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Await Further Instructions (2018)



A family's Christmas takes a strange turn when they awake to find themselves trapped inside and begin receiving mysterious instructions through the television.




Review

Beginning with an extremely dysfunctional family getting together on Christmas Eve, director Johnny Kevorkian (The Disappeared) has created the most British family gathering known. Arguments are rife, grandad is a racist bigot and a bully, sister is pregnant...the list goes on. When estranged son Nick arrives with his girlfriend Annji, things go from bad to worse, and the two of them agree to leave before dawn the next morning. Except when they try they find the house surrounded by a strange black, impenetrable substance, and instructions on survival are coming through the TV.

And the fathers answer? Lets all sit down and have Christmas dinner. How quaint.

The first two acts of the film work solidly. Writer Gavin Williams (feature debut) keeps a good consistency going. Nick and Annji are the clear protagonists (read: normal) with various other characters whose allegiances falter and sway. It's utterly bonkers, and totally believable that when the television set starts telling the family what to do, some of them are happy to comply, believing it to be, likely, a governmental emergency signal. Inject this. Don't eat that. Wash in bleach. It gets pretty weird for a time.

Then the family starts to break down.





Sadly, the narrative falls in the third act rather badly. When the big reveal comes, it is not only a little silly, perhaps, but also there is a good deal of flailing around with some more than dodgy FX. With the actual ending written rather well, it is a shame that it becomes something of hogwash for a short time.

The acting is good across the board, with protagonists Nick and Annji played by Sam Gittins (Howl) and Neerja Naik (Sold) as standout along with Grant Masters (Stormhouse) as their father. Grandad is played by David Bradley (The World's End) and is excellent as always.

All round it's an interesting film - it shows a bleakness inside a British family home that you rarely see. It is well made for the most part, and everyone is trying. It's not overly scary in the end - it could have been if it had not have faltered so badly towards the end.

Worth seeing, but there are better attempts.





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