Next of Kin (1982)

What if The Shining wasn’t in the snowy hills of Oregon, but instead found itself in Australia? What if a woman found herself repeating the same horrors that her mother had faced twenty years before? And what if we decide to watch Next of Kin, today’s movie of the day?

Linda inherits Montclare, a retirement home that belonged to her mother. When she comes back to her hometown to settle her affairs, she feels unwelcome, with only Barry, an old boyfriend (John Jarratt, the evil Mick Taylor in the Wolf Creek series of movies), being understanding.

Things certainly aren’t helped by Montclare’s staff, including Connie and Dr. Barton (Alex Scott, The Asphyx), who have been conducting a secret affair and may be conspiring to drive Linda insane. Or perhaps the house is truly haunted, as drowned corpses appear at will and windows mysteriously open. No matter what, there’s something wrong and it’s probably due to the years of madness and murder that Linda’s mother has covered up.

There’s an amazing moment near the end where Linda has gone near insane, barricading herself within the diner, where she builds a pyramid of sugar cubes as the forces of evil gather themselves to do her in. It’s strangely gorgeous. And not the only original sight in a film that seemingly would only be a rip-off.

Throw in an amazing score by Tangerine Dream’s Klaus Schulze and you have a film that’s quite worthy of experiencing.

Sadly, there’s been no official U.S. DVD or blu-ray release of the film. You can find it on YouTube and through the gray market. And you totally should. It’s nothing like the poster promises and is instead a psychologically rich trip through past sins and a family curse.

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