Warning! This article contains spoilers for Ready or Not.
AIPT contributors Michael Compton and Davis Pittman both wrote about Ready or Not when it was released this past summer. Each had very different opinions about the gory comedy horror. After finally seeing it myself, I am somewhere between them. Far from being perfect, Ready or Not is still a very fun movie that is definitely worth going out of your way to see. (I also disagree with the marketing. It is incredibly funny, but this is no comedy horror.)
For all the thrills, kills, and laughs, Ready or Not has a very powerful running theme. The story centers on new bride Grace. She has just married into the Le Domas family. They come from old money and are very strict about traditions. This makes Grace very uncomfortable, but she is also happy to have finally found a family. When her new husband Daniel tells her the wedding night tradition is to play a game at midnight, Grace agrees. Little does she know how high the stakes are.
From the very beginning, the movie sets an idea of how different the Le Domas are from any other family. Sure, Grace has to deal with in laws distrusting her and even outright disliking her, but this behavior is par for the course no matter the tax bracket. The opulent estate gives a slight clue, but this has been seen in movies before. The first clue is when Daniel tells his bride to be the Le Domas refer to themselves as the Le Domas Dynasty. He is obviously embarrassed and Grace laughs, but it is the first sign that they are not just another rich family.
As the plot progresses, there are more indicators as to how they are different. The ancient weapons in the house have not been purchased at auctions but have been handed down for generations. The entire mansion is shrouded in a veil of secrecy that includes secret passages and pits to dispose of bodies. There are rumored pacts with the Devil and a willingness to kill those who are not a part of the family. It is all a part of the mystery of the very upper crust of society.
Today’s ever shrinking world allows everyone access to what every celebrity is doing. Much of this is because those same stars are courting the attention of social media. However, even if the famous wanted to avoid the scrutiny of today’s technological age, it would be incredibly difficult. From people like the Kardashians to even more reclusive names like Dave Chappelle, it is becoming increasingly hard to avoid the internet spotlight.
Unless, you are the uber rich.
It is not often that Larry Ellison is trending on Twitter. Thanks to his connection to Microsoft, Bill Gates is one of the most well known billionaires, but that is only by name. Even the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg is shrouded in a air of mystery. Since these people create little controversy, it is left to the public’s imaginations as to what they are like behind closed doors.
Since there is a little to work with, strange and macabre stories begin to appear. Howard Hughes was an enigma to the American public. After years in the public eye, Howard Hughes became a recluse during the latter part of his life. People speculated he slept in a hyperbolic chamber and how the curtains to his Las Vegas penthouse had never been open and had rotted through. Even more public billionaires like Jay-Z have seen their name tied to the mysterious Illuminati. There has always been an intrigue associated with the super rich that leads to wild speculation.
Ready or Not plays with the audience’s captivation with the rich. The Le Domas are not a group of people with different opinions. They are a hive mind with the goal of killing Grace. Even the reluctance is shared among them all, it is just seen at varying degrees. The estate is not so much a beautiful home as it is a prison no one ever escapes from. There is no concern for human life. To be alive is to be ridiculously wealthy. Anything less is death. Despite owning professional sports teams and companies, the family is cloaked in mystery. Their fortune is a result of a pact with the devil. It is all the things the rest of the world think of the one percent.
The movie brings everything together perfectly. It is foul mouthed, bloody, and gives the audience some great twists and turns. The underlying mystery of the Le Domas takes center stage in a subtle way. The audience cannot help but wonder how the ultra rich live. Meanwhile, they are focused on the survival of Grace. Ready or Not is a deep horror movie that appeals to fear and curiosity.
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