This bold Brit flick is a gross-out Christmas horror that's let down by some underpowered social satire.
Driving home for Christmas, Nick is nervous about introducing his British-Asian girlfriend, Annji, to his family. For good reasons. His grandfather (David Bradley) is a racist bully, his sister is a xenophobic halfwit and her husband is a clot. Then there’s his domineering father and worrywart mother.
As if family politics weren’t enough, the situation is made worse when the house becomes encased in a mysterious black membrane. Could it be a terrorist attack? The apocalypse? We aren’t quite sure. Then glowing green letters appear on the telly: ‘Await Further Instructions’.
A macabre twist on the classic British sitcom, what follows is essentially the nativity story by way of ‘Black Mirror’ and ‘Inside No 9’. British director Johnny Kevorkian’s genre-splicing sci-fi horror offers a stew of toxic masculinity, family barneys, racism and Cronenbergian body horror.
Unfortunately, its attempts to critique Daily Mail-minded middle England, Brexit and fake news are hit-and-miss. Ideas about the way TV dominates society are pertinent, but the delivery is too on the nose. And the characters are thin, despite the best efforts of a game cast. Still, it’s enjoyable enough as an alternative to the usual Christmas fare of romcoms and Santa capers.
Cast and crew