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Blu-ray Review: AWAIT FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS

AWAIT FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS was directed by Johnny Kevorkian from a screenplay by Gavin Williams and stars Sam Gittins, Neerja Naik, Grant Masters, Abigail Cruttenden, Holly Weston, Kris Saddler and David Bradley.

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.

Await Further Instructions follows Nick (Sam Gittins) and his girlfriend Annji (Neerja Naik) who pay a visit to his family on Christmas. His mother (Abigail Cruttenden) is happy to see her estranged son but Nick’s father (Grant Masters) comes across as this cold figure and this is explained as the movie plays out. Let’s just say that something is wrong with the father figures in this family. There’s also Nick’s irritating but entertaining grandad (David Bradley) as well as his jealous sister (Holly Weston) and her weak-minded husband (Kris Saddler) who are expecting their first child.

What happens is, after a stressful first night together the family awakens to discover they’re trapped inside the house by this mysterious black substance that has blocked the doorways and windows so there’s not way to escape. To top this off, strange messages start appearing on the TV screen giving them eerie commands to do – or else. It doesn’t take long for paranoia and hysterics to set in and this causes even more stress and grief within the ranks and this is where good ol’ dad goes off the deep end. The only ones keeping their cool about this mysterious situation are Nick and Annji but the odds are against them because they’re not only fighting with the family but they end up discovering what’s actually happening and unfortunately it doesn’t end well for any of them. 

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The Blu-ray disc also features some matching artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio. 

Bottom line is, Await Further Instructions ended up being a strange mixture of science fiction and horror that deals with this dysfunctional family at Christmas time. This dark sci-fi creeper features an extremely original concept that appears to be influenced by “The Twilight Zone” and “The Outer Limits” and even though it’s going to be an acquired taste for some viewers, I found it to be an ambitious slice of cinematic cheese. The story incorporates hot topics like racism, prejudice and even religion into the mix and this just adds more uneasiness to the dreaded situation. I thought the cast did a good job with their characters in this claustrophobic setting that also plays an important part to the story as the mystery slowly reveals itself. We can never have enough Christmas-themed horror movies and Johnny Kevorkian has constructed something new and original for the subgenre that I’ll be adding to my annual holiday watch list. It’s a flawed but fun watch. Await Further Instructions will be available on Blu-ray on December 11th. 

Distributor: Dark Sky Films

Run Time: 91 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.40:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 / English PCM Lossless 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: The extras include nine interviews with some of the cast and crew, storyboards, concept at and trailer.

  • Interviews (113.23)
  • Storyboards (04:45)
  • Concept Art (02:25)
  • Trailer (01:47)
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