Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS for Ready Or Not
Ready Or Not has two major connections to the X-Men movie franchise. The blood-soaked horror flick/black comedy is directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (Devil's Due) and stars Samara Weaving as Grace, a beautiful bride who literally endures the wedding night from Hell when her new in-laws hunt her as part of a bizarre ritual. Meanwhile, Ready Or Not's subtle winks to X-Men add that add an extra bit of novelty for fans of Fox's now-concluded mutant superhero franchise.
Grace begins Ready Or Not overjoyed that she's marrying Alex Le Domas (Mark O'Brien), heir to the family's extravagant fortune. The Le Domas family earned billions from building an empire (or "Dominion" as they prefer to call it) of board games and playing cards, but the obscenely wealthy clan also has a bizarre tradition: Whenever someone new marries into the family, they must play a game with the Le Domases at midnight of their wedding night. In Grace's case, she picked the unluckiest game of all: hide-and-seek, which means that the Le Domas family hunts her throughout their opulent mansion as part of an arcane ritual. Grace must literally survive her in-laws until dawn or die on her wedding night.
Ready Or Not takes place entirely inside and on the grounds of the fabulous Le Domas estate, which will seem familiar to sharp-eyed X-Men fans because Ready Or Not is shot at the same locations Bryan Singer used for the X-Mansion in the original X-Men movie. Both films used two famous settings in Ontario, Canada to stand in for their mansions: Casa Loma in midtown Toronto and the Parkwood Estate in Oshawa, Ontario. Casa Loma, a magnificent Gothic revival-style mansion, was used for the interiors of both the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters and the Le Domas mansion while Parkwood Estate's exteriors were used in both films as well. Grace marries Alex outdoors on the Parkwood Estate grounds and X-Men fans can be forgiven if they expect to see the famous black X-Jet launch from beneath the basketball court. Of course, there's no gleaming silver underground bunker housing Cerebro beneath the Le Domas mansion, although that may have been an ideal place for Grace to hide if there were.
The other X-Men connection in Ready Or Not comes at the end and it's startlingly gruesome. It turns out the reason Le Domas family is hunting Grace is that they need to complete a Satanic ritual sacrifice of her before dawn or else they all will die. Despite some of the Le Domas members doubting the curse they acquired their wealth by is even true, they still perform their ghastly act for fear of the consequences. Grace manages to endure and survive, however, and the Le Domas family discovers to their horror that the curse was indeed real. Not only do the Le Domas family all die but it happens in the most disgusting way possible: they each spontaneously explode, bursting into nothingness with their blood and viscera splattering everywhere, including all over Grace.
As is only fitting for the home of Charles Xavier, the way the Le Domases die bears a strong resemblance to Professor X's death in X-Men: The Last Stand. In Brett Ratner's poorly-received X-Men movie, Charles Xavier confronts the Dark Phoenix-corrupted Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) at her family's home. They engage in a psychic battle but Jean's sheer power overwhelms Xavier; she telekinetically lifts him from his wheelchair and begins literally tearing him apart. Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) then watches in horror as X-Men's founder and guiding light explodes into nothingness - an ignoble death for Professor X (but not his last).
Of course, being R-rated, the Le Domases receive a bloodier version of the effect in Ready or Not, but fans with X-Men already on their mind due to the setting of the Casa Loma mansion may also find (probably unintended) irony in the Le Domas finding a fate so similar to the mansion's alternate reality mutant owner.
- Ready or Not (2019) release date: Aug 21, 2019