube videos for how to operate a crossbow, someone looking up on Google whether or not deals with the devil are real, and a running gag of the estate's maids meeting horrible accidental deaths. And then there's the ending, which finds a wonderful way to essentially have its cake and eat it too. I won't spoil it but the ending to Ready or Not is a fist-pumping, cheering, clapping, highly memorable closer, and one of the best endings in years. It's one of those endings you can't wait to talk about with others. All of the various family members have little notes to play and character beats that provide a more realized glimpse into their histories and the family dynamics than I would have anticipated. It made me feel like the filmmakers had given great consideration to even the smallest of details in what is, at its core, a murderous version of a children's game. There's the wife to Adam Brody's character who is all-in on whatever it takes to maintain this family because she hints at what kind of horrible life predated her new life here. Then there's the patriarch of the family who is all about ceremony and staying true to the rules until he has to experience the smallest challenge and wants to use whatever cheats he can at his disposal, arguing that great grandfather would use security cameras too if he could and why should they be penalized for simply playing the game in a more technologically advanced era. He's just another rich douchebag who drops his pretenses the moment something isn't handed to him. The characters are varied so that you can never feel relief when anyone is in a room, and that even includes the children, who seem destined to become new participants in this cycle. Even with its tongue-in-cheek humor and premise, there is a lot of clever thinking put into Ready or Not. There are plenty of setups that connect to later payoffs, including that amazing finish. The screenplay by Guy Busick and Ryan Murphy thinks things through step-by-step so that it's always ahead of the audience. If any of us found ourselves in this scenario, we would likely try and escape as quickly as possible to an outside refuge. They provide an explanation for that hurdle. Then when Grace finds a way out, the screenplay finds a logical yet clever way to curtail that escape. There is a gruesome sequence where Grace suffers a specific injury and then has to pull herself out of a bad situation, and the movie sets up a gnarly out that connects to that injury, and I sat with baited breath just waiting for the puzzle pieces to connect, and Ready or Not has several moments like this. It's a fun movie because while it doesn't take itself that seriously it's very serious about its storytelling and structure. Weaving deserved to be an A-list actress after her star-making performance in Netflix's The Babysitter. This woman is so magnetic and so great at roles that require a tightrope of tone; she sizzled as the darkly advantageous yet lovable babysitter in that other movie, and with Ready of Not she's our increasingly baffled heroine just trying to make sense of the insanity. The audience gravitates toward Grace pretty quickly as a grounded woman who seems genuine about her desire to have the family that she never formed as a foster child. There's a latent tenacity that emerges from Grace as she pushes herself through one survival scenario after another. Unlike the similarly themed You're Next, Grace is not some secret badass raised by crafty survivalists. She's a normal person thrust into a very abnormal situation, and her responses stay reasonable and formidable when called upon. She is our center for the fun and she makes a winning heroine, and Weaving is so good at the heavy moments, the gross moments, the sly moments, that she deserves to have great material handed to her because she is ready, Hollywood. Ready or Not is a sneaky, nasty, delightfully dark little movie that left me hooting, hollering, squirming, and grinning with satisfaction. It's a late summer surprise that delivers everything I was hoping for and has great, delicious fun with its humor and violence. It's smartly paced, smartly structured, with supporting characters that leave a mark as well as thematic questions over culpability and group think. This is the kind of movie I wish Hollywood was making more of, with screenwriters that can take a premise and write the best possible version of that and with the best possible ending. Any misgivings I have for this movie are small quibbles, like maybe more specific payoffs linked to onscreen deaths, but even that would detract from later events and payoffs, so even my quibbles can be excused. Ready or Not deserves to be seen with a raucous crowd that will appreciate it to its full extent. I look forward to the Twister-heavy sequel. Nate's Grade: A
    Nate Z Super Reviewer

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