19 user 29 critic

Next of Kin (1982)

Not Rated | | Horror, Mystery | 25 January 1985 (Mexico)
In a rest home for elderly people, a daughter reads her mother's diary. Soon events that are mentioned in the mother's diary begin to happen to the daughter.


Tony Williams
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jacki Kerin ... Linda
John Jarratt ... Barney
Alex Scott ... Dr Barton
Gerda Nicolson Gerda Nicolson ... Connie
Charles McCallum Charles McCallum ... Lance
Bernadette Gibson Bernadette Gibson ... Rita / Mrs Ryan
Robert Ratti Robert Ratti ... Kelvin
Vince Deltito Vince Deltito ... Nico
Tommy Dysart ... Harry
Debra Lawrance Debra Lawrance ... Carol
Kristine Marshall Kristine Marshall ... Linda - aged 4
Simon Thorpe Simon Thorpe ... CFA Speaker
David Allshorn David Allshorn ... Service Club Man
Alan Rowe Alan Rowe ... Service Club Man
Matt Burns Matt Burns ... Mr. Collins


In a rest home for elderly people, a daughter reads her mother's diary. Soon events that are mentioned in the mother's diary begin to happen to the daughter.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


There's no place like home, bloody home. See more »


Horror | Mystery


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



Australia | New Zealand



Release Date:

25 January 1985 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Angustia a flor de piel See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The movie score is by German synthesizer pioneer Klaus Schulze, with tracks from the albums DIG IT, BODY LOVE, DUNE and "X.". See more »


Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »


Georg Trakl
with album "X" (1978)
Released: October 31, 1980
Written, Performed and Produced by Klaus Schulze
Published by Brain
Courtesy of Brain Musik GmbH
See more »

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User Reviews

Spooky and well done
16 January 2007 | by adriangrSee all my reviews

"Next of Kin" is a superior Australian horror film set in a large retirement home. A young woman named Linda returns to take ownership of it after her mother's death, but soon after arriving she finds that there are several mysteries concerning what happened while her mother was in charge, plus she begins to feel threatened by a malevolent presence that creeps about the house after dark.

First off, this is a very good looking movie. Despite the unglamourous locations of scrubby Australian countryside, a shabby diner and the austere retirement home, the direction and camera work ensures that every shot counts. This may have been a relatively low budget venture, but framing, lighting and colours are all handled with considerable skill, with several particularly stylish camera angles every few minutes. Everything looks real, and I would bet that all the shooting was done on location in the big old house that serves as the retirement home. With all this confidence behind the camera, it's also a joy to watch the acting performances, as there isn't a wrong note among them. Jackie Kerin, who plays Linda, takes to the role with a calm maturity. Rather than playing up the glamour side of a "damsel in distress", she instead brings a quiet intensity to the part, showing Linda to be thoughtful, intelligent and resourceful. All the supporting players do equally well, from Linda's amiable boyfriend Barney, to the other staff and inmates of the home, and even a friendly teenage boy who lives in the local diner/gas station is well played.

The combined effect of these achievements is that the film's plot is vividly played out, and the tension is really racked up as events start to turn increasingly more macabre. One of the elderly inmates dies unexpectedly quite early on in the film, and this scene and it's aftermath are filmed for maximum creepiness, which gives a running thread of weirdness to Linda's experiences in the house. I won't reveal any more of the plot, because the film benefits hugely from it's sense of bewilderment, but hold on to your seats, as, after building slowly the story finally culminates in a gripping struggle for survival as Linda finally learns the truth behind the mystery. Although the majority of the film works on a purely "mystery" level, if you're not sure whether "Next of Kin" qualifies as a horror movie, the final fifteen minutes alone should convince you.

Once again, I find myself praising the quiet intensity of an Australian thriller. The ability to draw in the viewer without relying on action set pieces and pyrotechnics seems to be a particular skill of film makers hailing from this continent. I have a similar high regard for other films of the late 17970's/early 1980's, such as "Long Weekend" and "Picnic at Hanging Rock". "Next of Kin" should be ranked alongside the best of Australian horror cinema, and it probably would be, if only it weren't so darned hard to get hold of. Video releases have been very limited, and the only DVD release is a Region 4 domestic Australian one. I am lucky enough to have this ( it's easy to buy on the Internet but US residents will need a multi region DVD player - however it works on UK PAL DVD players - hooray!), and it's significantly improved by being seen in it's correct widescreen ratio, as many of the beautifully composed shots are clobbered in the full screen video version. Aside from that though, I would urge any horror fans to seek out any version they can get hold of, and experience this quiet yet vivid horror treat.

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