‘Ready Or Not’ skips the cheap thrills

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‘Ready Or Not’ skips the cheap thrills

Courtesy

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Eric Zachanowich/Fox Searchlight

Courtesy

Eric Zachanowich/Fox Searchlight

Eric Zachanowich/Fox Searchlight

Courtesy

At a frequency unlike fans of any other genre, horror fans have had to slough through decades worth of cheap thrills, low-effort films, and various slasher reboots. While some of these reboots can prove to be as electrifying as their predecessors (like 2018’s “Halloween” reboot), a majority of modern horror films are made poorly. However, beginning with Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” in 2017, the horror genre has been experiencing a renaissance in terms of film quality.

Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett both seem hellbent on continuing this trend for the genre, pleasing audiences with their new visceral murder party movie, “Ready or Not.”

In “Ready or Not,” Samara Weaving plays Grace, a newlywed bride who is inducted into a vastly rich family. This particular family has strange customs, one of which includes a game of Hide-and-Seek where the punishment of being found before dawn ⁠— is death.

“Ready or Not” boasts the same level of confident originality and quirkiness that “Get Outdoes, despite being based on the simple premise of a childhood game. The strength in “Ready or Not” lies in its tense atmosphere and its superb buildup, both of which are beautifully executed by the usage of dramatic irony — there are several instances in which the audiences are enlightened to an aspect of the film that the characters themselves are not. 

Although the film features a family cult, Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett use humor to detract from the darker side of the occult, making the movie both unique and unlike other cult-based films such as “Hereditary.”

Music is a centrifugal component in maintaining any form of atmosphere in film ⁠— but especially in horror as a crescendo can powerfully build up to a jumpscare. The absence of music itself can cause discomfort for audiences. Brian Tyler, composer for “Ready or Not,” excels on this front, keeping the pacing of the film at a consistent level. Tyler never seems to play his hand distastefully ⁠— unlike many other modern horror films that implode eardrums with high-pitched orchestral screeching. Rather, Tyler’s music inspires a balanced atmosphere of both mystery and horror.

Although the movie is admittedly more violent than most casual moviegoers would prefer, its violence is presented tastefully alongside a brilliant script decorated with dark comedy. Even though horror movies have mixed comedy into their writing, “Ready or Not” does so in an ingenious way that proves that comedy and horror can coexist even in well-made films. 

Prospective audiences should be warned that “Ready or Not” is comparable to a classic Tarantino film in terms of both visceral thrill and profanity.

With “Ready or Notreceiving favorable reception from critics, fans and the box office, it’s clear that the horror genre is slowly breaking away from stereotypical cheap thrills. Originality is paying off now more than ever.