When loved-up newly-weds promise “till death due us part”, they’re usually expecting more time than the wedding night. But in the black horror comedy ‘Ready or Not’, there’s no honeymoon period as fresh bride Grace (Samara Weaving) comes face-to-face with death on her big day. Coming from humble begginings and marrying into money, she quickly discovers that her husband’s family are “psycho killers” who want to play a fatal game of hide-and-seek with her. The Guillermo Del Toro-approved film, distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, hits UAE cinemas this week — and we break down six things to keep an eye out for.
1. The film takes “meeting your in-laws” to a new extreme
It follows Grace as she marries the filthy rich Alex Le Domas (Henry Czerny) and falls into a bizarre family tradition. On her wedding night, Grace must pick a card to determine what game she will play with her new husband’s family and the result is a deadly game of hide-and-seek, where not only are her in-laws trying to find her, but they’re trying to hunt and kill her. The basic premise of meeting a significant other’s family and discovering they’re evil is reminiscent of the 2017 Oscar-nominated horror film ‘Get Out’.
2. Lead actress Samara Weaving is no stranger to horror
The Australian talent previously starred in Netflix’s teen horror comedy ‘The Babysitter’ (2017) and featured in three episodes of ‘Ash vs Evil Dead’. But 27-year-old Weaving got her start on the BBC series ‘Out of the Blue’ and the Australian soap opera ‘Home and Away’.
Critics and fans have praised her performance in ‘Ready or Not’, including Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro, who wrote: “The trailers and materials for ‘Ready or Not’ didn’t prepare me for how suspenseful, scary and fun it is … Samara Weaving is terrific in it!”
3. The wedding dress is a character in itself
As Grace is put through the ringer, so is her white dress. The garment, which starts off pristine, goes through more than a dozen alterations throughout the film and as the night deteriorates.
“We’d always discussed how ‘Ready or Not’ starts grand and classical before it degrades and degrades,” said director Matt Bettinelli-Olpin. “The dress is gorgeous at the start, but by the end…”
According to producer Tripp Vinson, the dress goes through more 15-17 stages of disrepair. Costume designer Avery Plewes went through the script scene by scene as “notations were made about what and where the alterations would be.”
“I built the dress in five parts,” explained Plewes. “It’s built in such a way that it could be taken apart, including by Grace herself.”
4. Andie MacDowell makes her genre debut
The 61-year-old actress plays the matriarch of the Le Domas family and brings plenty of star power to the cast. Directors Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillet admitted they were “all a little star struck” by MacDowell on set.
“And I think we still are,” said Gillett. “Andie is such a trouper and was game for this project’s weirdness and the physicality it required of her.”
Reflecting on her role, MacDowell said Becky wasn’t necessarily evil — just devoted to her loved ones.
“She’s very protective of her family and wants things to work out; there is a deep love that she has for her son Alex, which I think grounds the story,” said the actress.
5. Adam Brody brings the laughs as usual
Brody has been known for his dry humour, deadpan delivery and nerdy characters over the years, all of which came in handy for his character. ‘The OC’, ‘StartUp’ and ‘Shazam!’ actor plays brother of the groom Daniel Le Domas.
“Adam brought a sense of humour to the role, so it wasn’t just darkness,” said Bettinelli-Olpin. “He was very aware of Daniel not being one-note.”
39-year-old Brody said that working within close quarters with everyone made it easy to invoke family dynamics.
“I got to work with a lot of blood, and it was a thrill,” joked the actor. “I also work well with corpses.”
6. The movie was shot in a castle in Toronto
But first, ‘Ready or Not’ filmed partially at the Parkwood Estate in Oshawa, Canadia, a historic site that has been home to several Hollywood shoots — including the 2000 film ‘X-Men’ and the TV series ‘12 Monkeys’. Previously, the Estate had been the private residence of RS McLaughlin, the founder of General Motors of Canada.
The film continued on to film at Toronto’s Casa Loma, the only full-sized castle within range of North America. The Gothic Revival-style mansion, considered a historic house museum and landmark, was built in 1911 and remains a popular destination for tourists today. Previous projects to shoot in Casa Loma include ‘X-Men’, ‘Scott Pilgrim vs the World’ and the TV series ‘Titans’.
Don’t miss it!
‘Ready or Not’ is out in the UAE on August 22.