I am often skeptical when Pater suggests films to me but my spidey senses were tingling with this title. Once again they did not let me down. All credit to Pater on this one, mind. An excellent find. Ready or Not tells the odd story of Grace, an orphan who marries into the wealthy Le Domas family. On her wedding night to Alex, she is made to play a game, as is family tradition, without realising the horror that was to come.

Samara Weaving … Grace

Adam Brody … Daniel

Mark O’Brien … Alex

Henry Czerny … Tony

Andie MacDowell … Becky

Nicky Guadagni … Aunt Helene

Prepare yourself for 90 minutes of brilliantly realised thrilling horror. Ready or Not was filmed at various locations around Toronto, including Casa Loma, Sunnybrook Park and the Claireville Conservation Area, as well as the Parkwood Estate in Oshawa, Ontario. Somehow they managed to complete filming in 26 days, which does not at all show in the quality of the finished product.

The set-up is delicious in its absurdity. Grace (Weaving), an orphan brought up in foster homes, is marrying Alex (O’Brien) and into the wealthy Le Domas family, whose fortune has been made in board games. On her wedding night she has to take part in a bizarre ritual: every time someone new joins the family, they partake in a midnight game mechanically selected from a scary antique box. If not thrilled by the prospect, Grace plays along when the card selected is ‘hide and seek’. What she doesn’t realise is that she is now the prey for the rest of the family to hunt and kill by sunrise or they will all perish. Empire

Stellar acting on the part of Weaving, Czerny and MacDowell, together with Jutkiewicz’s restless camera and Tyler’s wonderful score drive the film forward without impacting the gothic soul of the film. I had all but written off Weaving after seeing The Babysitter and Killer Queen but she was on spectacular form here. Running from a cabal of related maniacs in a ruined wedding dress escaping her attackers was a constant thrill. Ready or Not even destroyed the getaway car trope in horror films. I shall leave you to find out what I mean by this while watching the film.

Within the mêlée, Gillett and Bettinelli-Olpin allow just enough time to sketch the personalities and dynamics of the crazy clan: frenzied patriarch (Czerny), a stern matriarch (MacDowell), a good-hearted son (Brody), a poisonous aunt (Nicky Guadagni), an ineffectual brother (Kristian Bruun) and a hilarious coked-up sister (Melanie Scrofano) Empire

Overall, this is an excellent high paced horror thriller with some top class acting and a plot to die for.