EW's behind-the-scenes featurette chronicles how (and why) one wedding dress goes from bloody to bloodier to bloodiest in the wickedly funny horror-comedy from directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett
Most women experience matrimonial bliss while clad in flowing gowns of pearly white. Such is definitely not the case for Samara Weaving’s budding bride at the center of the new horror-comedy Ready or Not, which sees the Australian actress trudging through a wedding day from hell in a dress that, as evidenced by EW’s exclusive sneak peek above, devolves from an angelic, intricately crafted lace design into blood-soaked fashion roadkill by the film’s end.
“She looks beautiful,” Weaving says of her Grace, a young woman who has, at the beginning of the movie, seemingly hit the jackpot after marrying into a wealthy family with untold millions in inheritance money stemming from their board game tycoon ancestors. “Little do we know,” she continues, “it’s gonna get weird.”
Just how weird? For starters, instead of spending her post-wedding hours in the warm embrace of her husband (Mark O’Brien), she fights through the night covered in an increasingly vile mixture of bodily fluids, ranging from mammalian blood to human tissue after a harrowing journey sees her defending her life when her new in-laws (a crossbow-toting Andie MacDowell, Henry Czerny, and other oddball relatives including Adam Brody, Kristian Bruun, and Nicky Guadagni) insist they celebrate with a traditional game of hide-and-seek. But, the fun and games quickly turn to comically absurd horror as Grace lifts the veil on her new family’s devilish dealings, prompting its seekers to kill their hiding prey.
Filmmakers Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (V/H/S) “relied heavily” on their costume designer Avery Plewes to craft 17 dresses for the whole bloody affair.
“It’s like [a different dress that’s] shorter, dirtier, [with] goat’s blood, human blood, losing a sleeve… It’s a ton of stuff,” Olpin says of Grace’s twisted de-evolution. “The dress is very much a metaphor. This movie starts grand and classical, and then it just degrades and degrades. The camera moves get quicker, the music is going to get crazier, and the dress is exactly that.”
Plewes recalls she “wanted to create something that had a lot of coverage, texture, and length so we could take away a lot in several different stages,” one that could get even dirtier and, frankly, “gross” throughout the movie. She even calls Weaving a “trooper” for putting up with the muck.
“Every day was different, so we had different sized dresses with different layers of goo on it,” Weaving says at the end of the featurette. “I had a ripped skirt, blood everywhere, so much goat carcass… you can’t even fathom.”
Audiences won’t have to fathom much longer, as they can take the ride for themselves when Ready or Not releases Aug. 21 in theaters nationwide. Watch EW’s exclusive behind-the-scenes video above.