It’s Christmas Day and the Milgram family wake to find a mysterious black substance surrounding their house. Something monumental is clearly happening right outside their door, but what exactly — an industrial accident, a terrorist attack, nuclear war? Descending into terrified arguments, they turn on the television, desperate for any information. On screen a message glows ominously: ‘Stay Indoors and Await Further Instructions’. As the television exerts an ever more sinister grip, their paranoia escalates into bloody carnage. A powder keg of throat-grabbing intensity and mind-bending body horror, AWAIT FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS is an unmissable tour-de-force from rising star filmmaker Johnny Kevorkian and the BAFTA-nominated producer of God’s Own Country.
Release Year: 2018 | Runtime: 1hr 31min | Genre: Sci-Fi Horror| Source: Netflix | Country: UK | Unstarred Review
Await Further Instructions Review
I’m actually a little mad at how stupid this movie was. Await Further Instructions has so much potential, and it tanks almost immediately.
Await Further Instructions starts out SO strong: Nick and his girlfriend Annji are visiting his estranged family for Christmas, which goes south nearly instantly as Nick’s family is made up entirely of racist religious nutjobs (apart from his mother who seems like a nice lady). Nick and Annji wake up early the following morning to leave, having had their fill of Nick’s family, when they find themselves trapped in the house by a strange metallic cocoon and no connection to the outside world apart from the television broadcasting a message – “stay indoors and await further instructions.”
It’s pretty much all downhill from there. The characters very quickly go from unlikeable but interesting to annoying caricatures. Nick’s father Tony takes charge of the situation by deciding that the manly man thing to do is to unquestioningly follow the instructions being broadcast to the TV. These instructions include really smart suggestions like injecting unknown substances dropped through the chimney into themselves and throwing away all of their food. Nick and Annji act as the voice of reason but the other characters are so loud and over the top that they’re quickly drowned out.
The instructions from the TV become more and more outlandish as the movie wears on, and at no point does Tony stop to think, “hmm, seems a bit odd from an emergency broadcast system, maybe we give this a ponder.” The fact that the rest of the family, including Nick’s very pregnant (and very stupid) sister Kate and her boyfriend, are willing to blindly follow Daddy’s lead becomes absolutely infuriating as the movie wears on and nothing good comes of following the instructions. By the end, I was really just hoping everyone would kick it so I could be put out of my misery of watching these morons make bad decisions. Annji is about the only sensible character but she gets locked in a room about half an hour in because brown people=diseased according to Nick’s racist father, so she doesn’t get nearly enough screentime to balance out the dumb. The climax of the movie also features possibly some of the worst CGI I’ve ever seen, with bizarre stop-motion looking movements that in no way fit the rest of the movie.
I suppose I should say something nice about Await Further Instructions, since it did have its moments (few though they were). There were a couple decent scares and unexpected events which caught me off guard. Those moments helped bring the tension back up a bit, which kept me vaguely invested in what was going on until the end. That’s really the most I can say for it though. I largely found this movie tedious to watch given the sheer idiocy of the characters, and while the action kept me watching until the end, I really didn’t care at all about the outcome.
If you’re looking for a movie that will allow you to yell at the screen and vent your anger at the stupidity of people, this is the one for you. If you’re looking for an actual quality product, give this one a pass.