Spoilers call dibs on the shotgun.

Yes, this was a movie from Fantasia 2019. You could’ve guessed that without me telling you, because it’s definitely got the proper credentials. Horror comedy works best when it doesn’t lose its edge, when the laughs come because of the frights and the gore doesn’t stop. I wish more movies understood that. It’s not comedy in a horror setting, but horror itself as comedy. It’s not made funny, it’s made to have fun.

(Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Ready or Not is directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett and written by Guy Busick and Ryan Murphy. Grace (Samara Weaving) is marrying Alex Le Domas (Mark O’Brien), the heir to an insanely wealthy family that made their fortune on board games. On their wedding night, their family tradition dictates they play a game by drawing a card. There’s just one card that will begin a deadly game of hide-and-seek, and Grace might just be unlucky enough to pull it.

I think the filmmakers knew the right mix for this film. The performances vary from decent to adequate to the excellent mix of both sassy and scared but determined character that is Samara Weaving’s Grace. And let’s face it, it’s really about to her to sell the film, the plot, the ambience and she does a wonderful job. I think Adam Brody steals every scene as the ambiguously jaded brother of Alex, Daniel. It’s also amazing to see Andie MacDowell adding both charm and cynicism as Becky, mother to Alex and Daniel.

The rest of the performance are a mixed bag. Some of their performance are adequate or simply keep the same expression during the movie. Unfortunately that makes some scenes over-the-top campy as certain members of the family have a bit of a cartoonish approach to their villainy. That means sometimes we get something out of Clue-meets-Beetlejuice and sometimes we get Mr. Burns from The Simpsons (I was going to use Dastardly and Muttley from Wacky Races but I understand that reference might be a bit dated).

Recommended for the horror crowd that wants a laugh and doesn’t mind the gore. Casual crowds might even enjoy it. Definitely above than average to an extent, and I’d say a runner-up for the audience pleaser in the Fantasia 2019 selection. Samara Weaving shines with great performances by Adam Brody and Andie MacDowell. I could argue that it might have competition with a couple of movies in this year’s line up but I must admit there’s very little to match in the mainstream selection out in theatres at the moment. One to enjoy with a crowd for sure.

That will do for now.