Ready or Not’s multiple endings and script changes may have altered the film drastically before it hit theaters, but it resulted in a better product.
Ready or Not’s explosive ending wasn’t originally on the table. In fact, there were multiple endings and script changes before the final cut hit theaters that could have drastically changed the film.
Grace (Samara Weaving) gets married into a family that insists she plays a game on her wedding night, as it’s a family tradition. With the opportunity to choose from an abundance of games, Grace ends up with a card, chosen at random, that challenges her to play hide and seek. Unfortunately, this means she has to hide before the family kills her at the break of dawn. The film managed to be an exhilarating thrill ride from beginning to end, keeping audiences guessing until the very last moment.
However, Ready or Not almost had a very different ending. While watching the film, audiences held onto the edge of their seats expecting the worst. The film did end on an upbeat note, but it turns out that the worst outcome for Grace was on the table far into production, as well as another late addition which altered the film’s overall experience drastically.
The Ending And What It Could Have Done For The Film
In the final cut of the film, Grace is pinned down on a table when her husband, Alex, goes to stab her. She dodges the dagger and, as the sun rises, the family explodes like a series of blood-filled balloons. It turns out the original script had Alex striking true and killing Grace. Luckily for audiences (as well as Grace), this ending was changed. One of the film’s directors, Tyler Gillett, told Bloody Disgusting, “…when we were doing our Grace hero pass we were like, ‘What type of movie do we want?’…We want people leaving the theater and cheering, not the other way around.”
This wasn’t the only change however, as a line had to be changed while they were shooting. In the new ending, Grace, drenched in blood after the family explodes, steps out onto the back porch as the house goes up in flames and the police arrive. When she’s asked what happened, Grace states, “In-laws.” This, however, was also a last minute change, as the original script had her saying, “Rich people.” Executive Producer Chad Villella explains that this change was made because “…it felt a little too on the nose for us…” These two changes likely made the film better and, all things considering, were rather easy changes to make. Since “the rest of the tone was the same,” a downer-ending could have left a sour taste in audiences’ mouths. Interestingly enough, 2017’s horror film, Get Out, also changed from a downer ending to a more upbeat one.
Another of Ready or Not’s directors, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, explained that there was a similar sentiment applied with this film, noting that the day he got involved “…was literally the day after Trump got elected. And the desire to make something that dark went away.” That seems to have been the right call. Following Disney’s acquisition of Fox, there was a slump of movies that failed to bring in a steady profit. However, Ready or Not managed to be one of the few films from Fox Searchlight Pictures that brought in dollars as well as critical praise, so the changes paid off.