23rd Oct2018

‘Await Further Instructions’ VOD Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Sam Gittins, Neerja Naik, David Bradley, Grant Masters, Holly Weston, Abigail Cruttenden | Written by Gavin Williams | Directed by Johnny Kevorkian

Await-Further-Instructions-poster

It’s nearly that time of year again, my favourite time of year…..no not Halloween! I’m talking about Christmas! And despite its slightly unusual title Await Further Instructions is indeed a Christmas horror film.

Taking place over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day you might expect plenty of cheer but Await Further instructions isn’t the happiest of movies. For a start, the family aren’t the closest. In particular the son, played by Sam Gittins (Howl), who hasn’t seen his family for a number of years but his current girlfriend (Neerja Naik) pushes him to see them for the holiday so she can meet them. It doesn’t take long for her to regret this. His family aren’t exactly the nicest of people. The father (Grant Masters) seems angry at everything, the daughter (Holly Weston) wants everything to be about her, the granddad (David Bradley) is racist, amongst other things, while the mother (Abigail Cruttenden) is too weak to actually stop anyone being horrible. They don’t make for a very happy mix.

The story really begins when the son and his girlfriend try to leave early Christmas morning only to discover that the front door, on its outside, is covered by a black, metal-like covering. On further inspection every window and the whole house seems to be covered with the same material. And when they turn the television on they see the text ‘AWAIT FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS’. Things steadily get more interesting and horrific from there.

Performances are really enjoyable from everyone. Masters (a experienced UK TV actor) seems to relish being absolutely horrible, while you’re have some sympathy with Cruttenden as the mother. I completely sided with the son and girlfriend and Nail is instantly likeable with a character that could be a bit of a know-it-all, and after seeing Gittens in Howl I hope to see him in more genre movies.

The special effects are something that stand out too. Almost all practical effects from what I could tell but they range massively. From gruesome injury detail to sci-fi style stuff that I don’t want to give away. With these effects, Await Further Instructions is surprisingly brutal in places as well.

Await Further Instructions isn’t set at Christmas just for the sake of it either. We obviously have the tree, the lights, the dinner and the presents but as the story unfolds it reveals a clever way to have it set at this time of year. Guaranteeing it to be watched every year for me.

Much credit must go to both director Johnny Kevorkian and writer Gavin Williams because a low budget doesn’t stop Await Further Instructions from being one of the most original horror movies I’ve seen in a long time and one of the most interesting Christmas horror movies I’ve ever seen. I will be looking out for any future projects the two of them do. But for now, sit back in your Christmas jumper, drink a hot chocolate and it as many candy canes as possible while you watch Await Further Instructions

Await Further Instructions is out on VOD in the US now.

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