NEXT OF KIN (1982) Reviews and overview

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Angustia A Flor De Piel (1982) Poster

‘There’s no place like home, bloody home.’
Next of Kin is a 1982 Australian horror film directed by New Zealander Tony Williams from a screenplay co-written with Michael Heath.

The movie stars Jacki Kerin, John Jarratt, and Alex Scott.

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The synthesizer soundtrack score is by German composer Klaus Schulze (Angst; Barracuda).

The movie was featured in the documentary Not Quite Hollywood where it was praised by Quentin Tarantino.

Second Sight Films released Next of Kin on Blu-ray in the UK on 25 March 2019. Extras include:
Audio commentary with Director Tony Williams and Producer Tim White
Audio commentary with cast members John Jarratt, Jackie Kerin, Robert Ratti and Not Quite Hollywood
Director, Mark Hartley
Return to Montclare: Next of Kin Shooting locations revisited
Extended interviews from Not Quite Hollywood
Tony Williams shorts from 1971: Getting Together + The Day We Landed on the Most Perfect Planet in the
Universe
Deleted Scenes, Original Theatrical Trailer, VHS Trailer, German Trailer, German Opening Credits
Before the Night is Out – Complete ballroom dancing footage from 1978
Image Gallery
Reversible sleeve art

Plot:
Linda Stevens (Jacki Kerin) inherits Montclare, a country mansion which was turned into a retirement home by her late mother and her sister, Aunt Rita. Strange events described in her mother’s diaries – lights and taps turning on by themselves, voices in the night – seem to be recurring.

Linda suspects long-serving Montclare housekeeper Connie (Gerda Nicolson) and local physician Doctor Barton (Alex Scott) of hiding details of Montclare’s finances and the death of Aunt Rita. Turning to her boyfriend Barney (John Jarratt) for help, Linda attempts to unlock the mysteries of the mansion…

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Reviews:
“Although it doesn’t quite deliver the full-blown terror the patient build-up promises, and the old folks in the house are used mainly for hit-and-miss comic effect, Next of Kin is a nifty little film with a consistently uneasy ambience and sturdy work by a cast including Jacki Kerin and a young John Jarratt of Wolf Creek (2005) fame. Technically polished and highly imaginative…” Australian Screen

” …it’s very much like The Shining, as Quentin Tarantino has already pointed out. It also has a Rosemary’s Baby feel to it in that we know somebody is manipulating Linda somehow, but we can’t quite put a finger on who or why. A truly under-appreciated and little seen cult title, the experience of it makes you want to revisit it in order to soak it all in.” The Digital Bits

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“I’m not against slow burns per se, but this is way too slow to ignite, and the finale is neither a surprise or very hot. And while a home for the elderly isn’t necessarily a bad setting for a horror film, I quite enjoyed Bubba Ho-Tep for example, it fails here.” Digital Retribution

“It’s in the final act that Next of Kin really comes into its own, providing us with an array of startling images, some gory murders and, almost out of nowhere, some stunts that wouldn’t be out of place in a Brian Trenchard-Smith film. It’s all atmospheric entertaining stuff…” House of Mortal Cinema

“Linda unravels the mystery of Montclare at a less than breakneck speed, but ultimately, if you have patience, it works. As an audience we are drawn into her quiet, waking nightmare. The slow pacing is easily forgiven, as the premise is so intriguing and director, Tony Williams, imbues the film with a creepy feeling of dread throughout.” Hysteria Lives!

“For at least half of the running time, viewers may not be quite sure exactly what kind of horror film this really is. Slasher? Supernatural chiller? Monster movie? The film definitely takes its time putting all the pieces into place, but when it kicks into gear the payoff is more than worth it as the viewer is treated to a slew of inventive visual flourishes that still pack a punch.” Mondo Digital

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“Certainly, Next of Kin is directed with a good deal more atmosphere than usual for a slasher film – like the moment when Charles McCallum unwittingly steps on a drowned face as he goes to get into the bath, or the image of an eye being stabbed through a keyhole. However, the reliance on an elliptical story, which unfolds slackly, makes Next of Kin slow moving.” Moria

“It sounds like a decent, suspenseful little movie the way I describe it, doesn’t it? Well don’t let me fool you. It should have been, but it is prevented from turning into one by a number of poor scripting and directorial decisions […] The tone is so low-key during the first three quarters of the film that we in the audience can’t for the life of us understand why Linda is becoming so alarmed at the goings-on in the old mansion.” 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting

“It’s definitely a movie on the slow simmer but once you cotton on to the giallo roots then you are good as gold, assuming you can dance to the giallo beat […] There’s some sidetracking to be got through, just what did happen to Carol, but Williams leaves nothing unanswered and adds in enough relish to keep fans of quiet horror happy with their viewing decision.” Scary Minds

“Well-crafted, with decent production values and a delicately slow pace, this ghost-cum-slasher film explodes in the final third, with all the events of the past catching up with the amiable leading lady. Worth seeking out.” The Terror Trap

“Atmosphere plays the best role here though, with some top notch cinematography making the most of its creepy old house setting. Taps run on their own and garden fountains spurt blood, and there’s a lot of rain! A bit of a lost classic and deserving of a revival; Next of Kin is a neat gothic mystery where the clue is in the title!” Tina Aumont’s Eyes

“Director Tony Williams tosses in a bunch of quotes from films and literature in an apparent attempt to elevate the proceedings, but proves yet again that the evocation of great artists’ names and works does not guarantee a film of the same quality.” TV Guide

“Moments familiar from HalloweenThe Shining, and Psycho help with the somewhat rushed climax (where the sound of the running down the halls is used to great effect). The finale goes a bit awry although Linda finally kicks-ass, there are still several loose ends that are never made any tighter, but this is one little gem that has somehow remained out of circulation for a while.” Vegan Voorhees

Severin Films released Next of Kin on Blu-ray in the USA on February 26, 2019.

Commentary with Director Tony Williams and Producer Tim White
Commentary with Mark Hartley & Cast Members Jackie Kerin, John Jarrett & Robert Ratti
House Of Psychotic Women Intro By Kier-La Janisse for Morbido TV
Extended Interviews from Not Quite Hollywood
Return to Monteclare: Location Revisit, 2018
Deleted Scenes
Before the Night is Out: Ballroom Footage, 1979
Original Theatrical Trailer
British VHS Trailer
German Theatrical Trailer
Alternate German Opening
Image Gallery
Tony Williams Short Films
Reversible cover

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