Ready or Not parents guide

Ready or Not Parent Guide

This looks like a very dark comedy. And while it's very dark, there's not enough comedy mixed in with the pact-with-the-devil induced violence..

Overall C-

Grace has just married Adam, the son of a powerful but strange family. As part of welcoming her to the family, they insist upon playing a game of hide and seek. Little does Grace know, she has stumbled into a dangerous ritual which will culminate in her death...that is, unless she can escape from her heavily-armed in-laws before they find her and kill her.

Release date August 23, 2019

Violence D
Sexual Content B+
Profanity D
Substance Use D

Why is Ready or Not rated R? The MPAA rated Ready or Not R for violence, bloody images, language throughout, and some drug use.

Run Time: 95 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Grace (Samara Weaving) and Alex (Mark O’Brien) are getting married, but Grace is worried that Alex’s family doesn’t want her around. Alex assures her that his family is just standoffish and traditional, and they’ll warm up to her one they get to know her better. An opportunity comes right after the wedding, when, as part of an old tradition, the family gathers to play a game at the stroke of midnight. The game? Hide and seek. Grace will have to hide in their mansion until dawn or lose the game…and her life. What Grace doesn’t know is that the family patriarch in generations past entered into a deal with the devil, and every now and then, the family is required to sacrifice one of their own. Grace has to survive ‘til dawn, and hope the family dysfunction is enough to let her escape…

I was optimistic about this movie after I saw the trailer a few months back. I’m a big fan of dark comedies, and this looked both dark and hysterical. Unfortunately, while the movie delivers the dark in spades, it seems a little restrained with the comedy. Maybe some wires got crossed somewhere, but there’s too much horror/thriller, which doesn’t leave enough time for comedy. It’s not that the movie isn’t funny: it is, but in more of a dry, ironic style than in a side-splitting laugh-out-loud way.

That’s not to say the performances aren’t good. Samara Weaving is especially watchable, playing a woman who is both exceptionally resilient and terrified. She has a unique scream as well, so I’d be surprised if she doesn’t get drafted into more horror movies after this. Henry Czerny and Andie MacDowell, playing Alex’s parents, are superb and bring a few decent laughs where they are desperately needed.

The content issues in Ready or Not are, undeniably, many. From the graphic violence, substance abuse, and constant profanity to the fact that the antagonists are, semi-involuntarily, Satan-worshippers, there’s a lot to be concerned with. If any of that sounds unpleasant to you, it’s going to look a lot worse on a 30-foot-tall screen. This is not a film for the squeamish or easily upset because, honestly, there’s a lot to be upset by.

If the comic payoff had been better, I’d have cautiously recommended this for adults with a macabre sense of humor and a resistance to violence and profanity, but without a lot of good jokes, I find it hard to recommend it at all. It’s not a bad or irritating film, but it also isn’t worth the time or money. Maybe it’s funnier if you watch it back-to-back with My Big Fat Greek Wedding or something similar. Hold on, let me go test that theory…

Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett. Starring Samara Weaving, Andie MacDowell, Mark O'Brien. Running time: 95 minutes. Theatrical release August 23, 2019. Updated

Ready or Not
Rating & Content Info

Why is Ready or Not rated R? Ready or Not is rated R by the MPAA for violence, bloody images, language throughout, and some drug use.

Violence: Individuals are, over the course of the film, shot (bullets, tranquilizer darts, and arrows), stabbed, decapitated, crushed, knocked out, punched, kicked, pistol whipped, poisoned, strangled, beaten to death, and blown up. These violent acts are frequently shown with a great deal of blood.
Sexual Content: A married couple is shown making out while fully clothed in bed.
Profanity: There are approximately 130 uses of profanity, most of which are sexual expletives. There are also scatological curses and terms of deity mixed in for variety.
Alcohol / Drug Use: People are shown drinking champagne at a wedding. One character is depicted as an alcoholic as a result of childhood trauma and is shown drinking whiskey. Several people are shown smoking cigarettes. One individual is shown taking cocaine and prescription medication, although this has negative effects for her.

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Ready or Not Parents' Guide

“Aren’t you glad my in-laws didn’t try to slaughter you for a satanic ritual?”

Loved this movie? Try these books…

Murder and mayhem are unlikely features in weddings. But they make for fun murder mysteries. Carola Dunn’s A Mourning Wedding is the 13th novel in her Daisy Dalrymple series which is set immediately after the Great War. In this lighthearted whodunnit, Daisy heads for her friend’s aristocratic estate to act as her bridesmaid. But when relatives start dying off, Daisy calls in her husband from Scotland Yard.

When Delaine Dish’s husband-to-be is murdered right before their wedding, Delaine calls on her friend, Theodosia Browning to help the police find the killer. Sweet Tea Revenge is the 14th of Laura Childs’ Tea Shop Mystery series.

Donna Andrews launched her Meg Lanslow series with Murder with Peacocks. The titular heroine is back home in small town Virginia where her summer is consumed with maid of honor duties in three weddings. And then a killer strikes…

The Body in the Boudoiris the 20th in the Faith Fairchild series by Katherine Hall Page. The bride-to-be might not manage to stay alive until her ceremony in this page-turner that manages to be sweet and suspenseful.

Murder always wrecks a honeymoon. In A Brush with Shadows, sixth novel in Anna Lee Huber’s 19th century Lady Darby Mystery series, private inquiry agent Sebastian Gage receives an urgent request from his grandfather to come to the old family estate. When he and Lady Kiera arrive, they find a missing cousin, bitter family resentments, and a dangerous killer.

Home Video

Related home video titles:

Relationships can be murder as one young man discovers on a terrifying visit to his girlfriend’s family in Get Out.

Not all crazy in-laws are violent – some are simply befuddled. For a fun, family friendly movie about adjusting to new relatives, check out Steve Martin in Father of the Bride.

And some crazy-seeming in-laws have more benign (and comic) secrets in The In-Laws.

For a truly lethal wedding, check out Corpse Bride. With its somewhat gruesome plot line, this Tim Burton animated production isn’t suitable for little kids, but older kids with a dark sense of humor will get a kick out of it.

1985’s Clue, starring Tim Curry, Christopher Lloyd, and Madeline Kahn takes a darkly comic look at the plight of a group of people called together around a murder, based loosely on the classic board game.