Prepared or Not justifies a twist ending by exposing a serious purple flag
Prepared or Not is framed as a darkly comedic satire skewering the 1%, a sort of Cabin within the Woods meets Succession.
When you haven’t seen the film, know this: it lives as much as that promise.
[Ed. note: this post contains major spoilers for Ready or Not.]
The movie ends in a gleefully bloody, post-wedding bloodbath, actually and metaphorically burning down the home of blue-blooded privilege. (Although personally, as somebody getting married in simply over a month, the torture porn began effectively earlier than the blood began flying.)
However regardless of the gore, marriage ceremony nervousness, and sophistication resentment, probably the most disturbing change in Prepared or Not has nothing to do with homicide, and is simply tangentially associated to marriage or wealth. Fairly, it reveals a sinister drive hiding in plain sight: the easy, insidious entitlement to girls’s our bodies.
Early within the motion, bride Grace (Samara Weaving) learns that her marriage ceremony evening has become The Most Harmful Recreation by witnessing a nanny’s unintentional homicide. Her new husband (Mark O’Brien) pulls her right into a hidden servant’s hall to speak her via an escape plan. When she asks why her new household is looking her with vintage weapons, he explains that his nice grandfather made a literal cope with the satan upon founding their board recreation empire. Newcomers should play a recreation earlier than they formally be a part of the clan — generally it’s Checkers, generally Previous Maid. However she drew the Conceal and Search card, which implies the household has to sacrifice her to their demonic benefactor earlier than daybreak, in any other case they’ll all be destroyed (or so the legend goes.)
Grace inquires why the hell he didn’t warn her that this might occur. Alex replies that he was in an unattainable Catch-22; she made it clear that she was anticipating a proposal, but when he informed her about his household’s darkish rituals she would depart him. The percentages of her pulling that card had been so tiny, he reasoned, and he couldn’t bear to reside with out her. The implication is that the small, however not unattainable likelihood that his household would hunt and kill the lady he beloved on their marriage ceremony evening was a threat value taking if the choice is that she ends their “18-month fuck-a-thon.”
When that scene first got here up, I nervous that it was purported to learn as romantic. The tropes of the style would recommend it. I believed, maybe, the film would finish with Alex and Grace working collectively to take out the remainder of the household and escape, presumably inheriting the household enterprise and a big fortune. I used to be aggravated for the subsequent hour, pondering, “Oh, so we’re simply not going to acknowledge the colossally egocentric factor this man did?”
However Prepared or Not’s writers (Man Busick and R. Christopher Murphy) don’t let Alex off the hook. Within the movie’s balls-to-the-wall climax, Alex escapes the room the place his father (Henry Czerny) handcuffed him to the mattress to maintain him from serving to Grace. He arrives within the eating room to see his new spouse coated in blood, having simply bludgeoned his mom (the incomparable Andie MacDowell) to dying. Weaving’s expressive face exhibits simply how exhausted and uncooked Grace is; Alex can inform that her emotions for him have essentially modified.
That is the place Alex’s romantic hero façade falls away, revealing him to be simply as egocentric, entitled, and merciless as the remainder of his household. He goes to carry Grace — tenderly at first however then forcefully — calling out, “She’s in right here!” It’s a gutting scene, particularly contemplating the way it calls again to the film’s opening, through which a younger Alex hides in a closet whereas his older brother Daniel rats out the final poor man who pulled the Conceal and Search card.
However that twist is stunning provided that you haven’t been paying consideration. Alex informed us who he’s with that one line within the servant’s hall. He loves Grace, positive, however to him meaning possession and management. As soon as he realizes she not belongs to him, he instantly discards her.
In fact, entitlement and wealth go hand in hand. It’s straightforward to really feel like you could have the best to one thing whenever you’ve all the time gotten what you wished. However a person feeling possession over the lady he’s in a romantic partnership with isn’t unique to the 1%. Neither is popping on her when she begins to see via his bullshit. One want solely learn a historical past textbook, watch the information or, hell, even watch the final season of The Bachelorette to see abnormal males deceive, manipulate, and harm the ladies they declare to like.
A lot has been product of Prepared or Not’s commentary on the rich. To make sure, the movie will not be delicate in its “eat the wealthy” messaging. However Alex’s heel flip provides nuance to that interpretation. Typically, we’re reminded, entitlement exhibits up in methods rather more insidious and delicate than a crossbow bolt to the throat.