Await Further Instructions (2018)

I do not like this one.

The basic situation is solid: a fractious family celebrating Christmas finds that they have been mysteriously barricaded into their own home.  And then they start getting instructions from the TV.

As the tensions increase inside the house, their instructions get stranger and stranger — and more sinister.

…But who exactly is giving them?

It’s a scenario fully of opportunity, but somehow Await Further Instructions never seems to grasp it.  It takes too long getting moving, the villains are all bad, the good guys have no flaws, and despite giving us one revealing moment about one character, he is never allowed to change.

In fact, no one ever changes — the obnoxious characters do not get the chance to reveal hidden strengths, the sympathetic characters don’t break down and do terrible things, and the one rather wishy washy character is denied a final chance to redeem himself.

I can’t say that I’m a fan of the sort of downbeat, nihilistic ending we finally reach, but there’s a rather routine quality about it as we already know which character will follow the instructions to the end.

It does find one surprising twist when we finally learn what the ultimate motivation is behind the threat they face.

But it isn’t enough to save this one.

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