Await Further Instructions

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For a sizable chunk of Johnny Kevorkian’s clunky sci-fi horror fable, the sheer inexplicable weirdness of the characters’ outlandish dilemma is (barely) enough to keep the film sputtering along. When Nick (Sam Gittins) takes girlfriend Annji (Neerja Naik) to meet his family on Christmas Eve, the hyperbolic awfulness of his suburban British clan – including Nick’s tightly wound father, snippy sister, and bigoted granddad – is more enervating than amusing. However, once the family discovers that they’ve been physically sealed inside their home by some mysterious entity, the escalating lunacy of their baffling situation has an undeniable dark energy, one veined with gruesome techno-organic terror. (Think 'The Outer Limits' meets David Cronenberg.) However, 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.