Ready or Not

A foul-mouthed young bride (Samara Weaving, niece of Hugo) learns that her groom's relatives, millionaires who have made their fortune in board games (really?), play a randomly-selected game with every new son- or daughter-in-law on their wedding night. It's an old tradition that the family laughs off – unless, of course, "hide and seek" is selected, in which case they must hunt down the newlywed in their sprawling mansion and sacrifice him or her before dawn, lest a Satanic curse destroy the whole clan. Guess which game the unwitting bride chooses.

It sounds like dark, silly fun, and if loud jump scares and showers of hemoglobin are enough for you, then Ready or Not delivers. But it never goes beyond its high concept, and lingers as only a shallow exercise in horror conventions.

Its C-level cast ranges from serviceable (Weaving, Adam Brody, Andie MacDowell as the cast's one "name") to downright awful (Nicky Guadagni as the hammily evil Aunt Helene). There are a few tense moments, but the plot mostly just chugs ahead, lacking the clever twists and payoffs you'd expect from a thriller based on hide and seek. And the characters are as underdeveloped as Bryan Tyler's score is overworked.

With Guy Busick and Ryan Murphy (no, not the Ryan Murphy) credited with the screenplay, and Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett sharing directing duties on their second feature, it's no surprise that Ready or Not lacks a singular voice. Set in the kind of gothic mansion you only see in the movies, the film feels like You're Next in Crimson Peak drag, only without the inspired mania of You're Next or the clumsy sincerity of Crimson Peak. It's got lots of blood and guts, but no heart or soul. Or brain.