Tags: Sci-Fi - Technology - Invasion - Dysfunction
Director: Johnny Kevorkian
Writers: Johnny Kevorkian
Starring: Sam Gittins, Neerja Naik, Abigail Cruttenden, and David Bradley
MPAA Rating: TV-MA
Studio: Goldfinch, Premiere Picture, Shudder Films
Release: October 5th, 2018
Did you know: The surname of the family, Milgram, refers go the Milgram test of obedience to authority, a theme dominant throughout the film. It is also revealed that the family resides on Stanford street, a reference to the Stanford Prison experiment which studied similar themes of perceived power and authority.
Await Further Instructions is a British sci-fi/horror film from director Johnny Kevorkian. Strangely enough, I cannot find any Wikipedia article about this film or the filmmaker. Very strange. The film stars Sam Gittins, Neerja Naik, Abigail Cruttenden, and David Bradley. It premiered on October 5th, 2018 on Netflix and various other streaming services. I am watching the Netflix stream.
Nick Milgram is bringing his fiance Annji home to meet his family for the holidays. It’s a tense situation and everyone is uncomfortable. But that's made all the worse when, on Christmas Day, they awake to find a mysterious black surface around their house, trapping them indoors. Descending into terrified arguments, they turn on each other, taking queues and instructions from their manipulated television set.
Await Further Instruction is a look at the oversaturation of media in our society that’s played out through a bizarre alien invasion/horror scenario. It’s a very dialogue-heavy film that doesn’t have a ton of effects. But the art direction and set design are beautiful. I loved the alien black cables and the look of the setting. It is a very pretty picture. I also appreciated the more intense effects toward the end of the film. Techno-zombie-puppet Tony was grotesque and fantastic.
Grant Masters played Tony, the father of the family who drips in that dignified English pride. He’s a frightening character who’s onscreen appearance makes the film tense. Actress Neerja Naik is the true stand-out for the whole cast. Her character, Annji, has a backstory. She feels flushed out and not nearly as wooden as Annji’s beau, Nick, forgettably played by Sam Gittins. He was the leading man but he came off as lame and not believable. David Bradley plays a horribly racist old man. But I still love that guy.
The horror and fear come from the dread that hangs in the air after the family realizes they are stuck and cannot escape. Some of the reactions, most notably the grandfathers, were cartoonish. However, it felt right for this type of movie.
Await Further Instructions was entertaining. It has a really interesting premise that kept me wondering what was going to happen next. It’s not going to keep me up at night. However, alien invasion movies always intrigue me and the idea of another intelligent race is terrifying. This is a fun movie that tries hard to be bigger than it is. It has a lot of flaws and some of the acting is just bad. Check this one out if you have Netflix. It’s a good way to pass some time.