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Baskin is a Turkish horror film from Can Evrenol that is sort of a mix of Hellraiser, Martyrs and Caligula. In essence a family film! Flick has a squad of tough guy cops called in to a remote, rural area as back-up for some sort of investigation in progress. They get into an accident when they arrive and meet some strange locals who lead them to an abandoned police precinct. There they find a lone survivor of the previous squad babbling incoherently and once they investigate into the bowels of the rundown building, the men find themselves literally in a hell on earth that there may be no escape from.
Evrenol directs from a script he co-wrote with Ogulcan Eren Akay, though there really isn’t much of a story as it is just a very basic set-up to the carnage. He does create a very thick and lasting atmosphere of dread from the opening dream sequence and paints his tale of demonic horror with an intense and very disturbing visual style. He also splashes his canvas with gallons of blood and entrails, acts of horrific violence and some ugly sexual perversion, too, just in case you were missing the point. And that’s were this film does stumble, there really doesn’t seem to be much point to this once it’s all over. After over 90 minutes of some very disturbing sights and acts, the film ends as mysteriously as it began. Who are these people that live in the bowels of the abandoned police station? What exactly is their purpose in torture and murder? Did these men somehow bring this on themselves? The ambiguity works to a degree, but it also gives us a bit of a hollow feeling instead of being truly horrified. The film may be disturbing and downright disgusting at times, but it’s never really ever scary and ultimately is much ado about nothing. It does seem like Evrenol doesn’t have much of a goal here other than to present a series of nightmarish sequences, although he does do that very well. The characters are also not all that endearing and some are outright unlikable, nor do we get to know them all that well. Because of this, we aren’t very attached or empathetic to them once they start being savaged. On a production level the gore is really well done and Evrenol’s nightmarish visuals are well captured by Alp Korfali’s lens and accented by a really effective score by Ulas Pakkan. As for the cast, they are obviously Turkish actors unknown to most movie goers outside their native land, but they all were all fine and effective with their parts…which consisted mostly of yelling and being evicerated.
This isn’t a movie you can say you liked in the true sense of the word. It is very effective in many ways, such as the nightmarish atmosphere and some horrific visuals and acts of perversion and violence that chill. On the downside, the characters aren’t all that well-rounded or likable and we don’t get much of a story to go with the gallons of blood. It’s more of a set piece that we should be more emotionally invested in for it to really wow us, but we aren’t. An effective visceral horror, but a little shallow on the emotional investment side.
3 creepy frogs.