See how a wild 'meat cannon' splattered actors for gory finale of Ready or Not
Warning: This article contains spoilers about Ready or Not.
Ready or Not producer James Vanderbilt had an important goal in mind when making this summer’s breakout horror hit (available Tuesday on Blu-Ray and DVD) starring Samara Weaving and Andie MacDowell: Frankly, he didn’t want to give his audience a product that looked “like s—.”
“If you’re a horror fan, you’ve seen movies where digital effects just don’t cut it, and the last thing we wanted to do is have you be five minutes from the end of the movie and just go, ‘Well, that looks like s—,'” Vanderbilt says in EW’s exclusive sneak peek (above) at the making of the film’s brutal finale, in which, after a night spent playing a deadly game of hide-and-seek with her husband’s Satan-worshipping family, Weaving’s newlywed bride Grace watches her new in-laws succumb to an ancient curse that causes all of them to literally explode in front of her… and onto her.
So, Vanderbilt and coproducer Tripp Vinson set out to stage the bloody affair with as many practical effects as they could — including using real explosives (and fake gore) to achieve the final look.
“We have a lot of characters in one room that are going to practically explode. Those are charges that are going off when you see those explosions,” Vinson says. “We had a few tools: One’s a meat cannon, which you see go off when [Melanie Scrofano’s] Emilie and the two boys escape the room at the end. There are three explosions and you see blood splatter up against the wall.”
Vanderbilt admits that, with such a large cast, he was initially worried that some of the performers might not be down with getting blasted in the face with a “meat cannon” (or a “meat rifle,” held by a crew member standing directly off-screen, for close-up shots) filled with mushy bananas to mimic the splatter of human flesh, though every “man, woman, and child” was “down for it” in the end.
“I remember Kristian [Bruun], the first thing he asked was: ‘Can I get some in my mouth?'” Vanderbilt remembers, adding that he assured the Orphan Black actor, who has a small role in the film, that the substance was non-toxic as a means to diminish his apprehensions. “He goes, ‘No, I want to get it in my mouth because I want to do a thing where I spit it out!'”
How’s that for authenticity?