fredag 12 oktober 2018

Await Further Instructions

Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year!

At least Swedish men will say this, because Swedish men have a very special Christmas tradition, that they do every year. Swedish men gather around the Christmas tree and listen to Gary Barlow´s solo album Open Road. Why the hell would they do that you might wonder ? Well, for Swedish men, there is no Christmas without Gary Barlow´s album Open Road, it is just as important as the Christmas Turkey is for Great Britain, except Swedish men think about Gary Barlow instead. I hope that some documentary film maker will do a documentary about this one day, i think this could be one of the greatest Christmas documentary films ever. For me personally i love to celebrate Christmas, in an old fashioned way, have some fun with the chainsaw, or machete, if Jehovah´s Witnesses comes around. After that we sit down and enjoy a great meal, from local fresh meat products of course . Christmas is the time when you want to enjoy your time off, and just spend time with family and friends. Here in Sweden we have meat balls, Christmas ham, sausages, and of course Christmas Snaps ( strong Christmas alcohol to helps you see much better ). So how about Christmas movies ? I think we all have some Christmas movies we enjoy, and i have personally two films that i enjoy during the winter holidays. First we have Silent Night, Deadly Night, a slasher horror film released in 1984 from director Charles E. Sellier Jr. This film is a Christmas film that has the right tone for a happy Christmas, you got lots of brutal kills and some really bad practical effects, just the way we like our 80´s style films to be. And to see a dressed up Santa Clause killer walk around was exactly what a film like this needed to work. If you have not seen it, i suggest you pick up a Blu Ray copy with some nice special features included. Another movie we should mention is of course the classic 2003 film known as Bad Santa. Billy Bob Thornton as a Shopping Mall Santa Clause who hates Chrismas, and drinks all the time, is a classic. Every year there are so many Christmas movies coming out, and i barely watch any of them, especially from Hallmark. I did see one that was beyond horrible called Beverly Hills Christmas with actor Dean Cain. Let me just say this, if you never thought a Christmas movie could make you depressed, then just watch Beverly Hills Christmas. In the late month of August, i came across an article about an upcoming British horror film called Await Further Instructions, that looked interesting. The trailer looked even more fun, so of course i had to check this film out. Do we finally have a British Christmas movie that will be enjoyed in many generations from now, or is this film a Christmas movie that fails completely to capture the holiday feeling ?

It´s the day before Christmas Day, and the Milgram family is gathering to celebrate Christmas together. After arguments and discussions, Nick Milgram ( Sam Gittins ) is upset over how some of his family members have treated his girlfriend Annji ( Neerja Nalk ). On Christmas Day, as everyone is waking up, Nick finds that every door, every window have been sealed with a strange kind of metal. The whole family is locked inside the house. Nicks father Tony Milgram ( Grant Masters ) believe that it must be the government who is behind this, since their TV is reading out messages on how they should act at this moment. But something is not right, when they are suddenly forced to inject themselves with needles, with a liquid no one knows what it is. As the father of the family, Tony believe they must follow the rules. But what if every rule is not meant to help them, and is given to the family for a completely different purpose ?

I am so happy to say that i finally got a chance to see Await Further Instructions, and this is a film you should experience before Christmas this year. You have a traditional Christmas gathering here, but the best part about this film is that it changes completely into a different kind of Christmas movie. Imagine being locked up inside your own home, and forced to follow rules by a TV screen. You might think this is like the Saw movies, but it´s not. Await Further Instructions have a different approach than most horror films, and this is what makes this film interesting. Since a lot of horror films these days don´t try to do something different, i have to say that this film does try a different concept. The fact that you don´t know who is behind locking up everyone, also makes the film interesting. So you basically have no idea what is going on, and this is positive. The actors in this film makes this a special Christmas celebration. We have a good performance from Neerja Naik as Annji, a sweet intelligent woman who is forced to deal with racism. Legendary actor David Bradley as the grumpy Granddad is a highlight in this film. David brings his comedy timing right where we need it, and he still manage to be an asshole as well. Grant Masters who play family father Tony is very strict, and want to be the leader in the family. He manage to fit his character well into the story, and give a solid performance. Sam Gittins as the youngest son Nick, gives you a clear image that he feels embarrassed over his family´s behavior, and he acts this out effective. There are more great characters in this family as well, but let´s get into some positive other details about this film. The religious theme that becomes clear in the film, almost feels like a cult. And we don´t really get to know much about if this is a cult or not, and that makes you more curious to know. The TV messages reminds me of the John Carpenter classic They Live, when actor Roddy Piper see the messages across town that he can only see with sun glasses. Await Further Instructions may have been influenced by that film, and if that is the case then i like their approach. I think the TV giving orders is a clever way to reach out, considering we live our lives watching TV and it would be an easy way to get people in control. The horror atmosphere is also effective in this film, using classic elements without being too predictable. Director Johnny Kevorkian have managed to make this film surprisingly effective, and for that he deserves respect. I can´t really complain much about this film, because i think as a Christmas horror film, this is one of the better releases in recent years. I think you need to watch Await Further Instructions if you want a good Christmas celebration,  In fact, if every Christmas was like this film, we would be happier around the world.

Rating: DDD

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