Co-directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (V/H/S, 2012) have another entry in the canon of the horror/thriller genre that is one half Agatha Christie mystery and one half bloody hunting contest. An innocent bride marries into a super-rich family that have built their multi-generational fortune on board games. But instead of honeymoon bliss, the wedding night is a night of initiation for the new bride who is lured into a deadly game of hide and seek to follow an important family tradition.
What could turn into a lame excuse to only show a string of elaborate death scenes, Ready or Not aims a bit higher to explore tenuous family relationships and mix in dark campy humor. These family relationships are expressed well through Adam Brody (Shazam!, 2019) who gives a moderately amusing performance as an unruly family member reluctant to continue nasty traditions.
Some brilliantly arresting horror films about realistic murder already exist that will truly scare any viewer (or at least make them feel uncomfortable) like Wolf Creek (2005), I Saw the Devil (2010), or even Kill List (2011). Ready or Not is not one of those films. But that's what makes it fun, because it doesn't want to be one of those films. With absurd deaths, antique hunting weapons, and filthy insults shouted at the loudest octaves, Ready or Not feels like a game or sporting event itself with murder as the embellished spectacle.
It was reminiscent of the 2011 thriller You're Next (directed by Adam Wingard who also worked on the 2012 film V/H/S) but with the camp and casual attitude of death in the 1985 murder mystery comedy Clue. The explosive orgy of blood and guts goes too far in the realm of ridiculous and is not a fulfilling climax. But Ready or Not is a mostly fun romp that will get people laughing.