Await Further Instructions (2018) Review

Await Further Instructions (2018) Review

Directed by: Johnny Kerorkian

Written by: Gavin Williams

Starring: Sam Gittens, Grant Masters, Neerja Niak

Rated: NR

Run-Time: 1h 31min

Genre: Horror

Rotten Tomatoes: 80%

Availability: Netflix

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

Originally published on my personal website crystinaluna.com .

While I watched this movie on a Friday, I wasn’t quite confident enough to write a review for it until the following Monday. Not because I found this film so intellectual or amazing in some other way that I needed time to understand it; but because I needed time to figure out what exactly the film was trying to. It is evident from the beginning the intentions of the film, but it simply falls short of actually doing achieving what it wants to. 

When the ominous message “stay indoors and await further instructions” appears in the television of an already torn family, tensions rise as no one can agree on what to do next. As the promised instructions start to appear, the (already horrible) family dynamic is thrown out the window as what little bit of familial trust that may have existed is quickly dissolved. As characters trust each other less and less it becomes evident to the protagonist that an there is something potentially otherworldly going on. 

Now, first of all, it was so refreshing to see practical effects! Though at times this seems to be occasionally augmented with some minor bits of CGI, the fact that the film uses this now archaic technique is quite a breath of fresh air. For many horror film purists, practical effects might as well be the modern-day holy grail with the power to save otherwise dull movies. Which, when it comes to horror films, this film did, in fact, feel quite dull. Aiming for more nuanced psychological horror the film definitely fell short, succumbing to its overdone themes and failing to present a truly unique story. 

With themes of corruption and cult-like devotion, the feel doesn’t do a very good job at presenting these in what should have a character-driven plot. From the very beginning, the characters were unpleasant and in their own ways corrupt. Noone truly changed, for better or for worse, everyone was just insufferable (with the exclusion of maybe the protagonist’s girlfriend).

For this film to have worked it would have likely needed to present a family dynamic much more healthy than the one in the film. Allowing for otherwise good characters to surrender to their inner demons and not-so-perfect beliefs. Even though the antagonist in the film is an omnipotent alien, it may have been in the interest of the filmmakers to research the dynamics of real-life cults, where the corruption of vulnerable individuals is common. 

Honestly, I can’t think of very many people I would recommend this film to. Though on paper the concept seems interesting it simply isn’t well executed. I had to take a break while watching the film simply because I was bored out of my mind.

Subjective Rating

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Objective Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Final Rating

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Code 8 Review

Code 8 Review

Directed by: Jeff Chan 

Written by: Chris Pare, Jeff Chan

Starring: Karl Matchett, Robbie Amell, Penny Eizenga

Rated: NR

Run-Time: 1h 38m

Genre: Action, Drama

Rotten Tomatoes: 79%

Availability: Netflix

A super-powered construction worker falls in with a group of criminals in order to raise the fund to help his ill mother. (IMDb)

I’m a big fan of movies with superpowers, franchised and otherwise. Code 8 is one of those rare films that doesn’t belong to any big franchise; it also just so happens to be a film that was funded through Indiegogo. Code 8 definitely has the innate charm of a passion project, but could still stand to benefit with improvement in its writing.

The overall execution of this film is impressive. The effects are on par with films with a much larger budget, which is something you don’t often get to say. This shows the filmmakers really took care in how they allocated the money, as well as likely employing underused techniques that need not be forgotten. 

This fill can’t really boast much else. The most recognizable name featured in this film

Is Robbie Amell, and the plot is overdone and not well executed. The action is not well-paced and it’s easy to find yourself getting bored. Overall the film tends to have a general sense of being disjointed. The effects and mild mystery is enough to keep you interested in the film to the end, but like many films I’ve discussed before this is not necessarily a film you watch more than once. 

In the end, I was quite disappointed. The concept for this film is so good and could have been used in so many creative ways. There is some hope, with a series revival supposedly coming to Quibi. But, let’s be honest… who uses Quibi?

Subjective Rating

Objective Rating

Final Rating