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Next of Kin (1982)

  Tags: 80's, 80's Slashers, Alex Scott, Charles McCallum, Gerda Nicolson, Jacki Kerin, John Jarratt, Mystery, Next of Kin, thriller, Tony Williams

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Tony Williams
89 minutes
Jacki Kerin, John Jarratt, Alex Scott, Gerda Nicolson, Charles McCallum

In my many horror-renting binges years ago, I'd rent two or three horror films at a time, and occasionally I wouldn't have time to watch them all before I had to return them, if I wanted to avoid the late fee. On one particular day I had to pop in Next of Kin immediately after school, so I could watch and return it in time, however, once I started the feature I immediately fell asleep. Coincidentally, I woke up right before the film ended, catching the climax of the movie. I had no choice but to return it, always wondering if I had missed out on a good movie or not. Now, years later, and I've gotten my hands on the film again and can finally determine whether I should have stayed up that faithful day or not.

The verdict? I'm surprised I didn't fall asleep all over again! Masquerading as a slasher, the film is actually more of an incredibly slow-paced mystery-thriller for the entire first hour, before it finally becomes a fast-paced slasher at the last 20-minutes. Too bad the rest of the movie didn't have what the last bits did, because I was pretty bored by the majority of the film. Described as "creepy" among many viewers, I failed to find anything remotely creepy about the movie, aside from the weird old people that popped out now and then.

So, the story follows a young woman named "Linda," who has recently inherited her deceased mother's old folk's home. Upon moving into the home, Linda hears strange noises and bumps in the night, and after discovering her mother's diary, begins to suspect that the weird events that occurred to her mother may also be happening to her. Like I said above, the first hour of the movie is pretty much just a slow-paced mystery. Normally I like films with a good premise with an interesting mystery element, but I have to admit that the mystery in this film was straight-out boring.

There are a few silly nightmare sequences thrown here and there to add to the missing scare factor, since a majority of the movie is of the lead actress going around asking questions and helping old people. Then, finally in the last 20-minutes the truth is revealed (predictable and a bit hasty too, I might add), and the slasher aspect of the movie finally kicks in. The climax of the movie was pretty cool, and it's sad that the rest of the flick couldn't be as entertaining.

This is a mystery-thriller essentially masquerading as a slasher. I was pretty bored by the entire first hour of the film, as not much happens in it, except for a couple old people dying, some nightmares here and there, and a lot of diary-reading. If you like really slow-paced mysteries, then you might want to give this a shot, but if you just want an entertaining slasher, I'd recommend looking somewhere else.

Posted on October 22, 2009 - 11:24pm | FrighT MasteR