Exploring Soundtracks: “Ready or Not”

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Brian Tyler’s original soundtrack to “Ready or Not” features big orchestrations with enough detail to sustain your interest for a clear and balanced thriller score.

Welcome back to another installment of Exploring Soundtracks. Today, we’ll be looking at Brian Tyler’s score to the 2019 film, “Ready or Not”. While we prefer to cover true horror movies during the winter, “Ready or Not” is as close as an action-packed thriller can get. And Tyler’s soundtrack does as good of a job supporting it as any could. So we’ll make an exception.

But before we get into the soundtrack itself, here’s a brief synopsis of “Ready or Not”, for anyone who either hasn’t seen the film, or just needs a quick refresher.

Synopsis

“Ready or Not” follows the story of a young bride named Grace (Samara Weaving), who’s as happy as she can be after marrying her betrothed. But when staying at her her new family’s estate, she soon finds out that she must hide from her new family for one night while her in-laws hunt her down and try to kill her. As she tries desperately to survive, Grace finds a way to start fighting back.

Ready or Not

The soundtrack starts off with “Ready Or Not Overture”, which eases us into the film with a meandering melody with traces of romance as well as some light foreboding of the danger to come. The same theme is heard again in “Ready or Nocturne for Solo Violin”, underneath the stylized and flurrying violin. It’s a fantastic way to start off the movie, solidify the musical themes, and amplify the tension at the same time.

While it starts off strong, the soundtrack doesn’t really get started until “Here We Come”. This track brings about another flurry of strings, bringing with it a sequence of chills and thrills that brings out the previously underplayed sinister tones in full force. “Mistaken Identity” and “Our Burden” maintain the tension while giving some room to breathe. But “Gearing Up” brings back the energy, putting a slightly more optimistic tone on things, as Grace finally prepares herself to fight for her life.

“The Pit” throws us right back into the horror, amplifying the adrenaline and sense of dread with driving strings and resounding horns. As Grace falls into her darkest moment, the music stays right with her, falling and then rising again as she pulls herself out. There are some commonly used horror score techniques used here to continue pumping the adrenaline that work quite nicely.

Along a similar vein is one of the finale tracks, “Joy (B) Ride)”, is full of choppy strings and spine-tingling sweeps that bring out the horror vibes again. After it, the dissonant and haunting track, “The Ritual” brings out the strangeness of the satanic scene, followed by more action thrills. Finally, Tyler’s score closes on “I Choose Her”, which brings back a toned down version of the main theme. The film ends with “Love Me Tender” by Stereo Jane, which helps readjust the tone for the final comedic line.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Brian Tyler’s score for “Ready or Not” brings all the chill, thrills and surprises you’d expect from a seasoned action and horror score composer. While the score occasionally brings out the rare romantic note, it’s quickly swallowed up by Tyler’s heart-pounding score. At the end of the day, it delivers entertainment, tension, and release while keeping us grounded in the mind of the main character. And the best part about Brian Tyler’s soundtrack, is that he does all of it (and more) with style.

That about does it for today. I hope you enjoyed our discussion of Brian Tyler’s original soundtrack to “Ready or Not”. We’ll be back next week with a new soundtrack to explore.

If you’re looking for more music coverage, be sure to check out the LemonWire Music Corner, where we’re showcasing local Indianapolis artists.

Track List

1. “Ready Or Not Overture” (4:24)
2. “Ready or Nocturne for Solo Violin” (1:23)
3. “Family Members Only” (3:41)
4. “The Truth” (3:14)
5. “Here We Come” (3:32)
6. “Badass Bride” (3:08)
7. “Mistaken Identity” (3:20)
8. “Our Burden” (2:34)
9. “Gearing Up” (2:09)
10. “The Future Mrs. Le Domas” (2:29)
11. “Tea Time” (3:42)
12. “Waiter, Dumb” (2:35)
13. “The Butler’s Sonatina” (1:02)
14. “The Pit” (4:15)
15. “‘Til Death Do Us Part” (2:31)
16. “Joy (B) Ride” (4:52)
17. “The Ritual” (6:29)
18. “I Choose Her” (3:29)
19. “The Hide and Seek Song” – Headquarters Music (1:54)
20. “Love Me Tender” – Stereo Jane (2:12)

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