Sometimes the words on a page are so evocative that they bring to mind images that are so striking that they could only come from dreams. This is a distinguishing characteristic of Next of Kin, a film which can be best described as a stimulating audiovisual experience. It contains scenes of distorted perspective, scenes in which the viewer is invited to question what they are seeing as their perception is challenged. It’s disorienting yet captivating; kinetic yet hallucinogenic and what’s more, the effect is a powerful one.

There are discoveries made along the way which are accompanied by a sense of dread, all the while emphasizing their mysterious nature. These are some of the most potent moments, what with dead residents turning up and an overflowing tub and sink. It is all part of a plague of chaos that, due to being unleashed, is as difficult to contain as it is disconcerting to experience; thus, the presence of evil is not to be taken lightly.

It is worth nothing the strange occurrences which take place during the day, such as the appearing of shadowy figures. Though such occurrences are few and far between, the scene in which Linda is visited by such a figure during her trek through the woods stands out in that it is a moment in which there is emphasis on the disruption of solace as well as the fact that the woods have an aura of mystery which is punctuated by the lack of activity. Without a doubt, the latter is a simple but effective means of complementing the atmosphere.

Next of Kin takes it time to reach its peak, but if you go along for the ride, you will find that it is quite a way to spend an afternoon. It really is that rewarding. And who knows? You might be in for some rather unusual dreams which wouldn’t be a bad thing.

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