lunes, 15 de febrero de 2010

Next Of Kin

In this Australian thriller, Jacki Kerin plays Linda, a woman in her late 20’s who has just inherited an old folk’s home that used to belong to her mother. From the moment she gets there, weird stuff starts happening. from an old person who dies, to visions of herself when she was younger playing with a red ball. Soon enough she discovers there’s something evil with the house, and the more she reads into it, the weirder things get around the house. Soon she discovers that someone from her past is living there with them, someone who wasn’t very right in the head, so meone who could be family. I was very surprised by this film. Most Australian genre films are really out there, full of gore and exploitative elements. But this one is surprisingly restrained, more interested in creating suspense and terror than going for the gross-out. The acting is excellent, particularly from the lead, Jacki Kerin, who is very sympathetic and real-looking. Her face is the face of someone who’s lived, and that adds to her character, particularly during the third act where things get very hectic. We also get a good performance from John Jarratt as the young lead. You might recognize him from other horror films like Wolf Creek, and the two Australian giant croc movies, Rogue and Dark Age. The movie reminds me a lot of The Shining, the book not the movie, in that there are a lot of whacked out things that you don’t know if it’s really happening or not. Scratch that, I actually prefer this movie more than the Shining, which I’ve always considered an over-rated piece of tripe. There are two great sequences that will stick with my mind forever though: the sequence where our heroine stabs the villain in the eye through the door and has the most dramatic run-down-the-hallway scene in the history of cinema. The second scene I will always remember is the fountain of blood that reveals a dead body in the water. These two sequences are terrifying but beautiful to look at the same time. The ending has been written about in many other blogs and even in the great Ozploitation documentary that came out in 2008, and with good reason. It’s an explosion that’s only seen from halfway through, as the first part is seen only in the glow of a sign. It’s been revealed that it was an error, but every filmmaker knows that errors can be the friend of the director. This is a great thriller from the land down under that is just begging to be rediscovered by horror audiences. Comes highly recommended.

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