WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Ready or Not, in theaters now.
Ready or Not is a black comedy film that follows Grace (Samara Weaving) as she marries Alex (Mark O'Brien) and comes into the Le Domas family, a Victorian-era family living in modern times who are hellbent on tradition. However, on her wedding night, things go awry as her affluent, eccentric in-laws involve her in a game night which sees Grace become prey and everyone else, predators.
As the hunt and a series of gory murders ensue with Grace trying to survive being killed and sacrificed, it becomes perfectly clear that with the origin of the game, the reason Grace is now a target and the link to other wealthy families established, Ready or Not could well be the next Saw franchise.
"Would you like to play a game?" is the iconic line from Jigsaw in the torture porn franchise originating in the 2000s, which saw a cancer-stricken mastermind lay down a series of traps, puzzles, games and apprentices to spread bloodshed throughout America.
Escaping requires ingenuity and physicality, which has led to eight movies and fairly consistent box office success time and time again, as fans revelled in seeing victims trying to break free, innocent or not.
It's a sadistic series audiences derive pleasure from, with limbs, entrails and everything that would make you squirm splattered across the big screen in crimson waves. But all good (and gross) things come to an end, as this current iteration did in 2010 with Saw 3D and 2017's Jigsaw spinoff.
Now, with Chris Rock rebooting Saw, it's the perfect time for Ready of Not to freshen up the genre and, thanks to the backstory of the Le Domas family, it has a lot more nuance and extra dimensions than serial killers with vendettas.
We discover the Le Domas family made a pact with Le Bail, a relic seller, centuries ago as they came over on ships from Europe. To guarantee wealth in America, the then-patriarch of the family had to solve a box puzzle, which allowed him to make a deal with Le Bail -- an avatar for Satan.
Every time someone new comes into their dynasty, a card is pulled from the box for them to play a game, and ever so often, instead of checkers or chess etc., there's a death card to be pulled whereby the newly wed must be hunted to become an offering to the devil.
When Grace survives at the end, she sees Le Bail's spirit who toasts to her for overcoming the odds, but it's clear by now the movie can explore others who made similar pacts. Le Bail made the deal with many families, mostly fleeing immigrants, to claim souls, and as such, these powerful, influential people in the modern world are committing the same atrocious acts as the Le Domas legacy.
Hide-and-seek, as per what Grace plays, isn't the only payment though, as Alex's dad tells him about other families doing other games and performing rituals in their own manner. Exploring these stories unconnected from the Le Domas crew provides potential for sequels and spinoffs, similar to the array of deadly games Saw concocted.
There's even the possibility of dissecting stories centuries ago when the boats were coming to America and folks settled down, paving the way for hunts as period pieces (even in the future a la Black Mirror) with families doing things in their own style.
Even Le Bail's origin and first customer can be looked at, as Alex's family makes it clear that, as much as they enjoy the riches, being tethered to the devil is something they understandably regret. If these people don't make the sacrifice by dawn, they die, so stories where the families actually win are also enticing, not to mention as Grace escapes, the truth's out in the open and these one-percenters could now become targets, allowing the series to make sociopolitical statements on the lower-classes getting revenge.
Ultimately, this could be the start of a cheeky franchise playing off class and society on the whole, but in this case, the game is a lot more selfish than Jigsaw seeking vengeance against those who did his family wrong.
But what makes it better is this Jigsaw is Satan himself, creating a game where one's life isn't just on the life -- their very soul is.
Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett and starring Samara Weaving, Mark O'Brien, Adam Brody, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell, Kristian Bruun, Melanie Scrofano, Nicky Guadagni and Elyse Levesque, Ready Or Not is in theaters now.