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Directed by: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett Starring: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O’Brien, Henry Czerny, Andie McDowell Runtime: 95 mins


Ready Or Not manages to balance fun with suspense, its fast pace keeps the viewer onboard throughout the simple but bonkers premise. The film opens with Grace, who is marrying into the Le Domas board game dynasty (or dominion as they prefer), practicing her vows ahead of a garden wedding in the grounds of the Le Domas’ estate. We soon meet her fiance Alex who in a bout of flirty banter suggests they ditch the wedding and run away together. Turns out this isn’t a bad idea.

While Grace and Alex are making out in his room, they’re interrupted by his elderly Aunt Helene who announces that it’s time they come and join the family for a game. Alex goes on to explain that this is a quirky family tradition; each married couple must take part in a game starting at midnight to initiate the new family member. Grace agrees to humour her new in-laws and joins the fam in a room hidden in the middle of the house by big antique doors which wouldn’t look out of place in Cluedo. Here, Alex’ father Tony goes on to explain that the Le Domas’ attribute their wealth and success to a deal to a wager his great-grandfather made during a sea voyage with Mr. Le Bail. The wager involved a mysterious box which Tony explains randomly selects the game to be played by the incoming family member. Grace draws Hide and Seek, the family play an old-timey Hide and Seek song on a gramophone and she goes off to hide. What she doesn’t know is that if they catch her, they’ll kill her.

Ready Or Not borrows from the story lines of cult horror, the aesthetics of adventure stories, mingles it together with fabulous acting from Samara Weaving and the fast pace carries us through what is quite a bare premise. The Le Domas house is stunning and the directors take the time to give us sweeping views of the chandeliers, gorgeous staircase and massive grounds in a way that’s reminiscent of Spanish horror. The characters are quite broadstrokes; all we know about Grace is she was a foster child and that she’s been with Alex for 18 months, we get a sense of her personality but we don’t really get a feel for the others. The film has a You’re Next vibe but it actually gives Grace more credit than Erin gets in You’re Next; Grace hasn’t been trained by her father to be a survivalist, her ability to adapt and react to this situation and come out on top is entirely down to her own competence. She knows when to hide and when to fight and it’s refreshing to see a woman in a horror film who isn’t just screaming and falling over.

At times it feels like the film is dipping its toe into social commentary territory, like when the maids get killed and the family barely react or when Grace exclaims ‘Fucking rich people’ when she’s running for her life but it’s all very surface-level stuff, particularly because the film is moving at breakneck speed through its plot. Still, we’re in a safe pair of hands with duo Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett who have collaborated previously on horror titles VHS, Southbound and Devil’s Due. They’re well versed in the genre and it allows them to turn horror conventions on their head. Ready Or Not is slick and it blends in humour in a way many horror films of the moment are trying and failing to accomplish. This film should have been released earlier in the summer, it definitely had the mileage.

(4 / 5)

The Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield will be hosting the Dublin Feminist Film Festival again, from the 22nd to the 24th of August 2019.

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Our Countdown to this year’s Audi Dublin International Film Festival continues today, as we look at Careers in Film Day. One of several insightful events taking place during the festival, Careers in Film Day offers the opportunity for young people to learn from industry professionals about what it takes to forge out a career in film.

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We’re less than a week away from this year’s Audi Dublin International Film Festival and the anticipation is building quickly in the fair city of film. As the festival approaches, every day Film In Dublin will be counting down by highlighting one of the fascinating, fun and can’t miss events taking place during ADIFF 2018. Today, we highlight a public interview taking place on Saturday 3rd March with award-winning costume designer, Sandy Powell. Throughout a successful career in cinema, Powell has worked frequently with renowned directors including Martin Scorsese, Todd Haynes and Ireland’s own Neil Jordan. A twelve-time Oscar nominee, Powell has won the award on three occasions; for Shakespeare in Love, The Aviator and The Young Victoria.

 

Powell will be on hand during the festival to discuss her career, and with two films that that she has worked on featuring during ADIFF in Todd Haynes’ latest Wonderstruck the sci-fi rom-com How to Talk to Girls at Parties, there is sure to be a lot insight for ADIFF attendees. The host of the evening Eimer Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh is a considerable talent in costume design herself, with credits including Love and FriendshipThe Wind that Shakes the Barley and more.

http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/news-bfi/features/exclusive-costume-designs-carolhttp://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/news-bfi/features/exclusive-costume-designs-carol

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WFT Ireland presents a masterclass in presenting your funding application and getting your project off the ground, courtesy of the funders themselves. Next Monday the 5th of February, WFTI will be hosting from the Morrison Hotel from 3.30 to 5.30, as industry professionals outline what it takes to write a killer funding application.

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Director: Hallie Meyers-Shyer Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Candice Bergen, Nico Alexander, Nat Wolff, Jon Rudnitsky Running Time: 97 minutes

First off, Home Again is not a rom-com. Don’t listen to what the critics want to tell you. It follows Alice, played with aplomb by Reese Witherspoon, who has recently left her man-child husband (Michael Sheen) in New York and returned to the restorative comforts of Los Angeles. With the help of her mother, she reclaims her identity and finds fulfilment.

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A Masterclass in directing comes to the Brooks Hotel on Drury Street next Monday, courtesy if the Women in Film and Television Ireland and the director Aisling Walsh. Following her latest film Maudie‘s showings at the Toronto Film Festival and ADIFF 2017, Walsh will be talking about directing and writing for the screen from 6-9pm next Monday, 29 May.

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Women in Horror Month is an international, grassroots initiative, which encourages supporters to learn about and showcase the underrepresented work of women in the horror industries. Whether they are on the screen, behind the scenes, or contributing in their other various artistic ways, it is clear that women love, appreciate, and contribute to the horror genre. Now in its 8th year, Women in Horror Month provides representation to those women, actively promoting do-it-yourself annual film screenings, blogs/articles, podcasts, and other forms of creative media with the goal of helping works by and featuring women reach a wider audience worldwide. Last year saw the first WiHM event to be held in Dublin and this Sunday, the Liquor Rooms on Wellington Quay will host the event for the first time.

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After tape traders in Nigeria decided to start shooting their own movies on (relatively cheap) videotape to keep their store shelves full, the output of the Nigerian film industry exploded. ‘Nollywood’ as it has been called is now second only to India in the number of films it puts out every year, ahead of even Hollywood, which simple can’t reboot Spider-Man often enough to match the amount of films Nigeria puts out every year. For Westerners, the volume of ‘Nollywood’ is one of the only things known about it, and as the industry continues to develop in Nigeria, it will be worth observing trends there and how they compare and contrast with those of America, or of our own film industry. The closing film of last weekend’s Feminist Film Festival Dublin, short documentary Amaka’s Kin: The Women of Nollywood provides one inportant perspective of Nigerian cinema, focusing on women working behind the camera in one of the world’s biggest hubs of film.

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Now in its third year, Dublin’s own Feminist Film Festival has a simple mission: Promoting and celebrating women in film. Whether it’s the characters on the screen or the directors working behind it, women remain disproportionately represented, with a quick look at the festival’s own website revealing some very damning statistics. Taking place from Nov 18-20 at The New Theatre in Temple Bar, the Feminist Film Festival Dublin offers a voice for those who are too often drowned out or ignored in cinematic circles.

The theme of the 2016 festival is ‘Othered Voices’, with the films chosen for the festival’s programme representing the female voice in many forms.Whether it is the characters, the filmmakers or a particular point of view, each of the films provides a ‘voice’ to women in some way.

Friday 18 Nov

Mother Ireland

Mother Ireland and The Sea Between Us screen together at 1pm. In this documentary, the image of ‘Mother Ireland’, the kind of emotionally evocative image familiar to anyone who has ever flicked through an Irish history textbook, is used as a departure point for discussions of nationalism and feminism, featuring several well-known republicans and feminists. Irish women explore their relationahip with this ‘Irish version of the Virgin Mary’.  (Dir. Anne Crilly, 1988, 53 min)

The Sea Between Us

Also a documentary, The Sea Between Us is concerned with very current and important subject matter. Filmed on the shores of the Mediterranean, it concerns people who are taking great risk seeking refuge, having left their homes behind. With women like this frequently reduced to dehumanised political scoring points, here they are given their own voice. (Dir. Caoimhe Butterly, 2016, 47 min.)

The Piano

In 1994 Jane Campion became just the second women ever to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director. Currently there have been four, with Kathryn Bigelow the sole winner. Campion did win Best Adapted Screenplay for The Piano, which depicts a mute women’s arranged marriage in 19th century New Zealand. Non-verbal since birth, she finds expression via her prized piano. With well-regarded performances from Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin (also an Oscar winner at just eleven years old), The Piano remains a film capable of provoking conversation today. Screens at 3pm. (Dir. Jane Campion, 1993, 121 min+short)

Saturday 19 Nov

Margarita, with a Straw

Director Shonali Bose tells the story of Laila, an Indian teenager with cerebral palsy and a rebellious streak. Embarking on her education in New York, Laila finds herself exploring her sexuality and asserting her independence. It’s a coming-of-age story noteworthy for being the first Hindi film to get LGBTQ sex scenes past the strict censorship board of India. Sceeens at 12.30pm. (Dir. Shonali Balle, 2014, 100 min+short)

A number of short films, yet to be announced, will be shown at 3pm on Saturday, followed by a free talk at 5.30pm on Screening Women’s Voices by Dr. Jennifer O’Meara. Examining questions such as why women so rarely serve as voice-over narrators, if the ‘fast-talking dame’ died out with screwball comedies and if ‘The Bechdel Test’ is still a good way to measure female characters’ verbal representation, Dr. O’Meara’s talk will lool at modern and historical trends in the treatment of women’s voices in film.

Sunday 20 Nov
Regarding Susan Sontag

The life of writer and political activist Susan Sontag is narrated here by Patricia Clarkson, reading as Sontag herself via her books and journal entries.This documentary goes through her public and private life through her writing, personality, politics and bisexuality. This film will screen at 12pm.  (Dir. Nancy Kates, 2014, 101 min+short)

Mustang

Set in rural, highly conservative Turkey, Mustang sees five young sisters confined to their home. The girls are viewed as immoral and inappropriate and end up locked away, to be married off one by one all at young ages. An emotional and engrossing film featuring young women showing solidarity together as they try to reclaim their voices, agency and freedom. Mustang screens at 2.30pm. (Dir. Deniz Gamze Ergüven, 2015, 97 min+short)

The Seashell and the Clergyman

This film will screen at 5pm, followed by another short, Black Box. Feminist filmmaker Germaine Dulac was an integral part of the French avant garde movement of the 1920s. Her surrealist silent film depicts the hallucinations of a priest who lusts after the wife of a general and Dulac’s perspective shines through. The screening of The Seashell and the Clergyman will be accompanied by a live musical performance scoring the film. (Dir. Germaine Dulac, 1928, 40 min)

Black Box

Standing as a contrast to the silent film that precedes it, Black Box stars counter-culture icon, ‘no wave’ singer Lydia Lunch. Put simply, the film sees a man tortured by his girlfriend and chucked into a box. A black one. Lunch narrates with “a vicious anger” and this artistic, experimental film provides eye-catching feminist visuals. (Dir. Beth B & Scott B, 1979, 21 min)

Amaka’s Kin: The Women of Nollywood

An Irish premiere at 6.30pm, Amaka’s Kin looks at women director’s experience in the prolific (and male dominated) Nigerian film industry, referred to as ‘Nollywood’. Dedicated to the late filmmaker Amaka Igwe, this short film uses interviews to highlight women working to make the mark in a male-dominated industry, something that should resonate for female filmmakers from all over the world. (Dir. Tope Oshin, 2016, 43 min)

The final film of the festival will be followed by a panel, ‘Othered Voices: Women’s Voices In Media Industries’. Tickets are available for the Feminist Film Festival now from tickets.ie and all profits from the festival will be going to the charity SASANE, ran by and for victims of sex trafficking in Nepal.