Ready or Not Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

The Film Ready Or Not (2019): Deadly Hide And Seek And Rebellion Against Patriarchy. Ready Or Not: Plot Summary, Meaning Of The Film, Explanation Of The Ending, Similar Films.

Genre: Thriller, Comedy, Horror

Year of production: 2019

Director: Matthew Bettinelli, Tyler Gillett

Actors: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O’Brien

Tagline: “The Game Begins”

Critics say the film, directed by Matthew Bettinelli and Tyler Gillett, is too serious to be a comedic slasher and too hard to remain within the confines of social satire. To ordinary viewers, the plot and meaning of the film Ready or Not  seemed so unusual, bold and fresh that it is likely to have a cult status.

What is the movie about

Brief description of the content of the film Ready or Not. The main character of the picture Grace is preparing to marry her fiancé Alex le Domas, whose family is very rich. The girl really wants to please the relatives of her boyfriend and prove that she loves him and is not a despicable “gold digger”.

The wedding took place on the territory of the family mansion. The Le Domas family (which includes Alex himself, his brother Daniel and his wife Charity, sister Emily and her husband Fitch, and older relatives – the head of the family, Tony, his wife Rebecca and sister Helen) has a tradition that cannot be broken.

mansion weddingFrame from the film.

At midnight, a new member of the family becomes a member of the old rite. Its essence is as follows: at exactly 24:00, a special box gives out the name of the game, which will need to be played all night. Grace drops a card labeled “Hide and Seek”. But not ordinary – their rules are much tougher.

The thing is that many years ago, old le Domas entered into a contract with a certain Mr. le Bail, according to which he received a name and a fortune in return for observing this tradition. You can’t refuse – you will die. And you will agree – you have the opportunity to fight for your life.

Grace accepts the rules and goes into hiding. The rest arm themselves and go in search of her. During the game, Alex, who is trying to save the life of the bride and not quarrel with the family, explains to her that the terrible tradition has a sacred meaning: the family tradition says that one clause was clearly spelled out in the contract with le Bail: if the “victim” survives until morning, then the whole family will die. That is, hide and seek (it is they, and not some other “entertainment”) is a survival game not only for Grace, but also for them.

The girl reacts to this extremely emotionally and considers him a traitor. Alex replies that he was silent about the bloody tradition only because he was afraid of losing it. Meanwhile, she is found by Daniel, who is already pretty tired of the terrible fun of the family. He gives the girl a head start, and Alex, wanting to prevent relatives from killing her, tries to destroy the tracking system. When Daniel and Tony find out about this, they keep him from breaking the last monitor.

Grace hides again, is discovered and again gives a fierce rebuff. It soon becomes clear that this girl is not even a sacrificial lamb at all: if she fails to survive, she is going to sell her life dearly.

Toward the end, the girl manages to deal with almost all of her pursuers. Dawn is approaching and Grace realizes that she almost won – she survived until the morning … Suddenly, Alex attacks her and calls for her surviving older relatives. They are preparing to sacrifice her, but one of them notices that the sun has already risen.

They are horrified – because now, according to the contract concluded with le Bail, they are threatened with death. However, nothing happens. Le Domas understand that the story with the contract is probably just a terrible family legend, but they decide to kill Grace anyway, who, in their opinion, knows too much. Suddenly, they die one by one and only the last le Domas remains alive – Alex …

Rules of the game

According to an old tradition, the chosen one of le Domas, who wants to become part of the family, must agree to participate in the game. The point is to prove to relatives that he meets high criteria and is ready to become one of them.

The idea of ​​the game is as follows. At exactly midnight, a new potential le Domas, surrounded by future relatives, goes to a secret room. There, waiting for him is the box given by Mr. le Bail to the first le Domas. The box contains several cards with the name of the game. What the family will play is determined by the box. Usually she chooses peaceful board games, but occasionally the family has to play bloody hide and seek…

The beginner will have to hide either in the mansion itself, which is a closed space, or on the street, but on its territory. The rest count to a hundred, and then arm themselves and go looking. According to the rules, the spouse of the “victim” undertakes to remain in the family room and not interfere with the game. To win, the test subject must hide until sunrise. And le Domasas must discover it before sunrise. The surviving winner can become one of them, but the loser must be sacrificed by the family to Mr. le Bail.

Samara WeavingSamara Weaving played the role of Grace. Frame from the film.

Who is Mr. le Bail

Family tradition says that more than a hundred years ago, the first le Domas, then a simple sailor, met a mysterious man and played a game of chance with him. Having won, the young man received from him the opportunity to make a huge fortune, a golden cigarette case and a box with a curse.

Thus began the history of the le Domas family – outwardly respectable, successful and very wealthy aristocratic clan. The terrible games continued for more than a hundred years, the golden cigarette case and the box were inherited, and none of the family members protested against the bloody tradition. Someone did not want to part with wealth and status, and someone was seriously afraid of the mysterious le Bail, whose shadow was invisibly present with them all this time. Nobody saw him himself, except for Alex – this happened when he was five years old.

In the film Ready or Not a fairly transparent hint is given to the essence of the mysterious “benefactor” of the family. This is the devil himself, who, as you know, does not give anything just like that …

Henry CzernyAdam Brody as Daniel Le Domas, Henry Czerny as Tony Le Domas. Frame from the film.

Ending explanation Ready or Not

The explanation for the ending is pretty simple. At the end, Alex apologizes to Grace, to which she says with contempt that she is going to divorce him. Taking off her wedding ring from her finger, the girl leaves in anger. Alex immediately dies, as do members of his family. Turning around, Grace sees the body of her husband and the burning mansion. For a moment, she sees a grinning, unfamiliar face in the window, and she shudders in horror. She understands that the man in the window is Le Bail, which means that the story about the contract concluded with him is true.

Wearily sinking down the steps of the concrete stairs leading to the burning mansion, Grace takes out a cigarette from the trophy she got – a golden cigarette case and lights it up. It was truly a crazy night…

The meaning of the ending of the movie Ready or Not is that Grace is the winner of the game. However, judging by the reaction of the police officers who came to the call and saw the dead bodies, the girl’s problems were not over yet.

The finale has another, darker interpretation. According to some viewers, its clue lies in the notorious golden cigarette case. After Grace takes out a cigarette from there and lights it, a passing le Bail smiles approvingly at her. This is probably a hint that she did what was needed and now he takes her “on a pencil”. Perhaps in the future he will meet with her and conclude a new contract …

Mark O'BrienMark O’Brien as Alex, Samara Weaving as Grace. Frame from the film.

The meaning of the film Ready or Not

According to many viewers who are trying in their analysis to comprehend the essence of the film Ready or Not and find the hidden meaning of this comedic horror soaked in black humor, the plot should not be taken seriously: it is an allegory.

The tape Ready or Not tells about a significant event in the lives of many people – about a wedding. To enter into a full-fledged union, the couple themselves and the host family need to play a dangerous game – to perform a certain ritual. Traditionally, this ritual is performed in a closed area – a large house surrounded by forest. Attempts to get out of this place lead to nothing …

The film shows the cult of men and masculinity that has taken root in society. In particular, this is displayed in paintings depicting male hunters standing over the game they have caught. Another “attribute” of this cult is the presence in the mansion of a large number of different weapons. All together it resembles a typical male house.

The essence of the dangerous game that Grace has to play is to eliminate a new potential family member – a woman. If this does not happen, the entire family of the husband, honoring the traditions of their ancestors, will disappear.

In the film Ready or Not there are two ceremonies – traditional, wedding, and monstrous, original, born as a result of an agreement with evil spirits. On the one hand, the picture speaks of the elimination of the wedding ceremony and the destruction of the family, in which, of course, both psychological and physical violence can occur. Thus, the previously concluded agreement turns out to be completely useless and a kind of simulation of a wedding ceremony is created – a false ceremony that carries the corresponding negative consequences. But this is only part of the overall picture.

Another rite takes place at night, when chaos reigns: family members betray and kill each other and, on top of everything else, worship Satan. In theory, all this precedes renewal or revival. At the end of the film, the first rays of the sun stop the sacrifice and destroy the entire family. Grace, who won the game, is perceived as a woman who destroyed the centuries-old traditional institution of patriarchy.

wild familyFrame from the film.

It seems interesting that the tired, exhausted Grace, after leaving the mansion, takes out a cigarette from a golden cigarette case and lights it up. The following interpretation of her behavior after the victory is proposed: this action is the completion of the renewal process of Grace: having gone through a terrible “initiation”, she seems to realize her own significance and understands that she is becoming a new powerful force. The mansion blazing in a fire symbolizes the destruction of the power of men and ancient traditions.

Ready or Not is a typical postmodernist tape, telling that the “clamps” have long since rotted away and should be abandoned. The personification of this was one of the central images of the film – the traitor Alex. His behavior indicates his lack of responsibility, morality, reliability and devotion to his chosen life partner. The conclusion is unequivocal: it is unsuitable for the protection of future offspring.

The woman in this picture is strong, brave and determined. She is ready to take responsibility both for herself and for others. A man (at least, such as Alex) she no longer needs.

Of course, a woman who has been proving to the male world for so long that she is not just “Eve’s daughter” has the right to self-identification. But still, over time, excessive enthusiasm for this process can easily lead to the homogeneity of the sexes, who have lost their usual polarities – and at the same time to some kind of impersonal equality and the destruction of all socially significant elements.

Will a person be able to adapt to the impending changes? Will the new society be able to oppose something to the old way of life? Will women find the strength to compete with men on equal terms? ..

Some are sure that such an alignment is harmful to society and such changes will lead to the extinction of mankind. Others believe that everything that is happening now is just another stage of evolution. How will everything really be? Time will tell…

“I am going to search” cannot be called either constructive criticism or propaganda of new values. This picture is rather a statement of the fact of events taking place in the world.

old castleFrame from the film.

Similar films

Here are a few more films similar in meaning to Ready or Not:

  • Get Out (Japan, USA, 2017). Chris, a black photographer from New York, meets with hereditary aristocrat Rose. One day, a girl invites him to a weekend with her parents. Chris, agrees, not knowing what awaits him – however, like the Rose family;
  • The Hunt (USA, Japan, China, 2019). Rich aristocrats amuse themselves by hunting people. However, this time they came across predatory prey;
  • You’re Next (USA, UK, 2013). The life of the Davison family is disrupted by an invasion by a group of inadequacies in animal masks. However, not everyone in this house turned out to be innocent victims.

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