Ready or Not

ReadyorNot

Directed By: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
Starring: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O’Brien, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell, Melanie Scrofano, Kristian Bruun, Elyse Levesque, et.al.
Rating: R
Grade: A

On her wedding night, new bride Grace is informed by her husband, Alex, that, per family tradition, she must a game at midnight. Amused, she joins Alex’s family in their game room, where she is informed that gaming ritual is to appease “Mr. Le Bail,” who helped their family gain the fortune they currently enjoy. After pulling a card reading Hide and Seek from a box, she goes off in search of a place to conceal herself, unaware that her new in-laws are arming themselves with deadly weapons in order to sacrifice her to their mysterious benefactor. Upon learning the grisly truth, she finds herself in a life-or-death fight where she must try and live until sunrise.

One of the few movies that manages to find the balance between horror/thriller and comedy, this is a highly enjoyable watch. It takes on the absurdity of family tradition, particularly the amongst well-off, as well as what makes a person “fit” to join a family, and what some people are willing to sacrifice for money and power. Nearly all of the movie takes place in the Le Domas family mansion, and uses tendency of the rich to build “servant’s corridors” in their homes to its full advantage. Alex’s inner conflict between the family traditions he grew up with, and wanting to find his own happiness is shown to evolve throughout the movie. As for the actors, they all have decent chemistry and work well together.

What few special effects used are well done, and any background filler is unnoticeable.

This movie should appeal to anyone liking atypical horror/thrillers. While not terribly scary, there is quite a bit of blood, and there are one or two jump scares that work well. Anyone with young children may want to watch it first, as there is quite a bit of blood/gore, and the liberal use of adult language. The movie itself is incredibly rewatchable, and after the first viewing, doesn’t require too much attention.

Ready or Not is currently only available free to stream if you have HBO, but it can be rented through Redbox or Netflix home delivery, or purchased at any participating store or on-line retailer.
I’m always looking for new things to watch/read, so if you have a suggestion for me, just let me know!

Shazam!

Shazam

Directed By: David F. Sandberg
Starring: Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Adam Brody, Djimon Hounsou, Faithe Herman, Meagan Goode, et.al.
Rating: PG-13
Grade: B+

When 14 year old foster kid Billy Batson defends one of his foster siblings from bullies, he finds himself transported into a cavern, where a dying wizard bestows a gift upon him that gives him the appearance of 30-something superhero. Pursued by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, a rejected candidate for the powers Billy now possesses, Billy enlists the help of his foster brother, Freddy, to figure out not only what his abilities are, but also how to use them. After Sivana, aided by physical manifestations of the Seven Deadly Sins, figures out Billy’s identity and threatens his new family, Billy bands together with his siblings to stop Sivana and keep their family safe.

Another one of DC’s side properties that they made in an attempt to diversify their Extended Universe (DCEU), Shazam is well-made and entertaining. Lighter in tone than most of DC’s other current films, it’s another step in the right direction to create a diversified universe, much like the one Marvel offers. The actors all work well together, and Levi, who plays Billy’s superhero persona, has the right personality to play a teen that looks like an adult. Strong, who plays Sivana, lets his natural accent slip through occasionally, but for the most part he seems to be able to keep control of it.

The special effects are all very well done, and the background filler isn’t noticeable.

Fans of the movies based on DC comics, and maybe most fans of comic book movies in general, should enjoy this. It’s fun and light-hearted, and while it doesn’t necessarily add to the Justice League spectrum, it’s still a good movie to watch, and it’s fun enough that it shouldn’t grate on rewatching. There are just enough references to past DC movies to remind you that they’re set in the same universe.

Shazam! isn’t currently available free to stream at the moment, but it can be rented through Redbox or Netflix home delivery, or purchased at any participating store or on-line retailer.