The acclaimed horror-comedy Ready or Not (read my review) is currently blowing audiences away, not just with its great performances, funny gags and unexpected kills, but with its bold, timely conclusion. But the ending we got in theaters wasn’t the only ending that was seriously considered for Ready or Not!
In a new Bloody-Disgusting interview with Radio Silence, a.k.a. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, and Chad Villella, the filmmakers described a variety of different conclusions that almost wound up on-screen instead.
We are of course issuing a MASSIVE SPOILER ALERT, because we don’t want to ruin the movie if you haven’t seen it yet!
In the film, Grace (Samara Weaving) marries into the wealthy Le Domas family, but on her wedding night, she’s invited to take part in a family ritual. There’s a mysterious box that decides what game they should play, and if the box picks “Hide and Seek,” the rest of the family – even her husband Alex (Mark O’Brien)- is supposed to hunt her down and sacrifice her to their supernatural benefactor, “Le Bail,” before dawn.
In the film we saw in theaters, Grace successfully makes it all the way to sunrise, at which point every member of the Le Domas family spontaneously explodes for failing Le Bail. She laughs, because after all that build up it’s kinda funny, and when the police survey the bizarre scene and ask her what happens she says “In-laws.”
It’s a darkly funny but relatively happy ending for Grace, but it almost didn’t go her way, Radio Silence told us.
“The ending was much different, initially, when we first got the script,” Chad Villella says. “A lot darker.”
“But tonally, I think probably the only thing that didn’t fit,” Tyler Gillett adds.
“Because the rest of the tone was the same,” Villella says.
“Yeah, 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?’,” Gillett adds. “We want people leaving the theater and cheering, not the other way around. So we changed the ending a bit.”
What was the ending originally, we asked…?
“One of the original ones was Alex did end up stabbing her and killing her and they got away with it,” says Villella.
“It’s much akin to that original ending of Get Out,” Gillett says, referring to the depressing conclusion that was originally filmed Jordan Peele’s Oscar-winning movie, which was changed at the last minute, after the 2016 presidential election.
“It almost traveled precisely the parallel path,” Gillett continues. “Where 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.”
“And it should be said that the timing was interesting,” Matt Bettinelli-Olpin adds. “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.”
That wasn’t the only ending that was considered, but didn’t make it into the final film. The secret world of the 1%, which as we learned in Ready or Not has supernatural origins, almost expanded in the film’s final moments.
“It’s funny,” Villella says. “We also wanted to do this end tag where were these two joe schmoes walking down this extravagant ballroom, a la Mar-a-Lago, and they walk into a convention hall and it’s a Le Bail conference, and there’s a whole bunch of rich people there to show the expanse of it all.
“I mean, because it’s what we keep talking about, is that obscene wealth,” Gillett adds. “Is it a deal with the devil, in and of itself, on some level. You know what I mean?”
“It’s just fun to explore in a movie like this. Where it’s like, how can we take the kind of subtext and make it something that’s fun?” Gillett says.
Even the ending we actually do get in Ready or Not went through some subtle variations. One of them was even ad-libbed. The scene where the Le Domas family explodes, one by one, wasn’t originally supposed to end with Grace laughing at their plight.
“One of the things that is one of our favorite anecdotes for her [Samara Weaving], of the whole shoot, was Day Three maybe, and this will be a spoiler part, but we’re doing the explosions and that laugh,” Villella says. “She laughs at it. That was entirely Sam coming up with [it] on the day. That was not in the script. That was not our idea. And after like two or three takes she was like, ‘I feel like I would laugh at this, you know?’ And we were like, ‘Cool, let’s try it.’”
“And I remember all of us were like, is this going to work? And we did it, I think twice, and we got to the edit and we watched the edit without it and we were like, ‘No. Not a chance.’ And then it was the laugh the whole way through,” Villella says.
And in case you were wondering about the last line of dialogue in the movie, where the police ask Grace what happened and she says, “In-laws,” that was also originally a more pointed reference as well.
Originally, her line was: “Rich People.”
“There was an iteration in which it did [end with that line],” Villella says. “[But] it felt a little too on the nose for us at the end,” Villella says.
“We’d kind of made that joke before,” Gillett adds.
“Yeah, it felt like we had to pick a place and the other jokes wouldn’t work,” Villella says.
It sounds like we got the best possible ending of Ready or Not, but that’s not for us to decide! What do you think of Ready or Not‘s original, unused endings?