Ready or Not, one of the best lengths of the day at the Sitges Festival

One of the most suggestive titles of the second day of the festival has probably been Ready or Not, which will be titled here Wedding night . It is a co-production between Canada and the United States directed by the versatile Americans Matt Bettinelli-Olpin y Tyler Gillett. Both have directed El heir del diablo, and a segment of VHS, a collective film in which another promise in the process of consolidation participated: You West. Both are also scriptwriters (mainly of a good number of shorts) although not of the present film; the first is also an actor and musician, and the second director of photography and producer.

The film starts off with a good tone of black comedy with unmistakable British aromas. The macabre tale takes place in the great mansion of a wealthy family. Within these four walls, tradition –which young people feel uncomfortable– indicates that any new member recently married to a member of that family is obliged, at nightfall on the wedding day, to play what an old property box proposes of a certain sorcerer friend of the founding ancestor of the clan and who gave the latter great fortune. Naturally, the game is not innocent, although the victim assumes it to be so: it is a version of hide and seek that is nothing more than a variant of the hunt for man through the corridors (secret and in sight), basements and rooms. The victim is the brand new wife of one of the sons of the patriarch heir to the box, which seems to contain the spirit of the witch, who forces such a macabre ritual, otherwise the destruction of the family and its wealth would be immediate, or at least so the members of it believe.

Fotograma del film ‘Ready or Not’

Sitges Festival

While the film moves in this macabre comic tone, in which the caustic irony around the marriage of convenience, the abuse of the rich over the poor – exclusivists in their closed clan -, and later the subtext of female rebellion, fits, everything is going well. A tension is generated that recalls in the climate, not exactly in the plot, the Dark House of classic films such as The Old Dark House, or The Cat and the Canary (in all its versions), or parodies that also refer to Agatha Christie –Which is alluded to in a veiled dialogue– such as the splendid A Corpse for Desserts or The Game of Suspicion. They contribute to this atmosphere successful actors such as the veteran Henry Czerny, or an unexpected Andie MacDowell, who is joined by Nicky Guadagni in a cartoon character, a sinister aunt, very much in keeping with this mystery subgenre. The protagonists, a splendid Samara Weaving (Three advertisements on the outskirts) here with comical airs to the Margot Robbie, and Adam Brody are supported by excellent secondary as Elyse Levesque, Daniela Barbosa, Hanneke Talbot, Melanie Scrofano or John Ralston, who help to that the machinery works at full throttle.

Fotograma del film 'Ready or Not'

Fotograma del film ‘Ready or Not’

Sitges Festival

However, the filmmakers decide to change the tape, very much in keeping with a black postmodern in vogue that uses genres as pure wrappings, and from a certain moment the black humor that is working so well quickly gives way to distasteful gore. and then to the grotesque drama that drowns out the initial tone. Now it pays to think about another type of classic like The evil Zaroff. The film loses grace and gains in explicit bad taste, tremendousism and harsh violence. The humor now appears barely when taking the thing seriously, to return in the denouement but already in the form of excessive delirium. It seems that the directors have feared being labeled demodés and have finally opted for the prevailing taste of explicit and humorous horror so in the vein of a certain Tarantino among others.

Still, this independent material distributed by Fox and Disney is impeccably crafted: excellent photography and world-class staging. Shot in Toronto.

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Ready or Not, one of the best lengths of the day at the Sitges Festival