Ready or Not

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So, a studio dropped the controversial movie “The Hunt,” because rich people were hunting other humans with guns. This film, unfortunately, wasn’t pulled by its studio, because…well, it’s a different sort of picture. And, they mostly use axes and crossbows. In fact, this movie had more crossbows than a Ted Nugent concert tour.

A lot of critics will compare this to Get Out. Wrong. It’s nothing like that.

A lot of critics will say it’s satire. Wrong. It’s really not. In fact, the two directors, and two different screenwriters, really couldn’t decide what kind of movie they were making. 

A lot of critics will tell you it was fun. Wrong. It’s rather idiotic.

This movie does accomplish one thing. You won’t think your in-laws are so bad after watching it.

Grace (Samara Weaving, looking like a Margot Robbie/Emma Stone hybrid) marries Alex (Mark O’Brien) at his family’s ancestral estate. You know from the trailers that, it’s family tradition that they play a game of “hide and seek” with the new bride. If she stays hidden, she becomes part of the family. If they find her, they kill her. And to think, I’m still pissed I once lost $25 in a game of chess to my first roommate 29 years ago. Now, you might think that’s a family you wouldn’t want to marry into, but…they have billions. They’re the biggest board game company, and have other businesses, and own several pro sports teams. And since this family is under the belief that their great grandfather made a deal with the devil to acquire such wealth, I’m guessing those sports teams include the Patriots, Yankees, Raiders. But I digress.

Anyway, Grace picks a card, and whatever game comes up, is the game they have to play. I just don’t understand why if this deal was with the devil, sometimes Mr. Lucifer is content to just watch these old fogies play Old Maid. Man, to think there was a time I dreaded playing Rotisserie League Baseball with some friends for five months. One of the most boring games ever. Again, I digress.

The devil has decided that with this wedding, a game of Hide and Seek is in order. Boy…I remember the good ol’ days when you could simply sell your soul to the devil and play a mean guitar. Now you’re hiding in closets and dumb waiters (after what happened to a girl in Pet Semetary, I’d stay away from hiding inside a dumb waiter).

Weaving is a solid heroine, although you’re often wondering why she’s yelling and screaming, which would merely bring attention to where she’s hiding. You also wonder why when she knocks somebody out, she doesn’t just kill them. Why would you want your attacker to wake up and be able to start chasing you again? Did we learn nothing from Fatal Attraction?

The movie went for a lot of laughs, but most of the jokes don’t land. It really needed a sharper script, and this premise could’ve been fun. Apparently many felt it was, because as the dopey critics on Rotten Tomatoes are telling you with the 91% score — they feel you should see it.

The two best casting decisions were Nicky Guadagni as the creepy aunt. She looks so scary (especially when she pokes her head in on the couple during their “wedding night”). And, she has a scene where she goes all Midsommar on a maid that isn’t quite dead. Oh, those pretty little maids all in a row on the kitchen floor, being dumped into the goat pit (where you’ll get an up-close look at what all is in that pit).

Andie MacDowell, who I always found adorable on screen (Groundhog Day and Four Weddings and a Funeral should prove my point)…looks like Elvira’s old, ugly sister. What the heck happened to her?

The thing I’m curious about regarding this premise is…even if the family succeeds in killing this new bride…doesn’t she have friends and co-workers that are out looking for her? Don’t police show up at the mansion where she was married, under the assumption that her new husband was probably involved?

That’s just one of many questions you’ll have watching this. Another I had was when she found the room where they stock all their weapons. Why she didn’t just hunker down there? Any time a person came in looking for her, take them out. Instead, she grabs a weapon from the room and continues down the hallways of a mansion she doesn’t know her way around.

The filmmakers also made this family a little too cartoonish as villains. And there was one family member that I never could figure out (the brother, played by Adam Brody). Sometimes he was helping her, sometimes he was belting her in the face with the butt of his gun.

I did laugh a few times. One of those was when the fat doofus of the bunch is given a crossbow that looks to be 100 years old. He’s not sure exactly how to use it, but finds a YouTube video on his phone called “Getting to know your crossbow.” 

I’m going to give this movie an extra star for a great score by Brian Tyler (Crazy Rich Asians, as well as many Fast and Furious and Marvel movies). Also nice classical pieces by Beethoven, Wagner, and Tchaikovsky. But, I’m going to have to take that extra star away because it’s yet another movie with a barfing scene (on multiple occasions). That makes the total percentage of current movies with barfing, up to 90%.

1 ½ stars out of 5.

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