Have you ever watched a Turkish horror movie? Actually, have you ever watched a Turkish movie? I have to admit that before watching this one, the only one I checked out was phenomenally atmospheric and moody Once Upon a Time in Anatolia. And while we’re on a subject, what type of horror do you think Baskin is, being shot in a country that’s rather conservative and overwhelmingly muslim? After all these question, it’s time to answer some of them. First of all, this is not some low-budget artsy-fartsy movie that’s using a found-footage gimmick or some other trick, but a full-blooded horror movie in a vein of Hellraiser. Actually, it’s much more fucked up than that cult classic since it features very surreal and nightmarish imagery that looks creepy as fuck. With great production values and excellent acting, it makes a fine addition in the foreign horror movie section. It’s based on a short movie made by director Can Evrenol who’s latest post-apocalyptic movie Girl With No Mouth I can’t wait to see. Following five police officers who were called to investigate strange things happening in an abandoned police station it also doubles as a thriller and a buddy cop movie. With so many layers and a bit strange storytelling that jumps back and forth, you might get the feeling that this is some incoherent exercise in body horror but do not be mistaken, everything will eventually fall into place. After all, just imagine the passion involved in the creation of this movie that had just $350.000 budget and was shot in 28 nights. I love the fact that there’s not one single scene in daylight but everything is happening during the night. And there’s plenty of gore and gruesome scenes that are accompanied by a hellish atmosphere, everything that a good horror needs.

Meet Arda, a rookie cop who’s just learning the ropes from his fellow police officers in a local restaurant. Arda has been plagued with strange memories from his childhood. After his parents died in a car accident, Remzi has been helping him and actually steered him into law enforcement. After they finish their meal, they get a call to provide backup to another police unit in a place called Inceagac. What will they find there is up to you to find out…

One of the things that you will notice immediately is the quality of the dialogue and the freedom of thought expressed in this movie. I mean the police officers are joking about having sex with animals and many other things that you would not expect if you’re thinking that this part of the world is so serious and strict. The character development is next, with protagonists that feel authentic and morally ambiguous, a thing that would play a significant role later in the movie. And finally, the incredibly heavy and disturbing atmosphere is the final aspect of this movie that I would like to explore with you. Director Can Evrenol lists The Descent and Frontière(s) as two major influences and if you’ve seen these two movies than you know what you’re getting yourself into. To that list, I would also add Martyrs and another directors’ choice Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives. The pacing was just right, a bit slower to allow you to fully take in the scene and become emotionally invested in the characters although they are a rowdy bunch. The sets were very realistic and once the movie starts speeding up, fucking awesome. I don’t want to give away too much because this is an experience best had on an empty mind that will fill it up with this living nightmare that is Baskin. Finally, my only problem with this movie is its purpose because apart from the strong visuals and interesting events that you’re about to witness, there’s little that stays with you after it. Almost like a nightmare, a nightmare that you can recommend to other people.

P.S. That’s not make-up on that guy.

Director: Can Evrenol

Writers: Ogulcan Eren Akay, Can Evrenol, Ercin Sadikoglu, Cem Özüduru

Cast: Mehmet Cerrahoglu, Görkem Kasal, Ergun Kuyucu, Muharrem Bayrak, Fatih Dokgöz, Sabahattin Yakut


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