Like crossing 2011’s “You’re Next” with “Home Alone,” “Ready or Not” is one of those strikingly original horror movies that comes around once in a while and reminds you why you’re a genre fan in the first place. Samara Weaving is perfectly cast as a newlywed bride who, on her wedding night, discovers that the wealthy family she’s married into are a little on the lethal side. From the beginning, the movie barely bothers to take a breath and jumps right into it: We’re parachuted into the day’s events and quickly caught up to speed, and everything else just falls into place before you know it. There are a number of laugh-out-loud moments that temper some of the more unpleasant sides of the narrative, and the violence is sparsely used, to maximum effect. In addition to Weaving, the entire cast is terrific, with Andie MacDowell and Adam Brody in particular bringing real warmth and versatility to their roles, and it’s remarkable to see an ensemble cast working so well together. On the way to the bonkers climax, there are a number of stand-out scenes (like a dark-but-hilarious recurring joke involving the wait staff) and by the time things go bananas in the end, you’re fully on board for the ride.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)