My Top 20 Scares of 2020: #3

Without any ado whatsoever, my #3 favorite movie of 2020 is:

3. READY OR NOT (2019)

Big 2020 Mood. (c) READY OR NOT 2019.

I love idyllic horror, I love horror-comedy, and I love it when a lady who’s being stalked by crap-tastic rich folks kills them all. READY OR NOT (2019) delivers all that and more.

READY OR NOT was written by Guy Busick and Ryan Murphy and directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (what a massive number of dudes!). The premise is simple: Grace (played by the crackerjack Samara Weaving) is a sweet weirdo with no family whose new husband is a hottie with a huge filthy-rich family. She’s Millennial Cinderella! Then the fam is ordered by a supernatural board game to hunt Grace down and kill her before dawn and they’re like: OK, sure. You know, like family does? Grace survives through one wack-a-doodle murder-attempt after another, all the while getting pissed that her new husband let her get dragged into this mess in the first place, and eventually taking her sweet sweet revenge on them all. It’s your classic boy-hunts-girl; girl-watches-boy-explode-at-the-first-light-of-day love story!

The entire cast is fantastic in this film, with kickass actors Andie MacDowell, Kristian Bruun, and Nicky Guadagni operating at their full-throttle weirdest. (Plus Adam Brody, who doesn’t have to be weird, because he’s hot). READY OR NOT is packed with laughs and gross-outs but is still surprisingly high-anxiety since we’re both worried about Grace’s survival, and also concerned about what she’s not so sure about: is her new husband Alex (Mark O’Brien) her One True Love, or just another shitty rich dude? (Spoiler: Lol, obviously the latter.)

Plus, the anti-marriage, anti-rich message is highly satisfying.

How Did It Score
  • How scary was it? 3.5/5
  • How memorable was it? 4/5
    • The mayhem! The lulz!
  • Was it a Quality film? 5/5
    • Full points for idyllic setting, successfully being scary even with lots of jokes, and not one but TWO of my all-time favorite oft-recurring horror morals:
      • That Boy Will Not Save You, AND
      • Let the Rich Die and Burn it All Down
  • How about those women? 3/5
    • Here is how READY OR NOT scores on each of the gender tests:
      • Bechdel-Wallace Test: Pass
      • Sexy Lamp Test: Pass
      • Willis Test: Pass
      • Ko Test: Fail
        • Nearly everyone is white except a couple minor characters who are maids
      • Roxane Gay Test: Hits on several points but ultimately fails on the whole straight/white/hetero front.
      • Carie-Burns Test: It’s worth noting that Burns was more inclined to support a “pass” for this movie, since there are lots of female characters who pass the Lamp/Cat and Bechdel tests, and Grace in particular is a badass who shows a ton of initiative in saving herself. However the final two characters are Grace and Alex, and he is obviously more important than any of the non-Grace ladies. Plus, even if you count the ghost as a character, he’s a dude, too. I say Fail.
  • Bonus: 1
    • 1 point for the running dead maid gag, which culminates in one of them crushing herself to death inside a dumbwaiter. Perfection.
  • Total points: 16.5/20

Published by Brandy N. Carie

Playwright. Director. Producer. Dramaturg. I like coffee and Whisky and dogs and talking in person.

2 thoughts on “My Top 20 Scares of 2020: #3

    1. OK I also thought that! But I like what it actually was much better. I think the setup let us kind of believe the husband MIGHT not be a big asshole? For a while. Which is definitely more tense/exciting than just “for fun” human hunting.

      Like

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