Ready or Not

Ready or Not ★★★½

Move over, "A Quiet Place"! This is the real hide-and-seek movie to look out for! At the very least, it's a twisted fun ride that runs efficiently and sleekly.

For yet another thriller inspired by "The Most Dangerous Game", this manages to inject a fresh spin into its premise, dipping its social commentary and old-school novelty gleefully in buckets of blood. It also undercuts genuinely tense and gruesome scenes with morbid humor in the right places. Samara Weaving leads a stellar cast of quirky characters, asserting herself as a protagonist you can root for. Adam Brody and Nicky Guadagni steal scenes throughout. Opulent art direction, creative staging, and engaging music bring out the playfulness of a messed-up situation.

In spite of the film going for different variations in its set-up, it winds up treading a familiar course by its end. Elements seen in most horror movies nowadays show up here and major twists lack surprise. Some of the handheld cinematography is scattershot, which hurts the film in a few spots. This certainly tries its damndest to keep the momentum going but there's moments it writes itself into a corner, grasping for air and losing some steam in the third act.

"Ready or Not" makes for a delightfully devilish crossover between movie night and game night. It captures the thrills of that old childhood game while adding enough spice (and violence) for adults to enjoy.

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