12 May 2004 | Raidar
Supreme suspense and stylish direction
Despite popular belief, Next of Kin isn't really a regular stalk and slash flick. There isn't much of a death count and Tony Williams doesn't waste time with constant self references to other genre pieces. However, the plot resolves around a psychotic intruder that's murdering the inmates of an old people's home, although the deaths are sporadic enough (we only see one) to keep the heroine believing that they're actually accidents.
The things that lift Next of Kin above its contempararies is the superb, noteworthy direction and great atmosphere. It's beautifully photographed, with some instantly exquisite camera movements that add a supreme energy and sense of professionalism that's rarely found in slasher movies from New Zealand or Australia. In fact, such a notable level of craftsmanship is rarely seen in any category addition. There are plenty of credible shots, the best being the woodland scenes in which we see the mysterious menace lurking in the distance amongst the trees, barely recognisable. It's fairly well acted - although not superbly -, and it works well to set up a creepy suspense fuelled environment. When the nut-job reveals himself, there's some brilliant chases and a few surprises.
Like I said, don't expect slasher cliches by the dozen, but if you keep your options open, you'll find Next of Kin to be fairly rewarding. Worth a look...