Tony Williams, Australia/New Zealand 1982, 89 minutes HD M Violence.
Next of Kin, the 1982 spook-fest from the Kiwi-born director Tony Williams, is the best kind of surprise: it combines the campy pleasures of 80’s B-horror with the baroque composition and exacting sensibility of The Shining, Suspiria or Don’t Look Now. Next of Kin has deep resonances with these prior films, but stakes a territory that feels confidently original, carving out spaces of surrealist reverie and slow-motion lyricism in moments of ostensible panic.
Still, it never feels condescending to its genre — as if horror could only be made artistic by departing from its core conventions. Genuinely obsessed with the gross liquidity of the human body – the wrinkled pallor of drowned skin and the unreal glassiness of eyes — Next of Kin finds a delicacy in the grotesque that feels traumatic rather than affected. Full of startling imagery and pulsing with a fantastic score from ex-Tangerine Dream member Klaus Schultze, it’s a film of disarming beauty about the visceral fear that adulthood is mad, violent, and wrong.
- Jonathan Foltz, notcoming.com, 17 October 2012.