Synopsis: A squad of unsuspecting cops goes through a trapdoor to Hell when they stumble upon a Black Mass in an abandoned building.
Release Date: March 25, 2016 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Fantasy, Horror
In the Turkish language, the word “baskin” means “police raid,” and that’s basically what is at the center of the new Turkish horror movie Baskin. Well, sort of.
Baskin is about a squadron of five police officers who get a call to go to a building. Things get weird before they even arrive, as something darts out in front of their van and they get into an accident on the way. Things get even stranger when they meet a group of frog farmers (or collectors?) and they learn that they are not far from their destination, so they trudge along. Once they get to their call, they find unspeakable horrors within the building – or are the horrors all within their own imaginations?
Baskin is the feature length debut from Istanbul-born, Canterbury-educated Can Evrenol. Like many horror films, Baskin is based on a short film by its director, but in many ways, it doesn’t feel completely fleshed out. The promising premise loses steam quickly. The first half or so of the movie moves slowly and takes patience, playing fast and loose with the timeline by utilizing flashbacks and alternate realities that, frankly, demand way more attention than a movie of this sort should. By the time the cops get to the hellish part of the story, it’s devolved into an old-fashioned gorefest. That may sound like fun to some viewers, and in some ways it is, but there’s very little purpose or meaning to the film at that point beyond the spilling of blood and guts.
Aesthetically speaking, Baskin wears its influences on its sleeve. The film is bathed in primary colored lighting, mostly reds and blues, that give it an Italian giallo look not unlike that of the films of Lucio Fulci and Mario Bava. The torture-pornesque effects seem to have been ripped right out of the Hostel movies (according to Evrenol, it was Hostel director Eli Roth who suggested he turn his short film into a feature in the first place). The score is sparse and atmospheric, full of synthesized strings that find themselves right at home in a John Carpenter film. On a technical level, Baskin is a well-made movie. The story just seems to cop out (no pun intended) at all of the wrong times.
Turkey is not a country that is known for its horror movies, but hopefully Baskin is the beginning of a new legacy of films from the region, because it’s a far better first taste than it is a last one.
Aside from a handful of cheap jump scares, all of the fright that will be generated by Baskin is going to come from splatter and slasher moments. There are many more cringe-worthy and creepy-crawly moments in the film than actual scream-out-loud scares, and by the time it reaches its conclusion, the movie is in full-on Hellraiser gross-out mode. Which will work for some people, and won’t for others, but viewers should at least know what they’re in for. Baskin is more of the modern definition of “scary” as opposed to the classic one.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Can Evrenol
- Screenwriter(s): Ogulcan Eren AkayCem OzuduruErcin Sadikoglu
- Story: Can Evrenol
- Cast: Muharrem BayrakDerin CankayaMehmet Cerrahoglu Leman Sevda DariciogluFatih DokgözGorkem KasalErgun KuyucuTugba OzkulBurakhan PasabeyogluSabahattin Yakut
- Editor(s): Erkan Ozekan
- Cinematographer: Alp Korfali
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer: Sinan Saraçoglu
- Casting Director(s): Fazli Korkmaz
- Music Score: Ulas Pakkan
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: Turkey