12 November 2019

A Girl In Love

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Weddings are a funny old thing when you think about them. On the off chance that your loved one ever finds out that you're a shitty person then a marriage is just the contract that will make it harder for them to fucking leave. It's exactly the same as taking a hostage, but if you'd decided to play the long game instead of doing the honest thing of simply bursting out of a van and throwing a sack over their fucking head. Ready Or Not is the latest film to deal with a marriage that goes instantly wrong when the bride's wedding night turns out to be a little more hardcore than she'd anticipated. For most people, this would probably involve finding out that your partner has a big old swinging cock where you'd previously hoped to find an undrawn set of beef curtains. Ugh. That was a horrible sentence to write. But in the case of Ready Or Not, the bride finds herself running around a large mansion whilst her new husband's family attempt to kill her with axes, crossbows, and shotguns. Still. It could be worse. During medieval times it was a Scottish tradition for the bride and groom to have sex right after the vows as both of their entire families would stand around and watch them. If I have to endure an embarrassing scenario in which my family witness how I deal with a 'gaping axe wound', I'd probably prefer being fucking murdered, if I'm honest.

In Ready Or Not, the bride's new family specifically want to kill her during a pretty brutal game of hide and seek. The worst I thought that game could get is when you're hiding in a small cupboard and you let out such a shitty smelling fart that you have to decide to either give yourself up or be found dead a week later after having fucking gassed yourself. But it's a family tradition with these people that each newly married couple must play a game on their wedding night and where the fuck would marriage be without tradition? Abolished is the answer. Abolished and replaced by common fucking sense. The family in this movie is super-rich too by the way. They made their money selling boardgames which is why they insist on playing one whenever a new person enters their family. A card is chosen at random as to which game will be played with only hide and seek being the one that involves killing the new member. I don't know why that's the case, to be honest. Possibly because if she picked out Monopoly then the odds would be that the entire fucking family would end up killing each other. I played Monopoly once in which a male friend landed on another male friends hotel and in a panic, stated “I'm sure we can come to some arrangement?” He claims that he meant that he'd pay him back in instalments but we all know that he was one bad Chance Card away from offering up fucking blow-jobs. Although an even worse game to pick would be Girls In Love. Do you know that one? Because despite its name it's pretty fucking hardcore. I know this is nothing to do with the film at this point but fuck I'm going to you about it anyway.

So 'Girls In Love' is a game designed for young girls that ask mostly innocent questions but there are a few in there that get fucking bleaker the older you are. One such question asks, “What was the worst thing that you've ever experienced?” Except to make matters worse the game will usually work out so that somebody has to guess what that might be for you. So when you're about eight years old your friend might have to guess, “was the worst thing that you've experienced the day your pet cat died?” But when you get to about thirty it's more like, “was it the day that your wife left you for your own father and then convinced your children to start referring to you as their fucking Uncle?” There's another question too which asks, “What feature do you hate the most about yourself?” So you literally have to go around the table and point out peoples physical flaws to gain a point. Best case scenario is that you reinforce their current insecurities with the worst being that you throw a few more in for good fucking measure. I was explaining this to somebody who'd never heard of the game once in which I said that “you actually have to ask people if they think that they're fat or they have a big nose?” to which he replied, “did you pick those two because you can see that I'm fat and I have a big nose?” I then told my friends that had already played the game about this exchange to demonstrate that it's so dangerous that simply explaining the rules can offend people. To which their response was, “so you remembered that he thinks he's fat and I think I have a big nose then?”. Total fucking chaos.

Anyway, so the bride of Ready Or Not picks the 'hide and seek' card meaning that she has to hide whilst oblivious to the fact that her new family are about to tool up and hunt her down. She's also oblivious to the fact that she could have picked the fucking Girls In Love card I guess. The reasons that the family have to hunt her down if she picks this card are explained as the film goes on but I don't think it's important really. Do you remember a few years ago that Blumhouse produced a film called Truth Or Dare? It was a film that was so fucking boring that it dared you not to fall asleep whilst the truth was that a fucking coma was more likely. But the two films share a similarity in that they're both horror films that have been adapted from some well known Parlour-type games. Are they Parlour games? I don't fucking know. When I was a kid my family would just take me to the pub and we'd play the game of 'read your magazine and let us get drunk'. You get that Truth Or Dare and Hide And Seek are kind of similar though right?! The difference, however, is that Truth Or Dare ditched the rules of its central concept pretty quickly and started making shit up as it went along. Truth Or Dare is a game exclusively played by perverts and gossip whores and so the fact that that film didn't end with the cast naked and offended is proof of how it deviated from its core idea. But Ready Or Not fucking zips along at a hundred miles an hour before finding itself at its natural and brilliant conclusion. The only real plot hole that I could find with the movie is in the opening set-up in which the bride agrees to play a board game with her grooms family on her wedding night. Tradition or not I think I'd take a leaf from Olympus Has Fallen's Mike Banning and suggest instead that we play a game of Fuck Off with them going first.

The two other movies that Ready Or Not has a similar vibe to are Game Night and You're Next. Game Night because it's obviously about playing a game that has actual consequences and also because it's really fucking funny. You're Next because despite being the victim in this situation the bride of the film turns out to be kind of a bad-ass. She's no Lara Croft but at the very least she's able to cope with the fact that everybody is trying to kill her to remain reasonably calm and still think rationally. I guess this film is kind of like a really hardcore episode of Don't Tell The Bride. She's also not as wealthy as her new family and so I suppose there's also a Downton Abbey-vibe going on in that a load of rich people are running about their mansion without giving a single solitary shit about the feelings of the poor. In fact, there is quite a lot of satirical jabs at how out of touch the rich are here with most of the grooms family being complete fuck-ups. One of them is constantly off her tits on coke and the other spends most of the film watching YouTube tutorials on how to use his crossbow. Obviously, I'm not suggesting that poorer people all know how to use crossbows but rather that I suspect our bigger concern would be in the murder we're casually being asked to commit. How they have acquired their wealth also appears to be as a result of some pretty shady deals which I won't go into too much. If I see so much as a simple homeowner then I assume they must have gotten their house unscrupulously by either skimming company profits or fucking an old lonely neighbour so much that they put you in the will. So it's not hard for my paranoid imagination to find parallels with our world's super-rich and Ready Or Not's Purge Night-esque family of millionaire psychopaths!

As well as the comedy and light social satire it's worth noting that the film really does deliver on its gore quota too. Heads are chopped off, arrows are fired into mouths, and at times people even fucking explode. I know that everybody likes to brag that they spent their wedding night up to their nuts in guts but in the case of this film the nuts are her new family and the guts are her actual guts. I know that doesn't quite work but also fuck you. The film is violent is my point. There were several moments throughout in which the film actually achieved the holy trinity of audience response from a horror-comedy in which you wanted to laugh, scream, and applaud all at the same time. Of course, it's not a perfect movie but there's so little wrong with it that you'd have to be a fucking bell-end to walk out moaning. Ready Or Not might not become the cult classic that American Werewolf In London or Evil Dead 2 have become. But it sits pretty comfortably alongside the more recent Happy Death Day in terms of horror comedies that are way better than you'd expected them to be. Is the movie even remotely scary? No. But after nine years of a Conservative government in Britain and with Trump in power in America I guess I'm just pretty numb to the idea of rich people trying to fucking kill me. I actually decided pretty early on in my life that I never wanted to get married which is fine because it seems that every other woman on the planet had decided the same thing for me. But this film is further proof for me that it's a bad idea and that along with Monopoly and Girls In Love, hide and seek will have to go on my list of games that can result in fucking murder. Thanks for reading motherfuckers and see you next time.

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