One of the most exciting movies coming to theaters at the tail end of this summer is READY OR NOT, a horror/comedy about a woman who unwittingly marries into a family with a very deranged wedding tradition. The cast boasts some familiar names, including former rom-com sweetheart Andie MacDowell, Adam Brody and Mark O’Brien (of “Halt and Catch Fire”).
And then there’s the film’s lead, who bashes her way through the gleefully gory setpieces of READY OR NOT with a charismatic grin. Samara Weaving plays a surprising heroine, and the energy she brings to the role is only part of the reason she’s on the verge of breaking out in a big way.
There’s a good chance you’ve enjoyed Samara Weaving’s acting before. Unless you’re up on your Australian soap operas, however, you might not be familiar with the Australian-born star’s earlier roles. Weaving comes from a performing background. Her father is a filmmaker, and her uncle is a famous actor: Hugo Weaving, whose credits include THE MATRIX trilogy and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER.
Samara Weaving first appeared in Aussie TV shows like “Home and Away,” and “Out of the Blue.” It didn’t take long for Weaving to begin broadening her horizons into horror-tinged material. She won a guest role on the horror TV series “Ash vs. Evil Dead,” based on the classic EVIL DEAD movies, and a supporting part in the 2016 action comedy MONSTER TRUCKS. Weaving quickly discovered a knack for stories that blend action or horror with comedy, like the 2017 film MAYHEM, in which she appeared opposite Steven Yeun of “The Walking Dead.” The two play a pair of office workers struggling to survive a mysterious plague which turned everyone in their building into bloodthirsty maniacs. Most recently, Weaving appeared in another horror comedy: THE BABYSITTER, from CHARLIE’S ANGELS director McG.
The past couple of years have been pivotal for Weaving, who also starred in the Showtime series “SMILF” and the Amazon original series “Picnic at Hanging Rock,” based on the classic film of the same name (and inspired by a chilling piece of Australia’s history).
READY OR NOT has all the ingredients of a monster hit. It’s a horror comedy with a clever plot, a fantastic ensemble of actors, and a super-talented and mega-charming leading lady. Weaving’s character is Grace, who has just married Alex (Mark O’Brien), the love of her life. Their ceremony was a beautiful affair on the grounds of his family’s mansion. After the wedding, Alex’s family invites Grace to partake in a strange matrimonial tradition, in which the bride plays a randomly-chosen game with the groom’s family. There are a number of different options that might come up, like innocuous card games like Go Fish or Old Maid. Grace, unfortunately, draws Hide and Seek. That’s a deadly choice.
This family doesn’t play Hide and Seek the way you probably used to. They have a mansion with a network of secret passages, and a large collection of weapons. Grace is in serious danger, as the family’s real tradition is protecting their closed group by hunting the bride. Unfortunately for Alex’s family, they’ve underestimated Grace – and her relationship with Alex, who appears desperate to help his newlywed wife escape from an increasingly violent (and hilarious) series of encounters with his family.
The film is a perfect companion to great recent horror comedies like YOU’RE NEXT and HAPPY DEATH DAY, in which awesome female leads fight their way out of insane situations. This isn’t the only potential hit Weaving has on the horizon, either. She’ll appear in BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC, which is the long-awaited new sequel to BILL AND TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE, starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter. In that film, Weaving plays Thea Preston, daughter of Winter’s Bill S. Preston, Esq. Between this summer’s READY OR NOT and next year’s BILL & TED, Weaving is primed to become a superstar.
All images courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures.