‘Contain. Corrupt. Control.’
Await Further Instructions is a 2018 British science fiction horror feature film directed by Johnny Kevorkian (The Disappeared) from a screenplay by Gavin Williams. The Goldfinch Studios/Shudder Films production stars David Bradley, Abigail Cruttenden and Holly Weston.
When the Milgram family awake to discover a mysterious black substance surrounding their house, their only clue is a single line of text on television: ‘Stay Indoors and Await Further Instructions’.
Unsure if they are victims of a cruel psychological experiment, or if the country is undergoing a genuine emergency, simmering tensions escalate into a deadly power struggle…
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“Whilst their enmity lurks in the background, the family must work together to save themselves from an unknown threat. A threat only communicated to them via a rather too sentient television set. Johnny Kevorkian has created a clever and brutal film which melds sci-fi with horror to great effect.” Rob Aldam, Backseat Mafia
“Await Further Instructions is a bleak, bleak movie, one which doesn’t have a whole lot of optimism about human beings or their relationship to technology. We’ll blindly follow whatever screens tell us, and it’s a practice that’s not going to end well. But it’s also smart sci-fi horror, well-realized and effective, the kind of movie that’s easy to recommend to genre fans.” Patrick Bromley, Bloody Disgusting
“It’s definitely not the feel-good Christmas film of the year, but Await Further Instructions is an unsettling paranoia thriller that will please genre fans looking for a different take on technological terror. Thick with social commentary, there’s a lot to unpack throughout the film, and it’s likely that this one will stay on your mind long after the credits roll.” Blair Hoyle, Cinema Slasher
“Await Further Instructions is a heady, hardwired robotrip via “Cult Of Apple” horrors proposed by our ever-evolving digital age. Home invasion chills meet overlord toxicity, all while aptly befuddled characters attempt to safely navigate trauma no one can explain […] clever dissection of screen culture and nasty desecration of one family’s not-so-jolly reunion.” Matt Donato, Dread Central
“Heavily stylized but narratively empty, Kevorkian wears his ’80s era horror influences proudly throughout this work of budget British horror and while both he and Williams exhibit occasional flashes of potential, somewhere along the way they managed to trap themselves inside the heart of the film as well with no idea how to get out…” Jen Johans, Film Intuition
“It’s heady, scary stuff and the screenplay from Gavin Williams piles on the crazy incrementally, always allowing us to believe that these characters would actually think and act as they do […] The madness gets a little too Cronenberg-y in a final act that veers far afield from the deranged, yet contained, madness of what came before…” Blake Crane, Film Pulse
There’s armrest-clutching brilliance in the way this sweatily tense low-budget British horror lays out a family Christmas from hell, and then cranks it up into something truly gruesome […] it’s a shame that Await Further Instructions throws it away with the same old horror film cliches in a finale that fails to satisfy the buildup.” Cath Clarke, The Guardian
“Practical effects elevate the film, let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than CGI blood etc. The glare from the television screen, blues and greens, give a nice dynamic colour palette to what could have ended up looking like a kitchen sink drama. A single situation story that explores the horrors of family, conformity and our relationship with technology; go in fresh and enjoy the journey…” Kat Hughes, The Hollywood News
“The perfect one-location sci-fi-tinged chiller for our paranoid, politically unstable, ecologically doomed times, this bleak study of the fragility of humankind has its roots in the extra-terrestrial “test” at the heart of a stand-out Twilight Zone episode […] This film’s disquieting reveal involves impressive physical and CGI FX, a Christmas birth and a marvellous final shot of a radically altered suburbia.” Steven West, Horrorscreams Videovault
“A low budget British horror with a smart script that takes the Nigel Kneale route of doing satire through science fiction and does it well. Thought provoking and disturbing […] the less you know about this one the more you’ll love it (and hopefully be blown away by what happens). Seriously good creative stuff.” John Llewellyn Probert, House of Mortal Cinema
” …in its final stretch, Await Further Instructions reveals itself as a hollow, hamfisted polemic, one with all the profundity of a bumper sticker. The filmmakers slather on shallow moralizing about the evils of screen slavery and blind obedience to authority, all to distract from how little thought they’ve given to the film’s scenario.” Andrew Wyatt, The Lens
” …when you figure the film must be a straightforward comment on the government — or perhaps TV news — and the masses’ tendency to do whatever they’re told. Well, keep watching, because Await Further Instructions is much more fun and shocking than that.” Johnny Oleksinsky, New York Post
“Horror derives as much from the narrowness of his characters’ minds as the Cronenbergian mortifications of their flesh, creating an all-too-plausible nightmare of media’s ability to turn brother against brother. And while most movies of this type simply peter out, Instructions maintains such an unswerving commitment to its dark purpose that its final, gorgeously tenebrous images will leave you wobbly for days.” Jeanette Catsoulis, The New York Times
“All at once tense family drama, Cronenbergian horror, social satire and sci-fi reimagining of the Nativity, Await Further Instructions shows how difficult it is to escape the domineering, malevolent influence of the media, be it the xenophobic press, poison-spewing televisions, or even films just like this one. It is also a dark vision of both domestic dysfunction and national polarisation in small-minded, small-screen Little Britain.” Anton Bitel, Projected Figures
“An important subject doesn’t necessarily make for a thrilling satire/social critique and Kevorkian and Williams simply aren’t outlandish enough to land their half-baked ideas about television’s dominating influence. Await Further Instructions never really works, but it’s worth rooting for … right until it collapses spectacularly.” Simon Abrams, RogerEbert.com
“The script by feature first-timer Gavin Williams packs in plenty of conflict on both the personal and visceral levels, for Kevorkian to fashion into a tense and frightening film that’s also relevant to our current times. […]effects designer Dan Martin contributes strikingly creepy creations.” Michael Gingold, Rue Morgue
“The idea is clever, and the effects work is very strong, but the film feels under-imagined. Perhaps the script could have used at least one more rewrite to iron out the character inconsistencies. As is, genre fans will enjoy the escalating mayhem and some moments of inventive, audacious grisliness. But it would have been nice to have a thematic payoff too.” Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
” …it’s almost unbearably claustrophobic and once the suitably OTT climax arrives, everything takes a Cronenbergian / Lovecraft turn, evoking memories of Videodrome and Richard Stanley’s Hardware. It’s perfect anti-Christmas viewing, subverting the nativity, tradition, and heritage equally, and will hopefully have audiences questioning what they are told by the idiot box in future.” Martin Unsworth, Starburst
“Obviously, it isn’t always pleasant to watch a family disintegrate into chaos and madness, but this is a compelling example that goes in directions that are more than surprising. It’s an infecting escalation of claustrophobia mixed with quality gore that manages to make you wonder how it will ultimately play out. When it finally does, you’ll likely revel at its originality as opposed to shrugging it off.” Jim Laczkowski, Voices and Visions
“Kevorkian manages come up with some disturbing images as he pits the final survivors against each other, and the source of their predicament. It’s a very abrupt change in both tone and pace but it delivers the payoff the film needs. A mix of genres that delivers a timely message while being entertaining rather than preachy, Await Further Instructions is one of the better films to come out this year.” Jim Morazzini, Voices from the Balcony
In the UK, Trinity Films is releasing Await Further Instructions on DVD on 7 January 2019.
In the US, the movie was released by Dark Sky Films in select theaters and VOD on October 5, 2018. Blu-ray and DVD releases followed on December 12, 2018.
Cast and characters:
- Sam Gittins … Nick
- Neerja Naik … Annji
- Abigail Cruttenden … Beth
- David Bradley … Grandad
- Grant Masters … Tony
- Holly Weston … Kate
- Kris Saddler … Scott
Hemingbrough, North Yorkshire, England
91 minutes | 2.35:1
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