At a moment when so much seems beyond control — when even the politically disengaged have spoken of the Trump era as a scary, dystopian time — clever uses of horror can actually be therapeutic. They’re like tiny valves that allow steam to escape on screen while a variety of pressures simmer in the real world.
“Ready or Not,” Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett’s new horror-comedy, joins a growing bloc in that horror-with-political-messaging genre — specifically about greed and parasitic 1 percenters.
“I think one of the reasons why we’re seeing this theme specifically continue to pop up in recent genre movies is that there’s a lot at work right now culturally. … There are a lot of people that just want to f***ing scream right now. There’s a lot of rage, and a lot of anger, and a lot of fear,” Gillett recently told Vanity Fair.
The movie’s premise is fairly simple if absurd (and telling): A new wife joins a board-game-dynasty family that’s “richer than God.” But, per family tradition, she has to play a game to join the blue-blooded brood — hers is hide-and-seek. The rest of the movie follows her as she attempts to evade the wealthy clan as its members — armed with bows and arrows and axes — turn their sprawling mansion into a hunting ground.
While the message of “Ready or Not” isn’t new, it is timely.