When done right, horror-comedies can be the best time you’ll have at the movies. Ready or Not proves that the proper balance of laughs and thrills makes for a tasty concoction.

An ever-growing subgenre, horror-comedies have become quite common in the indie film market, with the occasional hit making a theatrical run. The Cabin in the Woods and Zombieland come to mind as fairly recent successes on the big screen. They both were able to find this perfect balance between horror and comedy, allowing the two distinct and otherwise-distant genres to play off of each other in harmony. And Ready or Not follows suit in this tightrope act.

Samara Weaving stars as a bride on her wedding night who is forced to play in a deadly game of hide-and-seek with her new in-laws. The premise seems bonkers, and it is, but that’s the beauty of the horror-comedy. The plots are often ridiculous, and it’s the proper treatment of these outrageous scenarios that make them work. The film lets its characters embrace the absurdity, as they regularly complain and question the actions they are forced to take.

ready or not 2019 movie, samara weaving

Samara Weaving in "Ready or Not" | Courtesy of IMDb, Fox Searchlight

The idea of embracing ludicrous concepts is all-too-familiar to Weaving. She has made quite a young career out of horror comedies, and ones that don’t stray too far from the thematic material of Ready or Not. Her lead roles in Mayhem (employees of an office building turn violent on one another) and The Babysitter (the titular character attempts to summon a demon with her cult friends) both follow a similar path of violence as a means to create macabre humor and morbid character progression. Weaving carries her experience into Ready or Not and the finished product is better for it.

Thankfully, Adam Brody boasts a larger role than is teased in the trailer. His drunken brother-of-the-groom role steals the show on more than one occasion, unexpectedly playing opposite of Weaving with more dynamics than the rest of the cast. That isn’t to say the other members of the supporting cast waste their screen time. Despite some predictably filled roles, the pretentious, murderous in-laws play their respective parts perfectly. Fueled by proper pacing, it all works together to transform into a fun dark comedy romp.

Films of a similar ilk can struggle to find that proper pacing and balance. The lower-budget film Monster Party comes to mind. The premise follows a young trio of thieves attempting to steal from a house party consisting of recovering serial killers. And while the that sounds so ridiculous it just might be fun, the film inevitably strangles the laughs with its brutality, persistent drags in dark tone, and pacing that doesn't allow the audience to breathe when it needs to.

Ready or Not simply doesn't struggle with these problems, properly gauging the atmosphere to be tense to engage the audience and goofy when a moment of levity is needed.

ready or not 2019 movie, samara weaving

Samara Weaving in "Ready or Not" | Courtesy of IMDb, Fox Searchlight

The combination of violence and comedy—especially to the degree that Ready or Not takes it—is not for everyone. There are certainly moments of pure violence and thrills that can briefly sober an unsuspecting audience between times of its trademark dark humor. But within the right state of mind and expectation, the entertainment value is beyond that which you would get from a silly kid’s game ... like hide-and-seek.

Have you seen Ready or Not yet? If so, what did you think? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.