The horror-comedy Ready or Not has landed in theaters and has been winning over audiences and critics, but directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett revealed that the original ending wasn't as much of a crowd-pleaser. In a summer crowded with the continuation of familiar franchises with films like Child's Play and Annabelle Comes Home, Ready or Not comes from filmmakers who have only delivered audiences one previous feature, Devil's Due, and a number of shorts, including segments in V/H/S and Southbound. The film focuses on new bride Grace (Samara Weaving) who finds herself in a deadly childhood game with her in-laws.
WARNING: Major spoilers below for Ready or Not
Over the course of the film, characters are killed one by one in pursuit of sacrificing Grace to a higher power, with Grace managing to escape being a sacrifice long enough for the curse to claim her in-laws as they explode into puddles of blood in the film's finale. The original ending, however, saw Grace becoming the sacrifice as the family completed their ritual unimpeded.
"The ending was a lot different and when we were doing our Grace hero pass we were like, ‘What type of movie do we want?’,” do-director Gillett shared with Bloody Disgusting. “We want people leaving the theater and cheering, not the other way around. So we changed the ending a bit.”
Throughout much of the movie, Grace's husband Alex (Mark O'Brien) tries to save her, only for him to eventually join his family in attempting to sacrifice her. In the theatrical cut, Grace dodges a dagger, allowing for her escape, while the original ending saw Alex striking true.
Gillett continued, "It was like we got to the point of making a decision about what the fuck we were going to schedule to shoot, and it was really clear that one version of the movie has the audience leaving cheering and the other one has the audience leaving like, really feeling the same general terror that we’re all experiencing in our daily lives anyway.”
The timing of the film heading into production was a major factor in the decision to change the ending.
“And it should be said that the timing was interesting,” Bettinelli-Olpin pointed out. “When we got attached to this script, and when the script was originally written, Obama was president, and when we got involved with Searchlight it was literally the day after Trump got elected. And the desire to make something that dark went away. It was like, we’re living that shit now. We don’t need to go experience it at the movies. Let’s have the cathartic version.”
Even the film's final line was a last-minute decision. After the terrifying ordeal, when authorities descend upon the mansion and ask Grace what happened, she states, "In-laws." The original script, however, saw her saying, "Rich people," with the filmmakers noting that this original line felt too "on the nose" as shooting the project concluded.
Ready or Not is in theaters now.
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