Ready or Not (2019 film)

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Ready or Not
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]

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 a young bride who is hunted by her spouse's wealthy family as part of a wedding night ritual.

Preparations began in November 2017 when Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett, members of the filmmaking collective Radio Silence, 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.

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 positive reviews from critics, who praised the performances of the cast, Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett's direction, and screenplay. The film was a box office success, grossing $57.6 million worldwide against a $6 million budget. It was nominated for Best Horror Film at the 46th Saturn Awards.

Plot[edit]

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

Thirty 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 Alex and Grace’s wedding day, she meets the le Domases: Daniel and his 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 that his ancestor Victor le Domas made a deal with someone 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". Believing it to be a harmless game, Grace goes to hide herself as the Le Domases each receive a weapon. Alex 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 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; in the chaos Emilie accidentally kills 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 who accidentally crushes herself in a dumbwaiter while yelling for the family.

Grace runs to the goatshed where Georgie shoots her in the hand. She knocks him out but is startled by a goat and falls into a pit filled with the corpses of the Le Domases' previous sacrifices, including that of Charles. She escapes and makes it through the front gate. Grace is pursued into the forest by Stevens. She fights Stevens off but is eventually captured by him. As he is driving Grace back to the house, she awakens and attacks Stevens, 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 prepare to complete the ritual sacrifice, however they are incapacitated after Daniel poisoned them with a non-lethal dose of hydrochloric acid in the ritual cup. Charity shoots Daniel in the neck after he attempts to protect Grace, leaving him to bleed to death as Grace runs away. 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 find Grace, but witnesses her attacking his mother. Grace pulls away from Alex, 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 just as the sun rises. Despite Grace having won the game, Helene attempts to attack her anyway but explodes midstride, a consequence of the curse. The rest of the family explode one by one, and when only Alex is left, he tries and fails to convince Grace to forgive him. Grace tells Alex she wants a divorce and tosses her ring back at Alex, who then succumbs to the curse and explodes too. Le Bail briefly shows himself to Grace and nods in approval.

The sole survivor of the night, Grace walks out of the burning manor just as the police arrive. Upon asking her what happened, she simply replies "in-laws".

Cast[edit]

  • Samara Weaving as Grace, 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, the apparent "favourite" maid who is the shot in the face by Emilie
  • Celine Tsai as Tina, a maid who was accidentally shot in the mouth by Emilie with a crossbow and was promptly killed with an axe by Helene.
  • 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.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

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]

Filming[edit]

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]

Release[edit]

public transport double-decker bus in Hong Kong with Ready or Not advertisment on it's side
Ready or Not advertisement on the side of a bus in Wah Fu, Hong Kong

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]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Ready or Not grossed $28,714,231 in the United States and Canada, and $28,901,546 in other territories, for a worldwide total of $57,615,777.[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 response[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 88% of 320 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 7.2/10. The website's consensus reads: "Smart, subversive, and darkly funny, Ready or Not is a crowd-pleasing horror film with giddily entertaining bite."[16] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 64 out of 100, based on 39 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]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2019 Fright Meter Awards Best Horror Movie Ready or Not Nominated [24]
Best Actress Samara Weaving Won
Best Supporting Actor Adam Brody Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Andie MacDowell Nominated
Best Screenplay Guy Busick
R. Christopher Murphy
Won
Best Score Brian Tyler Nominated
Best Costume Design Avery Plewes Nominated
Clio Entertainment Awards Theatrical: Trailers Ready or Not Won
Golden Schmoes Awards Best Horror Movie of the Year Nominated
Biggest Surprise of the Year Nominated
Best T&A of the Year Samara Weaving Nominated
IGN Summer Movie Awards Best Lead Performer in a Movie Nominated
Best Horror Movie Ready or Not Nominated
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Awards Best Horror Film Nominated
2020 Hollywood Critics Association Film Awards Best Horror Film Nominated
Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Best Wide Release Nominated
Best Actress Samara Weaving Nominated
Best Screenplay Guy Busick
R. Christopher Murphy
Nominated
Directors Guild of Canada Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Feature Film Adam Stein
Joe Bracciale
Kevin Banks
Rose Gregoris
Nominated
CAFTCAD Awards Best Costume Design in Film Contemporary Avery Plewes
Heather Crepp
Joey Watson
Alex Kavanagh
Won
Hawaii Film Critics Society Awards Best Horror Film Ready or Not Nominated
Columbus Film Critics Association Awards Best Overlooked Film 2nd Place
Music City Film Critics Association Awards Best Horror Film Nominated
2021 Saturn Awards Best Horror Film Nominated
Golden Trailer Awards Most Original Trailer Nominated
Best Horror/Thriller TrailerByte for a Feature Film Nominated
Best BTS/EPK for a Feature Film (Under 2 minutes) Nominated

Future[edit]

In March 2024, it was reported that a sequel was in development with Adam Robitel in early negotiations to serve as director; Samara Weaving is expected to reprise her starring role.[25]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Faughnder, Ryan (August 21, 2019). "Now in theaters: Every movie that didn't want to compete with Disney". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on September 29, 2022. Retrieved July 18, 2023.
  2. ^ a b "Ready or Not". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Archived from the original on January 13, 2023. Retrieved July 18, 2023.
  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". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Archived from the original on April 1, 2023. Retrieved July 19, 2023. Edit this at Wikidata
  17. ^ "Ready or Not". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Archived from the original on July 2, 2023. Retrieved July 19, 2023.
  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. ^ Awards for Ready or Not at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata
  25. ^ Sneider, Jeff (March 28, 2024), The InSneider {{citation}}: Missing or empty |title= (help); Unknown parameter |web= ignored (help)

External links[edit]